CAIRO — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated hard-line loyalists to his Cabinet as he seeks to tighten his grip on power in the face of unrelenting opposition over his disputed re-election. But at the same time, rivals within his conservative base are gaining strength.
That could mean further turmoil within the conservative camp, where already Ahmadinejad has faced heavy criticism. Most notably, Sadeq Larijani was sworn in Monday as the head of the judiciary. Larijani is the brother of parliament speaker Ali Larijani, seen as the most prominent conservative rival of Ahmadinejad.
During his swearing-in ceremony, Sadeq Larijani suggested he may seek to prosecute security agents accused of abusing and torturing detainees during the postelection crackdown — a move that could embarrass Ahmadinejad.