Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Councillings of Guardians

According to RFE-RL's most recent Iran report, the Council of Guardians, a conservative body responsible for supervising government activity, is trying to create copies of itself at local levels. The justification seems to be that these regional councils can create dossiers on people who might run for office, thus making the job of the national Council of Guardians easier. Opponents have some fears it could be the beginnings of an internal security apparatus. I think this is bad news. Within the conservative faction of Iranian politics there are those who want to work within the Constitution and those who simply want to get rid of the Reformists as quickly as possible by any means necessary. This has the fingerprints of the latter all over it.

There was also an interesting bit that former President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, currently the head of the Expediency Council, may have been involved with secret negotiations with people close to Condoleezza Rica. The claim is that he's willing to work with the U.S. in exchange for unspecified American support for his 2005 Presidential campaign, a proposition the U.S. didn't go for. Several months ago, Rafsanjani called for a referendum on Iranian-American relations. If this is true, I wonder what support he wanted.


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