A Power Struggle in Iran: Ahmadinejad VS the Shark!

The Iranian President Ahmadinejad is seeking to overthrow one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Ayatollah Rafsanjani or the Shark. He earned this reputation because he successfully defeated all those who opposed him.
Both men occupy a powerful position within the Iranian regime. Ahmadinejad is relying on his great influence within the military apparatus. He is promising them the wealth that the clergy, which Rafsanjani represents, long denied.  Rafsanjani, on the other hand, has favored the Revolutionary Guards over the military. The military feels that the clergy didn't treat them justly. Please check out the post that explains the influence of the notion of justice on the Iranian worldview.
Rafsanjani is relying on his position as the Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of the System and the Chair of the Assembly of Experts, which is in charge or electing and removing the Supreme Leader.
Ahmadinejad made his first move and issued a warrant to arrest Rafsanjani’s son, Mahdi, as the first step to weaken the father. Mahdi is charged with extortion, corruption, and having suspicious foreign connections.  Ahmadinejad is delivering on his electoral promise of holding the new aristocrats accountable.
Rafsanjani hasn't countered yet. He is playing a defensive role that does not suit his reputation as the shark.
The son was an easy target; he succeeded in building his commercial empire in a short a time, which raised a lot of doubts around his trade activities.
But why is Ahmadinejad going after Rafsanjani or his son for that matter? 
The answer is wealth and power.  Ahmadinejad is seeking to empower his group, his loyal inner circle. To accomplish that goal successfully, he needs to remove Rafsanjani and his loyalists from positions of power and replace them with his own. Sharing is not an option since wealth and power are limited.
Why should the U.S. care about this power struggle or “what is in it for us?”
If Ahmadinejad wins, then he will introduce a new chapter of the Iranian Revolution. This chapter will be more radical, rigorous, and aggressive. The result is repositioning Iran as a national state with followers all over the Muslim world, not a religious state that governs only within the Iranian border.
If Rafsanjani wins, then he will focus on free market and privatization to empower his loyal group. Rafsanjani long advocated for cutting a deal with the U.S. over the nuclear program of Iran.
Who will win? The struggle has just started. It is too early to tell.  However, the Shark will not be defeated easily.




Popular Posts