Sorcery for the Goose

By DeusExMacintosh

The former spiritual mentor to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has publicly accused his protégé of being “under a spell” as a constitutional crisis engulfs the country.

The president has taken the unprecedented step of refusing to obey orders handed down by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, less than two years after the pair formed a powerful political alliance to defeat anti-regime protests that swept the country.

Regime elements are taking sides, but the president is looking increasingly isolated as the Revolutionary Guard and the clerical establishment swing behind the Supreme Leader. Even Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, whose apocalyptic vision of Shia Islam Mr Ahmadinejad is thought to follow, has joined in the criticism.

“I’ve told some of my close friends that I am more than 90 per cent certain that he has been put under a spell,” Ayatollah Yazdi told reporters. “This is not natural at all. “No sane person does such things unless his free will has been taken away.”

The falling-out of the president and the Supreme Leader, who is supposed to have the final say in all important matters, is the most unexpected development in Iranian politics since the 2009 election and in some ways since the Iranian revolution.

The two men, both conservatives, had together pursued a hard line against the unrest following his re-election and the moderate opposition leaders they accused of being behind it.

The Telegraph


  1. Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    And these people have nuclear weapons. Fun times.

  2. Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    [email protected] Not quite yet, but they are trying real hard.

  3. TerjeP
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    I don’t know which side to take. Can somebody outline the orders he refused to obey?

  4. Patrick
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I do know how to work out which side – can they do pistols at ten paces at dawn, but with each other’s best nukes in the middle of that stupid religious ‘university’ town?

  5. Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The other thing that’s disturbing me is that the Ayatollah fella does look a bit like Alec Guinness.

  6. Posted May 25, 2011 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Terje, he had sacked the Ayatollah’s pet head of Intelligence for bugging his personal ‘advisor’ Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie (who happens to be an in-law as his son married Ahmedinadinnerjacket’s daughter, which kind of makes it awkward). He then went on strike for a week after being ordered to reappoint the spook and when the Ayatollah blocked brother-in-law from a vice presidency, the President made him Chief of Staff instead. Mashaei is unacceptable because he is seen as too ‘soft’ and talks about Iran’s pre-Islamic past which naturally annoys the Ayatollah who would rather the country HAS no pre-islamic past. Difficult to see whether it’s a religious leader stamping on unacceptable nepotism or simply trying to exercise positive turban-wearing discrimination (the spook wears one, Mashaei does not).

  7. Patrick
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    DEM, I think it is pretty clearly neither – it is a struggle to control the coercive apparatus of the state, nothing more elaborate than that.

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