A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rafsanjani Seems to Defer to the Rahbar

In my earlier post I noted that some aspects of Rafsanjani's remarks could be read two ways: the "tangled mess" and "complicated plots" could be read as criticizing either the demonstrators or Ahmadinejad's supporters. But further reports seem to indicate that he also endorsed the conclusions of Ayatollah Khamene'i, the rahbar or Supreme Leader, and if Rafsanjani is on board — reluctantly no doubt, but apparently openly — then the clerical establishment is holding a firm line. I suspect Rafsanjani is unhappy and will continue to maneuver behind the scenes, but this suggests that round one of the post-election crisis is ending.

It took a year for the Shah to fall, of course, and there are visible fissures in the ruling establishment and much resentment among Mousavi's supporters. The story's not over, but I think round one is drawing to a close.

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