Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ahmadi non grata?

Neil MacFarquhar and Gary Sick have both emphasized the extent to which Ahmadinejad has packed the organs of government with his loyalists over the past four years. Both sketch out a stealth militarist takeover of Iran's religious establishment -- with the extent of Khamenei's assent or leadership left somewhat ambiguous.

In today's New York Post, Amir Tahen shows the other side of the coin -- the pushback against Ahmadinejad and his power grab at all levels of Iranian society:
His legitimacy is challenged at all levels of Iranian society, including every segment of the Khomeinist establishment. He has to invoke Khamenei's authority in support of every move he makes. He is the first Islamic Republic president to have split the Khomeinist camp so deeply, and perhaps permanently.
Whenever I think, 'no government can long stand after such a loss of legitimacy,' I remember: the former Soviet Union. Cuba. Burma. North Korea. But still...Iranian society has been more free than any of those. Memory of its last revolution is still fresh. Powerful factions in its existing power structure dislike Ahmadinejad and resent the coup. There is reason to hope

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