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Ahmadinejad's inauguration is the not end for opposition

Adam FivensonLast Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei planted his imprimatur on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's second four-year term as President of Iran. The inauguration seals the results of last month's disputed election, in which Interior Ministry vote counters credited some 63 percent of the 40 million votes cast for the hard line leader, even as reform candidates cried foul, igniting bitter protests throughout the country.

While those working to avert the solidification of Ahmadinejad's position atop the Republic-half of the Islamic Republic have lost a battle, this setback has hardly stolen the wind from their sails.

Although primary opposition candidate and unintentional political lightning rod Mir-Hossein Mousavi has slowly ramped up his open involvement in post-election rallying, others now carry the torch of resistance. Chief among them is Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a leading religious and political figure, considered by many to be the second most powerful man in the country behind only the Supreme Leader himself.

Rafsanjani delivered a recent sermon at the weekly Friday prayer ceremony at Tehran University, using the pulpit to demand that "the government release those arrested in recent weeks, ease restrictions on the media and eradicate the "doubt" the Iranian people have about the election result," according to a New York Times summary of the event.

Having allies, and now leaders, so far up the political ladder (Rafsanjani is also a former president) can only aid the opposition in its continuing struggle, especially as Ahmadinejad fills his cabinet with allies, further galvanizing his own power.

In reaction to the inauguration, thousands marched through the streets of Tehran in protest, and a number of important figures, Rafsanjani, Mousavi, and former President Mohammad Khatami, were noticeably absent from the event.

  • Anonymous

    thanks for keeping your eye on this matter. The behind-the-scenes politicking is continuing in Iran. A friend just sent me a link to a website, http://www.roozonline.com/english.html, which has numerous articles about the accusations and counter-accusations going on right now.

    There is a lot of concern over the treatment of political prisoners. Along with this is an inquiry into the actions of Police chief Kahrizak.

    Reports of the rape of prisoners are widely circulated, but at the same time the Speaker of the Majlis, Ali Larijani, seems to be trying to prevent Majlis members from even discussing rape!

    There’s a real possibility that some reform will happen just because of all the politicians realizing what a mess the election has been. We can hope.

  • CathyStripeLester

    thanks for keeping your eye on this matter. The behind-the-scenes politicking is continuing in Iran. A friend just sent me a link to a website, http://www.roozonline.com/english.html, which has numerous articles about the accusations and counter-accusations going on right now.

    There is a lot of concern over the treatment of political prisoners. Along with this is an inquiry into the actions of Police chief Kahrizak.

    Reports of the rape of prisoners are widely circulated, but at the same time the Speaker of the Majlis, Ali Larijani, seems to be trying to prevent Majlis members from even discussing rape!

    There's a real possibility that some reform will happen just because of all the politicians realizing what a mess the election has been. We can hope.

  • Anonymous

    I would be very surprised to see any sudden realizations on behalf of any politicians; the battle lines are drawn, and they’ve all got too much riding on sticking to their guns, especially those that support Ahmadinejad (still a large majority).

    Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not hopeful, especially given Rafsanjani’s involvement.

    Thanks for posting that web site, it’s really helpful!

  • afivenson

    I would be very surprised to see any sudden realizations on behalf of any politicians; the battle lines are drawn, and they've all got too much riding on sticking to their guns, especially those that support Ahmadinejad (still a large majority).

    Still, that doesn't mean I'm not hopeful, especially given Rafsanjani's involvement.

    Thanks for posting that web site, it's really helpful!

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