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Iran’s cleric-on-cleric clash
Will a split among Iran’s ayatollahs bring down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the protesters can?
 

Iranians want change, said Henry Newman in Slate. They may not want “democratic Western-style secularism,” but even a growing number of Iran’s senior ayatollahs see the need to replace President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Islamic “military dictatorship.” Clerical opposition may not sink Ahmadinejad, at least not yet, but it has “radically undermined” his legitimacy.

Ayatollah Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani might have enough clerics on his side to oust Ahmadinejad now, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, by unseating his protector, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. But even if Rafsanjani convinces enough ayatollahs on the Assembly of Experts, which he chairs, to remove arch-rival Khamenei, he doesn’t seem to have “many takers” for his other reforms, like abolishing the supreme leader position altogether.

A “coup from within” the theocratic ruling class or military would be the quickest and least violent way to end this, said Ramin Ahmadi in Forbes, but Iran’s no longer having an “election feud.” It’s having a second “Great Iranian Revolution,” and “the revolution will go on,” no matter what happens among the ruling elite.

 

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