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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The strange politics of a two tier leadership

It very much looks like Ahmadinejad is and will be the President of Iran, but I'm finding it interesting to watch how the public pressure is playing out on the Supreme Council which has now authorized a very limited recount.

Ahmadinejad is only concerned with the limited problem of his reelection, but Khamenei and the Council have a larger responsibility to maintain their role in the system of government. If Ahmadinejad loses some legitimacy before the people, it simply makes his life more politically difficult. If the Supreme Council loses legitimacy it threatens their institutional role, and the role of Islamic clerics to run the country.

The Supreme Council is not in any real threat of being unseated or anything, but they are at some risk of losing some of their moral influence before the entire youth of the country.

They have an interest in "winning back" some of the protesters while Ahmadinejad only has an interest in putting them down.

It's just interesting to see how the pressure has put different risks (and may force somewhat different courses) on the two tiers of Iranian leadership.


  • Good summary. Khomeini must be doing some serious thinking.

    I admit to being impressed by the number of people who turned out for Moussavi. Young twitterers mostly I suspect but they seem to want some kind of change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:47 AM  

  • I'm amazed that they're still turning out.

    An alternate explanation for the Council's action might be that they're trying to buy time and take some of the steam out of the fight by a partial (temporary) concession of a recount.

    They can buy a week to try and simmer things down and then say the count's the same, you know?

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:55 AM  

  • Yes I think that's the leadership's strategy. Trying to take the steam out of the protests.

    I'm afraid some people want it to get more violent. Provoking the police is the obvious way to do it. No country can put up with too much of that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:07 PM  

  • Yes, and yes.

    And that fear of the potential for blowback from violence is why the government is using militia proxies to attack the protesters.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:41 PM  

  • Maybe. You seem to have a clearer idea of what went on at those militia quarters than I do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:03 PM  

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