Slamming Heads in Iran

Now that President Ahmadinejad has been sworn in for a second, four-year term, it’s widely expected that he’ll unleash the full fury of the country’s security forces, Islamic courts, and paramilitary groups against protesters and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mohammad Khatami, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, and Mehdi Karroubi.

Last week, promising as much, Ahmadinejad made the threat explicit during a speech in Mashhad:

“Let the swearing-in ceremony occur. Then we will take them by the collar and slam their heads into the ceiling.”

The religious right and hardliners are already calling for the arrest, trial, and possible execution of Mousavi, Khatami, et al.

Within two institutions, in particular — Iran’s clergy and among commanders of the Revolutionary Guard — there may be far greater resistance to Ahmadinejad than is known. And if either of those institutions begins to crack, watch for signs that Ayatollah Khamenei might decide that dumping Ahmadinejad is necessary. In a report carried by Reuters, Alireza Nader, a top RAND Corporation Iran analyst suggests as much:

“Ahmadinejad scorns his critics, but several analysts abroad have speculated that he might be removed by the Supreme Leader or impeached by parliament before completing his four-year term.“‘It is too early to tell if Khamenei will sacrifice Ahmadinejad,’ Nader said. ‘He has staked his authority and even legitimacy on the Ahmadinejad presidency. Nevertheless, Khamenei may be compelled to act if he faces much more serious pressure from hardliners within the political system, especially elements of the Revolutionary Guards.'”

via Ahmadinejad II.

I am not convinced that the MSM’s portrayal of the Iranian election as grossly unfair is accurate. Mousavi has been President before, so why would the Ayatollah have such a huge problem with him this time that he’d go to the trouble of outright rigging an election against him? Also, the Ayatollah already exercises considerable power within the Iranian system so it doesn’t make too much sense to me why he would care so much about the arguably less powerful position of the Presidency all of a sudden.

The article above follows the MSM line that the people of Iran completely and utterly voted for the opposition. However, it also highlights the pressure Ahmadinejad is under to secure his rule. If he doesn’t he can’t count on the Ayatollah to back him up…

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