A New Tug of War
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has added one more opponent to his long list of fights - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or, more simply, his own boss. The dispute between the president and the supreme leader broke out because the two men have different visions for the future of Iran. While Ali Khamenei wants to preserve the Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad on the other hand wants to change it. He and his allies want to take power away from the clerics.
But what the president and the international community fail to understand at this point is, that in Iran there is room for only one ultimate decision-maker. That is the supreme leader and not the president. Aya- tollah Ali Khamenei has a long-lasting alliance with the Revolutionary Guard whereas the parliament also takes the side of the ayatollah and the Revolutionary Guard. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have considerable popular support among Iran's working class but sadly, and much to the disappointment of the international community, has none of the levers of power possessed by the ayatollah. Heightened tensions between Ahmadinejad and parliament, along with mounting differences between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, clearly indicate a power struggle ahead of next year's parliamentary elections and the 2013 presidential election. Very truly said, the fight for Iran's future is far from over.
Sanya L. Misra, Colombo, Sri Lanka