May 11, 2013

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to stand in Iran presidential election (Saeed Kamali Dehghan, 5/11/13, guardian.co.uk)

Rafsanjani, 79, is one of Iran's great political survivors who played an instrumental role in the appointment of Khamenei as the current supreme leader after the death in 1989 of the Islamic republic's founder, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.

However, Rafsanjani and Khamenei have been at odds since the former lost to Ahmadinejad in 2005 presidential election. In 2009 notably, Khamenei sided with Ahmadinejad while Rafsanjani showing moderate support for the Green Movement and its leaders. As a result of his confrontation with Khamenei, Rafsanjani's authority has diminished in recent years and two of his children were jailed last year but his candidacy can possibly play as a game changer. Despite this, many believe that he has a strong base among clerics and can draw a great deal of support from reformists because of his sympathy with the opposition.

The US ought not support him specifically, but should urge voters to turn out--a role reversal from the tragic part we played in recent elections--and seize power democratically.
Posted by at May 11, 2013 1:39 PM
  

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