Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Iran's internal struggle

The mad mullahs are at each other's throats, as more and more recognize the folly of Ahmadinejad's policies:

And tougher fights loom ahead, as his opponents marshal their forces in the judiciary and the regular Army. Clearly Ahmadinejad has lost the full faith of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the Islamic republic.

As I pointed out before, Ahmadinejad is openly challenging the mullahs' power:

The man is ultra-fundamentalist with a mystical bent. He is affiliated with the Hojjatieh movement, which is preparing for the return of the 12th imam, who disappeared down a well in the ninth century. The group's teachings undermine the authority of any contemporary "supreme leader," like Khamenei.

The US is certainly happy about it and has wisely toned down its attacks against the regime:

With the mullahs now tearing themselves apart, the last thing Washington wants to do is scare them into a new unity.

Ahmadinejad's posturing doesn't help his image either:

Much to the alarm of those who say Iran is modernising, he frequently refers to the Mahdi, even mentioning him in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September. Asked late last month how Iranians should prepare for the Mahdi, he replied: "They must be pure and devout." On other occasions, he has talked of reorienting the country's policies to be ready for judgement day, the equivalent of Tony Blair telling Britons to prepare for Christ's second coming.

If Khamenei doesn't rein him in quickly, judgment day could come for Iran sooner than he expects:

Israeli leaders issuing statements about the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear technology is a routine affair. The remarks, however, were not routine warnings about the threat posed by a radical Shiite Islamist state. Instead, the Israeli government dropped more hints pointing to an emerging shift in its Iran policy.

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