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Iran: within the corridors of power « Previous | |Next »
July 8, 2009

Both President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have tightened their grip on power in Shi'ite Iran. They have succeeded in curbing the popular, peaceful challenge to the authenticity of the June presidential election and clamped down on the opposition with force to their rule with force, despite the opening of a rift within the ruling religious/clerical establishment. Iran’s key security forces — the élite Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Basij militia — remained, and continue to be, bastions of support for Ahmadinejad and Khamenei.

The conflict was a battle between rival---conservative and reformist---factions of the regime, with both factions defending The Islamic Revolution. The conflict battle is far from over, even though it’s no longer being fought primarily on the streets. Tony Karon at Rootless Cosmopolitan says:

The 1979 revolution created two sources of authority; the electorate and the clergy, and it sought to balance those to some extent. Ayatollah Khamenei may have begun to irretrievably alienate himself from both, making the office of Supreme Leader less about offering the regime moral and spiritual guidance than about being an extension of one faction.

One possiblity is the pursuit of some sort of compromise that allows the regime to back down to some extent, without necessarily surrendering and such a compromise may be shaped by the battles inside the corridors of power.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:30 AM |