Iran's Leaders Battle over Khomeini's Legacy
TIME / Robert Baer, Omid Memarian
28-Jul-2009 (6 comments)

Are the wheels coming off the Iranian regime bus? On July 26, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired the country's Intelligence Minister, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie, a man who customarily reports directly to the Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, rather than to the President. The move came a day after Khamenei had forced Ahmadinejad to drop Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie as his candidate for Vice President. But, in an act of flagrant defiance of Khamenei, Ahmadinejad appointed Mashaie as his chief of staff. All this suggests that a political brawl is raging within the corridors of power, the likes of which we have not seen since Ayatullah Khomeini died in 1989.It is bad enough that Khamenei is fighting with the man be backed for President, but what really keeps the Supreme Leader awake at night is Khomeini's ghost. In the West many fall back on the easy assumption that the demonstrations protesting the June 12 election expressed a desire for liberal democratic reform. While there may be some truth to that, the opposition leaders — the candidates who lost the June 12 election — are fighting for something else: the mantle of the 1979 revolution. They believe they are the true inheritors of Khomeini's legacy. They call themselves the followers of Beit-i Khom... >>>

Ali Lakani

'A countercoup may just be on the cards'

by Ali Lakani on

I have been wondering why they haven't yet arrested Mousavi and Karroubi.  Interesting to note that the authors think some are waiting for the arrests to topple Khamenei altogether.



Mousavi et al have no

by vildemose on

Mousavi et al have no choice but to play the Khomeini's card in the stifiling  political climate. They have to dervie their legitimacy from someone whom the opposition/hardliners will not dare to criticize.

I don't buy for a minute that Mousavi et al want to or stupid enough to believe that the IRI even in its Khatami-era form is sustainable in the long run.  



The regime does feel threatened

by Abarmard on

And they should. The crack is real. Khatami stands firm in front of the leader is real. There is no game except the pressure by the people.

Ahmadinejad is not a character that most clergy would agree with. He can simply be a very different individual in this term than what we have seen him to be before. That's him and goes well with his character. I do not see a game being played, specially a


Well, the gamesmanship

by Asghar_Massombagi on

itself is a sign of weakness otherwise why would there be a need to do it?  To create a distance between Khemenei and AN works both ways, in case AN becomes a political liability but also for AN do demonstrate his independence. This doesn't exclude these resignations and sackings to be reflective of real divisions but I think too much is being made of them, e.g. the regime is falling apart, etc.


Mr. Massombagi

by Abarmard on

I don't agree with you. Although it's easy to think that all these are plans, but given the current Iranian political situation, there is no way that the system wants to show more weakness and division from within.


There is a possibility

by Asghar_Massombagi on

that this is a bit of showmanship on AN and Khameini's side to show that he is not a puppet of the leader.  After all he'll be intriducing a new cabinet when he is sworn in.  There is also a possiblity that the non-Mesbah faction is trying to dictate their preferences on him. It's well known that even the conservatives are not all that happy with some of AN's cronism in favour of his incompetent inner circle based on their old Hojjatieh connections.