Thursday, October 21, 2010

Khamene'i in Qom

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i has always been vulnerable for his weak religious credentials, which is a key reason the fact so many high-profile religious leaders turned against the regime's handling of the 2009 election could have presented a serious problem. Reuters reports, however, that he is boosting his standing on his trip to Qom:
"Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appears to have scored a political success by gathering leading clerics in the holy city of Qom around him in a show of unity after months of in-fighting.

"Iranian media highlighted pictures on Thursday of a smiling Khamenei sitting with several top Shi'ite Muslim dignitaries, including some who have been critical since the disputed re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year...

"Their turnout belied rumors that senior religious figures would boycott Khamenei's annual visit to the center of Shi'ite learning in protest at a fierce crackdown on reformists and moves to isolate and intimidate dissident clerics.

"However, while conservative clerics who have voiced concern about the economy or the prerogatives of the clergy came to meet Khamenei, more liberal figures who backed opposition candidate Mirhossein Mousavi last year have so far stayed away."

What this will do is help his standing among conservatives in the population and bolster his ties among the clerical establishment that remains critical to legitimacy within the regime.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home