The public campaign to weaken President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and heighten the authority of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei may have entered a new stage today. In depicting Ayatollah Khameni's status as that of an infallible Imam, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sadighi, leader of Tehran's Friday Prayers, even took a swipe at the president's wife. "One of the cabinet ministers told me, we believe that if his Excellency (Supreme Leader) decrees the divorce of the president's wife, the president's wife will become haram (religiously forbidden) for him and the president will no longer be able to touch her," Sadighi said in his sermon.It has gotten to the point that Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, thought to be a potential successor, has been arrested over claims that he has been dabbling in the "black arts"--and implying that the President was himself involved.
This testy environment has been simmering for a few weeks now, but the Supreme Leader's ultimatum to Ahmadinejad, leave my man in charge of the Intelligence Ministry or resign, is a far-cry from the election period of 2009 when Khamenei voice his support.
Let's see what happens, but do follow Scott Lucas over at EA WorldView he's been on top of things. Check out his analysis here.
Let me add that for those who perceive or understand our various world wide partners on this planet, and especially those in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, mostly through the way they interact with their neighbors, both near and far, that this is an example of just how complex countries are, no matter where they lie. As the last months have shown, there is a lot more to the various nations in this world than just their interaction with the United States. International domestic politics has had a resurgence on the global stage and in the global perspective that has been healthy and should serve to undermine anyone's conceptions that countries are singular things where only singular issues dominate above all else.