32 years ago, before the revolution, the strucutre of power in Iran was divided between two factions, and the Shah, above them both, had the margin to maneuver and to govern the country. Perhaps one of the reasons that the Shah’s regime fell was that he disarranged this equation. The fact that Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi centralized the power into a monolitic Hezb Rastakhiz, had the effect to put his policies directly into people’s mouth with no any pout to maneuver.
After the revolution, Khomeini undrestood this basic fact and when he got rid of the interim government of Bazargan, he gave consent to Karroubi and his friends to go and establish the head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, Martyr’s Foundation and ten years later the Association of Combatant Clerics party. This duality of power, and Khomeini at their head, let the old man to keep his domination and to create a balance in the IRI domestic and foreign policies. In sum, Khomeini made so that any rival groups would not be able to establish a complete dominance of the power.
In the Iranian political scene, this sort of equilibrum was there until the coming of Ahmadinejad. When Ahmadinejad came to power, he tried hard and succeeded to disolve the reformist faction. With the only conservative party, we are now witnessing the split of the latter into two main parties. The traditional conservatives, who are the traditional right-wings, like the Confederates (moatalefeh) surrounding around Ali Larijani, and distancing themselves from Ahmadinejad.
To be more accurate, it was Ahmadinejad who abandoned them and we are now seeing the outbreak of these two centers of power. Moreover, Khamenei, in this middle, does not really know what to do! He thought that with the openings promised and settled by the reformists, it was them the danger number one and started a steamroller to put them down.
Now, the bulldozer goes further and is targeting political figures who are loyal to Khamenei. In the other hand, traditional conservatives are now pressing on Ahmadinejad’s Achilles heel: Rahimi and Mashaei. And Khamenei is passed by the events and is in awe. He engineered something, which is on his own expense and does not know how to confess on this great error! What Ahmadinejad did to Motakei was a milestone on this battle.
Till the split of power, Khamenei had the final word in the political scene, but we are at a stage that the supreme leader’s words do not play the same role than before. We see now that Ahmad Tavakoli and other critics of the government attack the same people that they backed just one year ago.
The miscalculation of Khamenei was what he said three months ago in Qom. He said there that he backs Ahmadinejad as AN does not accept the duality in Khamenei’s sovernity. Khamenei really thought that with Ahmadinejad, no one would criticizes the position of the supreme leader and that everything is over. But Ahmadinejad is now saying that if Khamenei was elected by 57 people, he has the votes of 24 million Iranians. He is now placing his pawns and and has a long term project. He thinks that he would be there after the end of his two term mandats and, he is doing all to set back his main rivals who are no one else than Larijani brothers, Tavakoli, Motehari and many other people in the conservative faction.
In the other hand, Khamenei has reached an impasse, he knows that he cannot support Ahmadinejad anymore, as if so, Ahmadinejad would come for him after he finishes with the aforementioned rivals. And if he does not support Ahmandinejad, that means that he was wrong from the beginning. Time is working against Khamenei, if he does not stop this collapse, he would be the final loser.
In sum the clergy, in general, has lost its place. Khamenei, as the head of the clergy, has lost his credibility and I am sure if this process continues, the power of Khamenei would become paler and paler and this ultimately will benefit the people and their democractic aspirations.
All this reminds me the poem from Nasser Khossro: As mast ke bar mast (or for our No Farsi speaker Islamist residents on IC, it’s from us to us)