Khamenei’s Balance of Power
Oktober 7, 2010 Hinterlasse einen Kommentar
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2005 electoral victory over Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani brought to the fore an important cleavage within the conservative camp in Iran, a cleavage that has widened ever since. Ayatollah Khamenei, an astute politician who has weathered many storms, is trying to create a balance of power between the two main conservative factions in order to avoid an excessive power-grab from Ahmadinejad and his close supporters.
It was only five years ago when the then unknown mayor of Tehran kissed the hands of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his inauguration as president. At the time, the unknown mayor surfed on a wave of public anger towards the establishment, and with the blessing of Khamenei and his loyal armed forces, this man became the sixth Iranian president. It was not long before the unknown mayor became a well-known president, who, along with his powerful friends, asked for a bigger share of power in Iran.
The defeat of Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani in 2005 at the hands of then Tehran’s Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought to the fore a major cleavage within the conservative camp in Iran. And this rift has only widened in the years since. Those on the conservative side considered moderates feel that they have been marginalized by the hardliners. The hardliners, led by President Ahmadinejad and his allies in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), are unwilling to allow any room for their political rivals. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has been one of Ahmadinejad’s ardent supporters, has felt the threat posed to the regime by Ahmadinejad and the IRGC’s recently growing and unchecked powers. Acting accordingly, he has taken a number of steps to check their influence and clear the path for moderate-conservatives to return to the table.