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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Know those stories about Ahmadinejad's power waning?

Iran's Khamenei losing control; Ahmadinejad gains power

Gertz: Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei has lost all but his title. Ill and aging, Khamenei's authority is rapidly fading amid infighting over succession.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, left, and Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari in Yazd, Iran on Jan. 4. Reuters/Iran Student News Agancy
Khamenei's orders have been ignored by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Cabinet.

They nod as Khamenei speaks and then rip up their notes.

Khamenei sought greater powers over the military. Forget it. The leader wanted privatization. He was ignored.

Even when the Iranian leader summoned Ahmadinejad and his Cabinet and insisted on results, nothing happened. Khamenei even threatened the Cabinet on television.

The result was more a defeat for Khamenei than a victory for Ahmadinejad. The Iranian leader took a gamble and lost when he appointed the ruthless Ahmadinejad. The president controls the tools of the regime, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basji. Khamenei barely controls the mosque, let alone the military.

Khamenei has sought to win some power or at least his respect by reaching out to former allies. They included Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hassan Rowani, people who were powerful until 2005. The result has been some critical articles of Ahmadinejad in the Iranian press. But nothing more.
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