A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interpreting this as a Rafsanjani-Khamene'i Feud

There were rumors last night and overnight — and let me emphasize only unsourced reports — that the Council of Experts — whose primary functions are to choose the Supreme Religious Leader in Iran, and, in theory, remove him — was being called into extraordinary session in Qom by former President Rafsanjani, who heads it. That would be a truly dramatic development, and since nothing more seems to have happened, I'd take it very cautiously.

However, this Al-Jazeera story, which interprets the whole election fiasco in terms of a Rafsanjani/Khamene'i power struggle, does not seem so far-fetched to me. Ahmadinejad beat Rafsanjani in the 2005 elections, and the bad blood has been evident. I recommend that readers at least think about this as a paradigm for understanding what's gong on,i without necessarily endorsing it.

1 comment:

freude bud said...

I see this more as a choice between the end of the Long Parliament--with the declaration of loyalty to the Parliament as opposed to the King sparking the English Civil War--or the beginning of Charles' Personal Rule--the eleven years in which he had suspended the parliament. Just not sure who, exactly, Charles is.

Guess given that Ahmadinejad left the country to chat it up with the SCO, it ain't him ... so it's looking more and more like the Leader of the Revolution, though that doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense (unless basically he felt he needed to address his vulnerability on the world class Islamic-scholar requirement for the velayat-e faqih.)