Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who served as Iran’s president from 1989-1997, lost to Ahmadinejad in 2005, and was a behind-the-scenes mover of Mir Hussein Musavi’s 2009 campaign that led to the Green Movement, has been taking major political hits for at least a year, possibly as payback for his 2009 actions. Tehran Bureau reports:
One trend of the past decade or so of Iranian history has been the growing involvement in the IRGC in Iran’s economy. Now, a prominent officer/businessman has become the country’s oil minister:
“Iran’s parliament has voted to approve Rostam Qasemi, a Revolutionary Guards commander, to head the country’s oil ministry.
“The country’s president had [...]
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 [...]
Much of the coverage has shifted to trials of reformist leaders and Ahmadinejad’s government, but it’s worth remembering that protests are continuing in Iran:
“Opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi has called for continued protests over Iran’s disputed June election, two days after MPs backed most of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s new government ministers.
“Musavi, remaining [...]
After discussing the special relationship Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims with the Mahdi, the Hidden Imam who holds ultimate religious authority in Twelver Shi’ism,Mazyar Mokfi and Charles Recknagel raise an interesting point:
"All of this could be seen as religious and nonpolitical except for one thing: the Islamic republic already has a steward in [...]
Anyone interested in transnational Islamist political movements or the politics of the Gulf countries, especially the Arab ones, should read Laurence Louer’s Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf. I won’t be able to finish it right away as I return it to the library tomorrow in advance of moving, but [...]
As Juan Cole explains, Rafsanjani’s Friday prayer sermon was a paean to popular sovereignty in the Islamic Republic, in which he noted that even the Supreme Leader is indirectly elected by the people. It places him squarely in the reformist camp in a way he simply wasn’t before, endorsing not only their candidate as [...]