The Power Struggle Within Iran
posted at 9:15 am on April 30, 2011 by John Sexton
Yesterday the AP reported that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has apparently stopped showing up for work. This is apparently just the latest move in an ongoing power struggle between the President and Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:
When Ahmadinejad tried to fire his powerful Intelligence chief, Heidar Moslehi, Khamenei intervened to reinstate him. And things have gotten so bad that Ahmadinejad not only is reportedly not showing up to work, but may be planning to resign and has presented a list of demands for the Supreme Leader, including removing the current Chief Nuclear Negotiator and Head of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili.
But one doesn’t make demands of the Supreme Leader. It’s possible Ahmadinejad’s threat to resign may actually be his attempt to avoid impeachment:
Ahmadinejad’s big sulk may have to do with his fear of what will happen next, as, according to Sazegara, members of parliament are preparing a mechanism to impeach the president. Clerics close to Ahmadinejad have tried to convince him to find a way to compromise with Khamenei.
Websites close to the president have warned that if he is removed, things could get very messy – even violent.
As we saw during the last Iranian election, there are tens of thousands of people in Iran willing to take a risk for a chance at freedom. Could visible signs of weakness in the government lead them to take to the streets once again?