Nah, I’m kidding. I just wanted our liberal readers to read the post. It was Ahmadinejad who said it. See, guys? You can relax now.
Incidentally, is there trouble in paradise?
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seems to be trying to gain control from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is emerging as his rival, says a report.
As part of that effort, Khamenei has ordered the creation of a foreign policy council that would be solely responsible to the ruling cleric, reports the Middle East Newsline. Khamenei said the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations is meant to facilitate decisions on foreign policy, the report said…
Some analysts told the MENL the new council could become Khamenei’s back channel to the United States, which is leading other Western nations to have Iran end its uranium enrichment program.
Radio Free Europe had the same take back in June. Does the creation of the council really mean Khamenei’s working at cross purposes with Ahmadinejad, though? Forcing the UN to deal with a two-track diplomatic apparatus means dragging out nuke negotiations even longer, and potentially lets Iran play a mean game of good cop/bad cop if they’re so disposed. If Khamenei’s that worried about “Mahdi,” he’d simply have him bumped off. Judging by the polls, there wouldn’t be many hearts broken if he did.
The fact that he hasn’t means either (a) the rumors of a power struggle are nonsense, (b) they’re true, but Ahmadinejad’s still useful to the regime as a face of defiance and not so popular with the military that they feel threatened, or (c) they’re true and they do feel threatened, but Ahmadinejad’s consolidated power sufficiently that they’re afraid to move against him. I’m not sure which is the best option there, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t (c).