Sunday, May 22, 2011

Analyzing Internal Conflicts in Iran

By Barry Rubin

Spiritual Guide Ali Khamenei is supposed to be the boss. In curbing President Mahmoud  Ahmadinejad's power, Khamenei is reminding him of that fact, which Ahmadinejad tends to forget at times.

In Iran there is talk of a "military coup" that is Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps taking over more and more power and wealth in Iran.

So the differences are real and serious but have little or nothing to do with issues like the drive to obtain nuclear weapons or Iran's expansionist, subversive and anti-Western foreign policy.

Presumably if Khamenei lives long enough, he will replace Ahmadinejad with someone else as the next president.The question is whether in the long run Ahmadinejad has any chance of becoming Iran's dictator with Revolutionary Guard backing. This battle, and not the regime's overthrow--unfortunately--will probably be the main political issue in Iran during the next few years.

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