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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ahmadinejad's bumpy second transition

Frankly, I don't really know enough about Iranian politics to put this in its full and proper context, but it does seem significant that Ahmadinejad is having a lot of bumps in staffing up his second administration. (BBC, WaPo)

There was his first VP selection who he had to had to eventually let go of after lots of pressure from the hardliners, and now he's fired his intelligence minister (without explanation?) and had his culture minister quit with this quote,
"Unfortunately due to the recent events which shows the esteemed government's weakness, I will no longer consider myself the minister of culture and will not show up at the ministry as of tomorrow."

And, If you want something really weird in all this, Ahamadinejad's first VP choice was pushed out by Khamenei and hardliners after past friendlier comments towards Israel, and, according to the BBC, Ahmadinejad's new Chief of Staff will likely face the same resistance after past friendlier comments towards Israel.

Under normal circumstances, I would say Ahmadinejad is trying to create space between himself and the hardliners over Israel, but with his history of viciously anti-Israel statements, that doesn't really work. So, what's going on with Ahmadinejad naming people deemed too "friendly" to Israel? (A relative term.)


  • I'm likewise confused about this Ahmadinejad-Hardliner "rift." I don't know what's going on in Iran, of course, but it has the whiff of internal convulsion... the panic of people in power desperately trying to exercise that power.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:00 AM  

  • I could see that.

    My perception is that Ahmadinejad is using the weakness of Khamenei, which is viciously ironic since Khamenei is weak for helping Ahmadinejad stay in power.

    Maybe it's that the game has changed from the early election protests, and it's no longer about the Presidency, but about Khamenei, so Ahmadinejad is trying to play both sides.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:24 AM  

  • I'd say it's about maintaining some kind of cohesive authority in the face of attack. The attackers are being portrayed as unpatriotic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:53 PM  

  • But those against Ahmadinejad's appointments are largely the Khamenei folks.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:11 AM  

  • I's all part of a devious plot to confuse Western observers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 PM  

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