October 23, 2007

THE MOST REVEALING ASPECT OF THE EPISODE...:

Ahmadinejad deals with aftershocks of nuclear negotiator's dismissal (The Associated Press, October 23, 2007)

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cut short a two-day visit to Armenia on Tuesday, officials there said, as he faced growing unhappiness back home over the resignation of Iran's top nuclear negotiator.

The sudden replacement of Ali Larijani fueled increasing complaints - even from conservatives who were once Ahmadinejad's supporters - that the president was mismanaging Iran's most vital issues, particularly its confrontation with the West over the nuclear program. [...]

In a sign the displeasure may reach high levels in Iran's clerical establishment, a foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, complained about the change, which took place just ahead of a meeting Tuesday with the European Union.

"It was definitely better if this did not happen in the important and sensitive situation when the nuclear issue is on the table," the adviser, a former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency, ISNA.


Iran divided by nuclear policy power struggle (David Blair, 23/10/2007, Daily Telegraph)
Ali Larijani's resignation as Iran's nuclear negotiator on Saturday revealed a crucial political rift. Observers believe that at its heart is a power struggle between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The president is trying to wrest at least partial control of nuclear policy from Mr Khamenei. If Mr Ahmadinejad succeeds, this would probably dash any hope of compromise with the West.

Even if Mr Khamenei reasserts his control — a more likely outcome — the power struggle will gravely complicate Iran's foreign policy.


...is how poorly Westerners understood what was going on, interpreting an obvious power struggle as, instead, the adoption of a hard-line by Ayatollah Khamenei.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2007 3:53 PM
Comments

The thing we all need to know now is how serious is Ahmadinejad's bid for power?

Posted by: Benny at October 23, 2007 4:10 PM
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