Iran’s supreme leader demands support of clerics
Oktober 30, 2010 Hinterlasse einen Kommentar
Iran’s supreme leader wrapped up an unprecedented 10-day visit to the Iranian seminary city of Qom on Friday that was widely seen as an attempt to bolster support among those in a clerical establishment either indifferent or hostile to his conservative agenda.
In a series of meetings, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned turbaned leaders of the Shiite Muslim clergy to avoid becoming excessively enamored of unorthodox, reformist and Western ideas and too unsupportive of the hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has long aroused suspicion among Iran’s clerical old guard.
„The enemy had decided to make the antithesis of the revolution here and to turn Qom into a base for counter-revolutionaries,“ Khamenei told supporters in the city Wednesday, amid saturation media coverage. „They tried to influence the thoughts and emotions of the people of Qom. They assumed they could quell the flame of people’s emotions or damp their feelings.“
Khamenei, Iran’s highest spiritual and political authority and its commander in chief, has long had a frosty relationship with senior clergy in Qom, an important city whose educational establishment has conducted a decades-long flirtation with Western and liberal ideas.
A former president, Khamenei was elevated to his powerful post in 1989 despite lacking the theological qualifications or religious stature of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic. Now, in a complicated maneuver that resembles the high ecclesiastical and political intrigue of the medieval papacy, Khamenei is seeking to shore up his own standing by bending skeptical clergymen to submit to his will.