Iran’s Secular Dictatorship October 3, 2010Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
Tags: Geopolitics, Iran
The latest salvo, via a Web site called Mashanews run by Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, didn’t mince words. “Iran needs to remove the mullahs from power once for all,” it read, “and return to a great civilization without the Arab-style clerics who have tainted and destroyed the country for the past 31 years.” The executive branch’s current stance on the Shiite clergymen who have shaped Iranian politics since 1979 is summed up as, “din (religion) should be distinct from dowla (state).” Indeed, Ahmadinejad’s supporters have begun comparing him to King Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire who kept those two institutions separate.
The shift is based on the political realities in Tehran. Having survived the last election thanks to his allies in the civil bureaucracy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and the Basij paramilitary, Ahmadinejad now has little to fear from the mullahs and their supporters. So he has begun to insist that “the executive is the most important branch of government,” thereby challenging oversight by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Islamic political institutions.