I beg to say that the main premise on which Sadeq Saba’s new analysis is built upon is just false.
In his piece about the harsh criticism against Ahmadinejad, published in a newspaper in iran called Jomhoori-e Eslami, he argues that support for Ahmadinejad is diminishing among within the senior leadership of Iran.
That’s becoming an increasingly popular theme these days and the way I read it is that the U.S./UK official line against Iran is slightly shifting towards exploiting the remaining limited potentials of Rafsanjanists in breaking the political unity and common will behind the nuclear programme and particularly the decision not to give up on the enrichment.
The British/American alliance has now publicly started to give a louder voice to the Rafsanjanists inside Iran (from Shirin Ebadi to Hassan Rohani) and outside (almost all Democrat-leaning figures such as and Akbar Ganji) in order to widen the potential differences of opinions among the key decision-making figures and institutions.
So it doesn’t matter to Mr. Saba that painting Jomhouri-e Eslami as a newspaper that reflects Khamenei’s positions is totally false. One only needs to go back and see during the previous elections and afterwards it has always been Rafsanjani who has enjoyed the full support of the newspaper, not Ahmadinejad.
In this context, it is very predictable to see such attacks from one of Rafsanjani’s most faithful media allies. And it’s not event the first time Jomhouri-e Eslami is diong this. (See an eariler report from January 2007 for example.)
What is happening in the past few months is that Khamenei is becoming more and more supportive of Ahmadinejad in private and public, at the same time that he keeps his distance with him. So Khamenei supports him more while he also criticised him more. (For instance, read the transcript of his speech for the government cabinet a few months ago.)
Mind you that I didn’t vote for Ahmadinejad and I have my criticism of many of his actions and rhetoric. However, I can’t close my eyes on such obviously inaccurate and politically-motivated journalism that has shamelessly become so common in the Euro-American media.
Apparently Washington post’s Robin Wright has become their role model.