May 25, 2011


Ahmadinejad's Going Down: Not only has the Iranian president managed to make the entire world angry, now he’s outraged the supreme leader. Omid Memarian on the face-off in Iranian politics. (Omid Memarian, 5/25/11, Daily Beast)

Analysts say Ahmadinejad has made a lot of enemies over the past five years and has failed to build political coalitions during his time in power. He has practically brought isolation for himself and Iran internationally. And inside the country, his delusional ambitions for a power grab that could engulf the leader’s territory has resulted in a very strong backlash.

“After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad changed his Foreign Minister [Manouchehr Mottaki] without the leader's approval and appointed his own candidate in his place, the alarm went off for the Iranian leader,” a political activist in Tehran aware of the conversations told The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity. “At a meeting with high state officials, the Iranian leader gave the green light for the pursuit of violations committed by those close to Ahmadinejad.”

Last month, Ahmadinejad also dismissed his cabinet's intelligence minister. But Khamenei opposed the president's action and asked him to change his decision. Although the supreme leader holds the final call on all critical decisions, Ahmadinejad insisted on his decision and refused to attend cabinet meetings for 10 days—10 days that helped a storm of criticism brew against him. He finally gave up and admitted the intelligence minister back into his cabinet.

“It is easier to predict the leader's game. But it is difficult to predict how Ahmadinejad would continue the game, as he behaves emotionally and unpredictably,” said Reza Alijani a prominent political analyst who has recently fled Iran. “Ahmadinejad’s emotional and delusional actions may also lead to his demise, because power plays in Iran are extremely ruthless and the security forces in the leader's camp are known to confront mercilessly.”

The intelligence minister was apparently dismissed when he attempted to install surveillance equipment to tap the conversations of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Ahmadinejad's chief of staff and closest, most trusted adviser. Many say there is no doubt the tapping was done on orders from the leader.

Over the past few weeks, several people close to Mashaei have been arrested, and government opposition groups attacked his deputies. But analysts in Iran believe that this is just the beginning of what is expected to include the arrests of Mashei himself and several other authorities close to the president.

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Posted by at May 25, 2011 5:14 AM

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