Whiffing a Rift

Khamenei and Ahmadinejad falling out


Whiffing a Rift
by aamahdi

All along, Khamenei's support for Ahmadinejadh as been tactical and not based on what the clerics often refer to as "aqd-e okhovvat" (a tradition of brotherhood contract established by Prophet Mohammad in Medina). Both Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei have used this phrase when asked about their parting from their old colleagues.

Khamenei will support Ahmadinejad as long as the advantages of such a support outweigh its disadvantages. Surely, Khamenei is starting to see how the obedient president is enjoying power and is slowly outgrowing his own skin. That is why different signals are sent out from his lower associates to the president (e.g., Kayhan editorials, Jomhouri Islami editorials, letter from his office, etc.).

Yet, assured of having a ride to the end of presidency, Ahmadinejad has begun acting more unpredictably and controversial than expected. Khamenei knows that he invested too much in him in the last presidential election – an investment which much of it has turned to be a loss. For his own sake as the leader above the political fray, something Rafsanjani and other clerics have been trying to remind him of, Khamenei needs to distance himself from AN. The process has begun but do not bank on a Banisadr type departure. Not yet, and I see little chance of it happening till the end of his presidency.

This forum is well aware of clerics' realistic and survivalist attitudes. When confronted with a mistake, one of their unwritten rules is to pretend the problem does not exist or minimize it as much as possible, hang on for a while till the issue gets out of the sight, then change the direction. They have done this time and again on variety of issues – political appointments, policy issues, and even religious matters. They often correct their ways but not in a way to give concession to their opposition/competitors/enemies.

In case of Ahmadinejad and his latest controversies and frictions with the Principlists, and even Khamenei, the same rule applies. Just read Khamenei's comments yesterday (Sept 16, 2010) and how he distinguishes between the primary versus secondary issues. He says we should not magnify secondary issues in public, even if they are real and need our attention – a commentary, in my view, in reference to Rafsanjani's comments on sanctions and obedience to law at the latest session of the Assembly of Experts. In his comments Khamenei insists on sincerity of "officials" and implies that their mistakes are to be corrected but not magnified because public airing of "personal vendetta" destroys the confidence in the government and people's "self-confidence."

Ahmadinejad is still a good servant for the Islamic Republic in which Ayatollah Khamenei is the leader. He is still a valuable asset, but not the kind that the leader is willing to go directly to his defense again. He may not fight for him any more – no need of course, he is the president in his last term -- but is not going to admit that he made a mistake in backing him as a president in the first place. He will give him hints and clues to stay the course but is not going to dump him – in Khamenei's obsessive mind with "enemy," that is a gift to enemies. He will reign in Ahmadinejad and let his presidency finish the course and then chooses his next battle.

Ahmadinejad is no more valuable to Khamenei as was Nateq Noori back in 2007. Nateq Noori has been serving as the head of inspectorate in Khamenei's office since 2000 and has recently fallen out of favor due to his criticisms of Ahmadinejad and closeness to Rafsanjani. Yet, he still holds his office without much of teeth to his title!

Finally, in reference to this "rift," some commentators regard Ahmadinejad's close alliance with and promotion of Mashai as a prelude to latter's candidacy for the next president (and all the discussions about his flirting with Persian nationalism, etc.). Mashai may have such a dream but there is no way that the current Guardian Council will approve of him as a candidate – just read final statement by the Assembly of Expert yesterday (Sept 16, 2010) denouncing what they refer to as promotion of nationalism in the county.

First posted on Gulf2000.

Ali Akbar Mahdi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Ohio Wesleyan University.



Oh? No Fear There would be No IRGC coup.

by al-dang on


You are right, there was already a Coup.   Do you even read the crap you write?   You and your millions?    The country is owned by Mafia.  IRGC OWNS everything, banks, communications, car industry, oil, ....  Your retarted leader and the rest of the reactionaries are out manuvered by another group of thugs.  There will be no election you imbecile. Alaready they crossed off city council elections, and MP's are planning to make President selected by MP's.   They know, no one would participate in this systems fake elections, so you must have not gotten the latest memo.

Also tell your brother Q to put the picture of AN as his logo and you should put the picture of Valeeh Safeeh as yours.

Al-Dang, but by no means, the only one on this site.


No Fear

There would be No IRGC coup.

by No Fear on

Why does everyone think of IRGC acting like a mafia? How did you get to this conclusion? Who says so?

IRGC is a military organization which is controled by the government.  IRGC first commanders are almost always changed routinely after a few years. There is NO evidence that IRGC is involved in smuggling. Except what Karoubi mentioned and every body believed what that old fox said because thats what you want to believe. Who pockets the money?  The commanders who are changed routinely? Ahmadinejad? Mashaie?  Your auntie? who...?

Mashaie will not get pass the guardian council. The latest three judges appointed by our parliament to the council a few months ago are all reformists. Khamenie has repeatedly mentioned the need for reformist participation in our politics. All signs point to a reformist win in the next election so half baked political analyst on this site could get their wish.

If Ahmadinejad in any way or form support a possible military coup in Iran, me and millions like me will stop supporting him. He has sworn to uphold the constitution and must respect the rule of law. The method of transfering political power is a lot more important than the Goal of a movement. You can't implement democracy with sanctions or air raids just as you can't implement reform with a military coup.

The battle feild is the next election with the reformists having the full support of the oligarchic ruling class ( as usual ) along with traditional conservatives ( Khamenie's group ) with the possibility of another candidate from sepah ( to divide sepah voting as a bloc again) and probably one conservative who is close to Ahmadinejad but not as controversial as him.

If you really care about the future of Iran, then simply vote and choose your candidate.



the entire article is short

by eshghvamohabat on

the entire article is short on details and is entirely unconvincing. the supposed "rift" between khami and AN seems overblown and inconsequential


This analysis assumes that Khamnaie’s health ...

by reader1 on

... would allow him to play the end-game with Ahmadinejad.  This may never happen. If he dies before the end of AN's presidency, the political scene would rapidly turn into a stormy and unpredictable mess.

Ehsan karimi

Ahmadinejad has realized

by Ehsan karimi on

Ahmadinejad has realized that resolving the internal issues are just as important as standing for Iran's international rights.  He has realized that he has been misused.  He realized that when Khameni protected Rafsanjani despite all the crimes he has committed.  He understands that if he doesn't take care of the corrupt individuals in the system during his term, after he is gone, they will be in full control and it will be business as usual and no one would dare to challenge them.  I said this when he became president. The best and most important course of action he could have taken was to negotiate the freedom of political prisoners. That is still true today.  He should speak up and communicate with public more as he has been in several occasions. He should condemn violence in Iran and promote justice and peace.  This is how he can increase his supporters in Iran and neutralize his enemies plans and propaganda against him. This, followed by more positive actions as he has been taking.



Oh no!

by al-dang on


Completely off mark analysis.  Khamanehey has lost credibilty.   Sepah has been gaining ground on Mollah's who are no longer useful.   It is bigger than Ahmadi Nejad vs Khamanehey.   It is control of Iran's vast resources and Sepah wants increasingly bigger share.   They don't care much about Mollah's, sepah leadership is  Hojateieh based, which believes in separation of religion and government.    In a dictatorship, compromise means your end, not strength.  Khamanaeheye is acting on weakness not strength.  

For first time, a hostage was freed, even when Khamaneheys office of Fagheeh  was against it.   They are refusing to enforce the Hejab law, too.   There is a whole lot more happening in Iran that people over there have no clue.   That's what the Basiji message to AN  in front of Khamanee was about.    There may not be a vote taking for president next time.

Dang, Al-Dang 

Happy eagle has correct analysis.


Typical Conversation

by Doctor X on

That could be taking place amongst the Inner circle members:


If things continue to move on along the shitty road.:))



Hoshang Targol

Harpi-Eagle is 100% correct,

by Hoshang Targol on

Keep in mind that the only institution in Iran that has increasingly augmented it power over the ENTIRE country is Sepah, and why do they have to share it with any one else. HE's point on possibility of coup by Sepah is a KEY POINT, if our opposition wasn't so fragmented and up in the air, it would have used such an opportunity to maximum extent, but it's not, and it can't.


Agha Mahdi, dardo balaye

by vildemose on

Agha Mahdi, dardo balaye shoma bokhoreh too sareh Reza Aslan, Hoom majid and Trita parsi...lol

Please write and share more..thanks.


Dr. Mahdi - Very good piece

by MM on

With as much economical/political power that Sepaah weilds, I think a member of Sepaah will be pushed forward as the next likely selected candidate for presidency, while most others will be disqualified by the unelected Guardian council.


IRGC Coup is Another Scenario

by Harpi-Eagle on

It is no secret that the entire inner circle of Ahmadinejad is either current or ex-IRGC cadre.  Furthermore, his close alliance with Mashai and the fact that he is more and more acting arrogantly toward Khamenei and other power brokers within IRI (e.g. Larijani Bros., Rafsanjani) is probably sending shivers down Khamenei and other clergy's spine.  In my opinion we should not discount the possibility of Iranians waking up one morning to the news of mass arrest of many mullahs at the hand of the core IRGC, and massive propoganda about how the mullahs have been traitors all along, etc, etc, etc.  Anyone who thinks this is impossible or far fetched, should study the history of pre WWII Germany and how the SS anialated the SA, killed Ernest Rohm and many of the other Brown Shirt upper echelon in a span of only 3 days.  Also, if you think the Basij can stand up to the main body of IRGC, guess again.  The Basij files are in the hands of the intelligence sectors of IRGC, and at the right moment, they could easily be overcome and neutralized.  Without the Basij, what is Khamenei or any other mullah but a fat pig to be used for target practice.  The simple fact is the IRGC which is aligned very closely with Ahmadinejad has too much to gain and not much to lose by a successful coup.  Currently, they have a complete control over Alchohol, drugs, prsotitution, and import export of many of the valuable commodities of Iran, and they only have to give the Mullah Godfathers their share of the profits, I'm sure it is in the back of many IRGC minds, hey why do we pay off these leeches, when we do all the hard work and have all the fire power.

Payandeh Iran, our Ahuraie Fatherland


Great peace

by afshinazad on

This regime is secured by all means and if there is any change of regime would be bloody and I don't think Iranian people will do that just for freedom and if it was 1978-79 for ALAH yes! This imaginary ALAH is been screwing Iranian from last 1400 year and as long as our people keep doing the same things that they been doing it from last 31 year: BUSY to survive and make the end meat and if they are getting screwd it's ok khoda karimeh and life goes on. Iran needs Russian Revoulation to clean and remove the cancer, otherwise next three year there would be no election, no presidency and might Khamenie will die by then and we will have complete military islamic Regime backed by clerics who their sons are the Top military official, this is preferd by British and American and Russian and chiness, as long as they are able to milk Iran there would be no peoblem for the regime and that's why Time is running out if people keep silent.

One nations future is depends on their action and their decision either to live as a human being or to live as a slave or the cattle.

Sargord Pirouz

Come on, now. This is simply

by Sargord Pirouz on

Come on, now. This is simply business as usual in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

President Obama has a much greater rift going with the Rebublican party than Ahmadinejad does with the SL. But for those hoping for the worst to take place in Iran, the sky is always falling. 



Good analysis

by Mammad on

Also read about the same subject, AN versus the Ayatollah


But, it is premature to talk about the next "elections," or to say that Mashaei will be rejected by the GC. It is too early. First, we do not even know whether there will be a next "election," given what is going on. Second, Iranian politics changes by the minute and hour and day. Who knows who will be standing by then; who knows what the alliances will look like. Who knows what the power struggle between the two men lead to.


Maryam Hojjat

Excellent analysis but

by Maryam Hojjat on

I am hoping something happens to topple IRR/IRI before AN's term ends.

Jahanshah Javid

Spot on

by Jahanshah Javid on

The most accurate analysis I've seen.

Reminds of Henry VIII and his wives going to the gallows one by one.