Friday, May 6, 2011

Political Crisis in Iran: Khamenei’s Ultimatum to Ahmadinejad

In a clear sign of growing political tensions among the senior leaders of the Islamic Republic, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an ultimatum to reinstate Haydar Moslehi as the minister of intelligence or resign the presidency.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad had asked Moslehi to leave the meeting of his cabinet before the meeting started. Ahmadinejad’s refusal to allow the intelligence minister to remain in the cabinet is the most serious challenge to Khamenei’s authority. The supreme leader had ordered Ahmadinejad to reinstate Moslehi who had been fired by him. Instead of accepting Moslehi as ordered, Ahmadinejad himself boycotted the cabinet meetings and did not show up for work at the presidential palace for 11 days. When he finally returned, he refused to let Moslehi attend the cabinet meetings.


Anonymous said...

THis is democracy at work. I heard Obama being called a liar by the leader of the Reps in the state of the union speech and the guy still lives and so does the USA.

you should be accustomed to this

reader said...

Ahmadinejad should do the honourable thing – refuse to capitulate to Khamanie’s unreasonable demand and resign.

Ali said...


I think that Ahmadinejad is doing the right thing, the reason being for this statment is that according to the Law and the constitution, it is up to the president to decide the ministers in the cabinet!
however all of us know that the SL is above the law in Iran and the constitution does not mean anything.
One other way of viewing this "Game" would be that they are trying to show that The Ahmadinejad's gang is different from the current clerics, and it is just another way of fooling us people. I think that Ahmadinejad will OBEY the SL, soon or later and he will serv the remaining two years!

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure I would qualify this as a crisis. The government is still functioning but there is an unresolved issue between two branches of the government, with potentially larger implications ahead.

This is actually an interesting development, and depending on the outcome--in the short terms as well as long term-- this could signal the development of a maturing political system.

Again, this type of bold assertiveness was what was expected from Khatami's popular mandate but did not materialize. Here we have Ahmadinejad providing his popular mandate with exactly that, with as of yet unpredictable results.

Paul said...


Your Persian must be failing you.

Here is the indirect unconfirmed quote from Ahmadinejad:

خب، (آقا) یك زمانی به من دادند، من تا آن زمان فكر كنم. یا من تا آن زمان یا استعفا می‏دهم یا می پذیرم یا نمی‌پذیرم.

Shall I translate? Where is "ultimatum" here? Ahmadinejad is saying that Khamenei has given him some time to think. And that he (Ahmadinejad ) will, by that time, either resign, or accept Moslehi as his minister, or reject Moslehi as his minister.

They key is that there is the option of rejecting Moslehi.

This is not an ultimatum.

Please, read more carefully, and provide a source.

Paul said...

One more data point:

The latest bout began in April when Mr Ahmadinejad discovered that Heidar Moslehi, the minister of intelligence, was bugging the offices of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, his own chief of staff and a close ally. Mr Ahmadinejad fired Mr Moslehi. But Mr Khamenei, who dislikes Mr Mashaei, fast reinstated him.


Guess who was the recipient of eavesdropped coversations of Mashai's office? No doubt the supreme leader.

Nader Uskowi said...

The real fight between the two camps is not about Moslehi, but Mashaie and his team. We have said before that Mashaie wants to create the Second Islamic Republic, with much less power and influence for the ayatollahs, including Khamenei, and incorporating nationalistic sentiments into the fabric of the new republic. The team also has claims of direct relations with the Hidden Imam, making the role of the clergy obsolete.

However, political crises at the end of the day are caused by power struggles for the control of the government, and normally manifest themselves in specific issues, not large world view issues, here around the issue of firing and reinstatement of the intelligence minister. Ahmadinejad can think as much as he wants, but he has cornered himself: either rejects Moslehi and vacate the office of president, or give in to Khamenei's demand and accept the "absolute" authority of the leader against all ideological inclinations of his team as outlined above.

These are interesting days for the Islamic Republic in redefining its power structure and it ability or lack of to adjust to changing times after more than three decades in power.

Anonymous said...

MI6 report from the Guardian newspaper

Guardian is MI6 as Keyhan is Hezbollah

Anonymous said...

only if we have a dictator like Shah or Saddam hussein
then we can be united.

else we must tolerate dispue und disunity under individual politiker

Anonymous said...

Good catch on the improper use of the term ultimatum. Uskowi's credibility is so so. He has even started moderating comments.

Nader Uskowi said...

Anons 5:15 AM & 7:11 AM,

Appreciate your attention to details such as motivation of people, ranking someone's abilities or defining the links between British and Iranian media to their respective intelligence agencies. But what about the story itself? What do you suggest is happening in Iran now? What are the outstanding between the supreme leader and the president? Or do you think there are no serious issues and they are doing this to mislead observers of the Iranian politics? If there are issues, however, are the ones discussed (Moslehi reinstatement for example) the real issues or there are some other root problems at work here? Interested to know you takes on the issues.

Anonymous said...

Nader jan,

when a family quarells , then other households 3 streets further have no proper info over the so called dispute.

as we say.. "ghamar khanum" (MI6) trys to catch the imagination of other housholds and invents and names situations to make herself (itself) more informed and important than they actualy are

you can magnify everything in Iran into a monster or you can appreciate the diversity of opinions which is good for Iran, meaning it vaccinates Iran from foreign inteventions a la operation Ajax and Ajax 2 (recent green thing)

Bless Iran

Nader Uskowi said...

Note on moderation of comments:

The purpose of moderation of comments by this blog is to prevent publication of comments that are basically personal attacks on other commentators or the authors of the posts. The forum here is for free flow exchange of the ideas on the topic under discussion on any specific post. We indeed do encourage comments that offer analyses and points of view contrary to those expressed in the posts. They enrich the quality of this blog. But we do not believe however that a forum dedicated to personal attacks and accusations would in any way enrich the quality of this blog.

Anonymous said...

This is definately not a healthy sign of a Democracy. Iran is not a Democracy, if it were Ahmadinejad, the elected President, would be allowed to do whatever he wanted.

Lets just hope that Ahmadinejad does something about it and gets rid of Iran's Undemocratic elements (i.e. the supreme leader).

As for the moderation of this blog, i don't see Nader blocking anything other than possibly spam or personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you guys are huffing and puffing about unknowns..All i see here is guesses and wild speculations...Ahmadinejad this, Khamanie that..All from "unknown sources"..

Shall we move on to known issues???

Anonymous said...

@1.02 pm 7 may

Not supporting any clergy or system.. but even a Pres. should not be able to fire ministers like a banana republic no matter what

what happened to the ex foreign minister of Iran (manouchehr something) was not very elegant.

Pres. Ahmadinejad should sometimes be remembered to move according to certain ethics.

I wish the US had something or someone to stop Bush and Channey and their notorius actions

if u like it or not the leader of iran is indirectly elected for this very puropse.

Paul said...

جناب اسکویی،

واقعا متاسفم که شما که این همه سال خارج از کشور تشریف دارید، تحمل کوچکترین انتقاد از خود را ندارید، و بجای پاسخ منطقی‌ و حتی اغراق به اشتباه یا لغزشی کوچک، دست به سانسور نظرات خوانندگان وبلاگ خود میزنید. اگر شما رفتارتان چنین است، چه انتظاری از دیگران دارید، و حتی چه حقی‌ به خود میدهید که از آزادی بیان و حقوق بشر دفاع کنید؟