Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Iran: The Regime Unites; Opposition Prospects Dim

By Barry Rubin

Unfortunately, the opposition in Iran does not have any good prospect for overturning the regime and no one should have illusions to the contrary. Note that Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the powerful leader of what might be called the relatively pragmatic (i.e., more interested in making money than being ideologically pure) faction was initially alienated by the stealing of the election. But now he has come back onto the team, praising Spiritual Guide Ali Khamenei who is of course the backer of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is a significant development.

The point is, though, that Rafsanjani is not going to pull the regime into being more pragmatic. It's the exact opposite: he's accepted the current extreme radical course understanding that he cannot go up against Khamenei.

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