October 8, 2005


Iran Moves to Curb Hard-Liners: Power Given to Relatively Moderate Body Led by Rafsanjani (Karl Vick, 10/08/05, Washington Post)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Shiite Muslim cleric who holds ultimate authority in Iran, has altered the country's power structure by granting a relatively moderate panel new authority to supervise an elected government increasingly dominated by religious hard-liners.

Khamenei expanded the authority of the Expediency Council, an appointive body whose longtime chairman, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is a fixture of Iranian politics and invariably described as wily insider. Rafsanjani lost last June's presidential election, but Khamenei's new decree, made public Oct. 1, gives Rafsanjani at least nominal supervision over the administration put in place by the winner, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Pretty funny that the moderate Realist base in Iran is the Guardian Council, but eventually for it to become a fully functional liberal democracy the Council has to give up power.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 8, 2005 9:41 AM

Ah, so "moderate" means being somewhat circumspect about how soon they'll be able to drop an A-bomb on Israel.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 8, 2005 10:59 AM

No, moderate means knowing there's nothing in a war with Israel for them.

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2005 2:14 PM

That's why the "moderates" gave additional power to a council headed by someone who is in favor of nuking Israel?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 8, 2005 2:25 PM

Everyone from London to Khartoum to Karachi favors it--moderates know better than to do it.

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2005 2:48 PM