May 18, 2007


The two 'kings' of Iran (Sami Moubayed, 5/20/07, Asia Times)

[T]here appear to be more than two "kings" in Iran. The obvious one - who ironically is seemingly least in control - is President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The second is the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic.

Both "kings", however, are members of the same radical establishment, the "hawks" of Iranian politics. The other group of "kings" is headed by the so-called pragmatists, led by ex-president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now heads the Expediency Council, and former reformist president Mohammad Khatami. Fate - and Ahmadinejad's policies - brought the two former presidents, who traditionally represent opposite ends of the political spectrum, into alliance. They are the "doves" of Iran.

Except that Rafsanjani was Ayatollah Khamenei's hand-picked choice for president last time around. The election of Ahmedinejad was unwelcome, which is why the Grand Ayatollah undercut him so quickly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 18, 2007 6:46 AM
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