Two Years After Winning Controversial Election, Iranian President on the Verge of Becoming Irrelevant
By Nader Uskowi
On 12 June 2009, this blog headlined, Iranians Voting in Droves. Minutes after the polls closed, Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by a landslide. Mousavi’s supporters suspected massive fraud and took to streets by hundreds of thousands in what became known as the Green Movement. The supreme leader threw his support behind the embattled president, joined by the clerical and military establishment, and the Greens were defeated. Looking back at those hot summer months of 2009, Ahmadinejad’s government, fresh from winning the popular election, and actively supported by Khamenei, senior clerics and the IRGC leadership, seemed invincible. But in a span of two short years, the most powerful of his supporters, the clerical establishment and the IRGC leadership, have turned against him. Ironically, the ultra conservative circles in the Islamic Republic are completing what the Greens failed to do: isolating Ahmadinejad and making him and his government irrelevant.
Ahmadinejad is a fighter and writing him off completely might not be a prudent move on part of his new enemies. But the odds are stacked against him. His supporters, headed by his political confidant and chief of staff, are branded as “deviationists” and the calls for their imprisonment and trial on charges of working against the interests of the Islamic Republic and the Shia faith are becoming louder by the day. Ahmadinejad is given a choice: break away from Mashaie & Co. and continue as president for the remaining two years, a presidency as irrelevant as the last two years of Khatami's. Or be impeached from office and probably arrested along with Mashaie and the rest of the gang. Not an easy choice, and not an enviable position to be in, but that’s how brutal the politics in the Islamic Republic have become.