Iran: Khamenei vs. Khomeini, Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet Appointees, Karroubi Predicts Ahmadinejad’s Fall…

1. Khamenei vs Khomeini: “During his August 3 speech formally endorsing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned protesters that “by imitation of Ayatollah Khomeini, they cannot deceive people.” Khamenei was mocking the opposition’s claim to be to reviving “the values of Ayatollah Khomeini”–the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Khamenei’s predecessor as Supreme Leader. Ironically, Khamenei made this statement while seated below a large, framed picture of Khomeini.This scene provides a stark illustration of the fact that politics in Iran are largely defined by attempts to claim Khomeini’s legacy. Staying faithful to his ideology has been the litmus test for all political activity in the Islamic Republic. Reformists fight for women’s rights, democracy, and civil-military divide–often under the auspices of Khomeini’s pronouncements and writings. And despite the fact that the position of Supreme Leader is supposed to translate into ultimate power in Iran, Khamenei has been severely limited by the traditions and doctrines of his predecessor.”

2. Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet Appointees and More Controversy: “Under pressure from almost all sides following his controversial re-election, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has gone for loyalty over experience in his new cabinet. Several of the ministers are relatively young and little known. Others have been accused of lacking knowledge of their relevant departments. The nominations come despite repeated calls from parliament for the president to choose a more competent team. It seems almost a deliberate provocation, that is bound to lead to a new battle between the president and parliament, which has to approve the appointments.”

3. Mehdi Karroubi Predicts Ahmadinejad’s Fall: “His newspaper was shut down Monday, and generals and hard-line clerics have called for him to be put on trial. Yet defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi says opposition to the government is growing by the day.The white-turbaned Shiite cleric, who has held several senior government positions since the 1979 Islamic revolution, said in an interview Tuesday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, along with the clerics and Revolutionary Guard commanders who support him, will be defeated by what he describes as a burgeoning movement of ordinary people, ayatollahs and lawmakers. ‘In the streets, in the bazaars, at weddings and in mosques, everywhere you can hear people complaining about what has happened” since Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection June 12, Karroubi said. “This belief is growing at an extraordinary pace. Yes, people might be more cautious, since the situation in our country is dangerous, but their thoughts, their ideas have not changed.'”

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