Thursday, 10 January 2013

Iran Live Coverage: Ahmadinejad v. Parliament...and the Revolutionary Guards

0700 GMT: One of the more unintentially humourous videos at the moment is the promotional clip from a pair of US-based commentators, trying to pitch their book with the claim of incisive knowledge of the Islamic Republic. Their commentary is an elegy to President Ahmadinejad, hailing his overwhelming popularity and the success of his economic programmes.

Because the pair are blocking any substantial questions of their "analysis" on their website, they do not actually have to notice what is occurring in Iran --- in this case, the months of tension between Ahmadinejad and other elements of the regime, including the challenge that has effectively suspended the second stage of his subsidy cuts programme. As we headlined last week, with the run-up to June's Presidential election, this has the appearance of "Ahmadinejad v. Everyone".

Two stories on Wednesday gave us more material. Ahmadinejad, refusing to accept his defeat over subsidy cuts, will try to revive the initiative with a visit to Parliament next Wednesday. Anticipating this, some key MPs --- notably the head of the Economy Committee --- put out the message that they will not give way.

Even more dramatic is the flare-up over the election, a fight which threatens to revive the question of "legitimacy", four years after Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. After the Supreme Leader's representative Ali Saeedi said it was the "duty" of the Revolutionary Guards to "engineer" June's ballot, the President --- in what can be appreciated as irony after the events of June 2009 --- declared, "Whoever wants to manage people's votes will be managed by the people."

The Guards were not amused. A senior official snapped that Ahmadinejad's remark was "astonishing".

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping