Sunday, September 13, 2009

Khamene'i and the IRGC

One ongoing question in Iranian politics is the relative power of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, and the IRGC. In an interview with RFE-RL, Mahmud Tehrani, Khamene'i's nephew, supports the view that the Supreme Leader might not be so supreme:
"I think Khamenei -- who is my uncle -- is either a toy in the hands of Ahmadinejad, [Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi], and the Revolutionary Guard, or he shares their crimes.

"There is nothing he can do. If he backs off from his comments even one step, he will lose his leadership and the whole [conservative] camp will disintegrate.

"I don't think Ali Khamenei has a lot of power, it's likely that all of this is being run by the Revolutionary Guard, and Ali Khamenei is forced to deal with the [Revolutionary Guard] in order not to lose his role as the supreme leader. He can't do anything and he won't say anything [substantial]. Since June 14 we haven't heard anything from Khamenei other than repeating Ahmadinejad's comments."

This isn't entirely true, since there has been some tension between Khamene'i and Ahmadinejad, and Tehrani doesn't say what his views are based on. Still, they're plausible, and he appears to have some sort of family sources he's in touch with.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting Dr. Ulrich

-Kyle Moyer

11:13 PM  

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