To jump or not to jump? For Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that has become the question.
Not long ago, Mr. Ahmadinejad was regarded as the most powerful of the five presidents the Islamic Republic in its three decades of existence.
With the opposition “green” movement almost silenced, his administration faced no serious challenge within the Khomeinist movement establishment. Ahmadinejad also marked some success selling his doctrine of “Iranian Islam” as a substitute for the hotchpotch concocted by Ayatollah Khomeini. Translated into 30 languages, his authorised biography, “Ahmadinejad: The Miracle of the Century”, was supposed to have sold a million copies.
His entourage boasted that, in the 2009 presidential election he would have won 35 million, rather than 25 million accorded him. The entourage claimed that, Ahmadinejad lost 10 million votes because of his association with “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei.
The entourage also claimed that Mr. Ahmadinejad supporters are poised to win a two-thirds majority in next year’s parliamentary election.
Today, things look different.
Tehran is full of rumors that, deeply depressed, Mr. Ahmadinejad may be thinking of stepping down.
The media controlled by Mr. Khamenei maintain a daily barrage of attacks against the president.
The other day, the newspaper Kayhan ran this headline: “Mr. Ahmadinejad on Way to Anathema (Takfir)”.