Tennessee Turkey Shoot in Tehran
asharq alawsat / Amir Taheri

With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sworn in for a second presidential term, opponents of his re-election face a choice between humiliating surrender and high-risk dissent. Which option they choose could determine not only their individual fates but also the future of a nation heading for uncharted waters.

So far, the quartet of dissent, consisting of two former presidents, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Muhammad Khatami, the former Prime Minister Mir-Hussein Mousavi and the former Speaker of the Islamic Majlis Mehdi Karrubi, has managed to keep its nerve and remain reasonably united.

Their boycott of ceremonies marking Ahmadinejad's investiture highlighted the deep rift within the establishment.

How long will the quartet maintain its unity, is anyone's guess.

The four men have never been friends. On occasions, they have even been rivals.

In 1989, Rafsanjani allied himself with Ali Khamenei, then President of the Islamic Republic, to destroy Mousavi's political career by abolishing his post of Prime Minister.

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