Friday, April 29, 2011

Ahmadinejad Must Obey Orders of Khamenei - Friday Prayer Imam

The influential cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, acting as the Imam of the Friday Prayer, said today during his sermons in Tehran that President Ahmadinejad must obey the orders of the supreme leader. Such obedience, he added, is not conditional but absolute, regardless of the fact that the majority of people supported him at the polls.

"The president should know that the majority vote for him was not absolute but conditional on his obedience towards the orders by the supreme leadership," Khatami said [Fars News Agency, 29 April].

Ahmad Khatami’s views are usually indicative of the political leanings of the hardline clerical establishment in Iran. Notwithstanding the “democratic” trappings of the Islamic Republic, Khatami is arguing that it is the absolute rule of the supreme leader, selected by the senior Shia clerics and expected to rule for life, that is the essence of the system.


Anonymous said...

Why did you pejoratively put democracy into qoutes? The US also has an appointed body with absolute power over the presidency and legislature, who uses it sparingly. Do you put democracy into qoutes when talking about them too?

reader said...

Can Anon @10:23 please enlighten us by naming the non-elected US body with power over the presidency and legislature.

Alborz said...

every body must obey The leader.

the is khameni the boss
not president.

President is only the state Manager. Khameni ist the state chief.
Rhat is clear law of IRI

Anonymous said...

"Can Anon @10:23 please enlighten us by naming the non-elected US body with power over the presidency and legislature."

First of all, Khamenei was elected by a body, but the US does indeed have a non-elected body that has in the past overruled the president and congress on major issues, issues far more important than the mere appointment of a position, and has done so in cases where the president and congress agreed.

The fact that you don't know the name of this well known body is amazing, but I will give you a chance to figure it out before I tell you.

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 3:41 PM,

The supreme leader and the ultimate political authority in the Islamic Republic is chosen by a body of senior ayatollahs and is practically expected to rule for life, as was the case with Imam Khomeini. The supreme leader must be a male senior Shia cleric himself, and does not claim that the legitimacy of his office comes from the citizens, but ultimately from the God as he knows him. Needless to say, this type of political system is more in tune with the realities of the Middle Ages than the 21st Century. This opinion is not anti-Islam, and as matter of fact it could be to the contrary, as much as criticism of the institution of Pope is not necessarily anti-Christian.

In the original post, I stated a fact as I knew it, and I was not, and I am not, offering a comparative study of the Iranian and American political systems. But from the tone of your argument I believe you are referring to the US Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial body of the country and is authorized to rule on the constitutionality of the laws of the land. If you want to compare institutions with similar functions, you would then need to compare the US Supreme Court with IRI Guardian Council, and judge which are more in line with modernity and democratic systems and institutions.

Anonymous said...

Hint, the US body also rules for life, and its name also starts with the word "Supreme."

Anonymous said...

No the Supreme Court is more akin to Khamenei. Here are just a few examples of situations where they have decreed something that went against the will of the president and congress:

1. Line item veto. Congress wanted it and the president wanted it, but the Supreme court said no.

2. Abortion. I hope I don't have to explain the dictatorial nature of this decision.

There are dozens and dozens of other examples, going way back to a fight between the Supreme Court and Thomas Jefferson.

reader said...

To Anons:

I admit not being sharp enough to guess that you were comparing the supremacy of Khamanie to that of the American Supreme Court. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to you or to your religious belief (most of my loved ones share your belief) , but Khamanie has no god given right to interfere with the executive power which has subjected itself to the popular vote. you are comparing apples and oranges if not "orange and orangutanes".

Nader Uskowi said...

I believe we have a different understanding on judicial vs. executive powers. But I believe that's normal in Iranian politics: pro-government Iranians seem to reside in a parralel universe!

Anonymous said...

Nader, please don't brush everyone with a "pro-x" or "anti-y" brush.

I support Ahmadinejad, only because i don't see an alternative and he is the only President with enough power and guts to challenge the Supreme leader.

I absolutely disagree with the notion of having a supreme leader, but being a realist, i see no way of having that occur, other than having Presidents slowly chip away at his power like Ahmadinejad is doing.

Anonymous said...

"but Khamanie has no god given right to interfere with the executive power which has subjected itself to the popular vote"

How it is not? God has given right to him but for this you need to be Imamians before you comment on it. Since Iranian majority is Imamians and so as per Imamians belive Imam (infallible)are directly appointed by God. And there is no time is supposed (in Imamian faith) on earth without Imam. Even in this Era Imam is present on this very earth during this very time but for interim period becuase of some reasons Imam doesnot come in front of people and for that interim period he has appointed Jurispudent of Islam as his vice. So consequently Khamnie appointment is from God as per above argument.