Thursday, October 27, 2011

Iran's Power Struggles Play Out In Public

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran holds an office that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said could easily be eliminated. Reuters

Iran’s Power Struggle Goes Beyond Personalities to Future of Presidency Itself -- New York Times

WASHINGTON — An unusual proposal by Iran’s supreme leader to eliminate the position of president has highlighted an increasingly bitter struggle within the country’s political elite, as the leader and his allies continue to try to undercut the powers of Iran’s ambitious president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told an academic gathering last week that “changing Iran into a parliamentary system” in which voters no longer elected a president would not be a problem. His words were widely seen as the latest blow in a battle that began in April when Mr. Ahmadinejad crossed a line by openly feuding with Ayatollah Khamenei — who has the final word in affairs of state — over cabinet appointments.

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My Comment: Iran's government is essentially an institution that operates within a theocratic structure. Secularists, reformers, even opponents like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are bucking up against an institution that now pervades every aspect of Iranian life ... and the best of luck to them if they think they can change it.

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