Iason Athanasiadis, the internationally renowned journalist recently released from Tehran’s Evin prison, writes on Rafsanjani’s main message of the sermon delivered at Friday’s Prayer: Don’t write off reformists.
“Intermittent clashes between police and protesters persisted in Tehran tonight after an emotional Friday sermon by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's most powerful political opponent, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, that has prolonged Iran's political crisis,” writes Athanasiadis in today’s edition of Christian Science Monitor [CSM, 18 July].
Iason Athanasiadis quotes this blogger on the emerging balance of power between the opposition and the government.
"The opposition reaffirmed its strength after enduring a month of relentless attack by government forces, but the government will hang on to power with support from the armed forces and a segment of the more traditional and rural population," writes Nader Uskowi, a Washington-based Iran analyst and president of Uskowi Associates in an e-mail. "Ahmadinejad in his second term will pretend to be the president of all Iranians, and the opposition will assert that they are the future of the country. The future of Iran hangs in the balance."