by Mike Shuster, NPR, National Public Radio.
May 24, 2011
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looks to be in the most precarious position he's been in since his election nearly six years ago.NPR - National Public Radio
Alireza Nader, an Iran analyst at the RAND Corp., says that the number of supporters Ahmadinejad has within the governing system in Iran is dwindling.
"There's tension between him and the supreme leader," Nader says."He doesn't get along with Parliament. There's a lot of tension between him and the Guardian Council, and the head of the Guardian Council was a strong Ahmadinejad supporter. So he is slowly being squeezed by all the most important players in Iranian politics."
"He's been trying to play the Persian nationalist card, for instance, which is very, very popular in Iran, particularly among those who despise the Islamic Republic," Parsi says. "Whether he will be successful in that, of course, is a different matter. But it shows that he is himself aware that he needs to have a stronger platform and constituency in order to continue this effort of his."
The goal appears to be to extend Ahmadinejad's political power beyond 2013, when his second and final term as president expires.
To accomplish this, he had taken some very risky steps. He has set in motion new economic policies to eliminate many of the subsidies that for years have provided cheap gasoline, electricity, bread, rice and other basic staples.
At the same time, he has initiated cash payments to many in Iran to ease the economic pain, says Hossein Askari, an expert on Iran's economy at George Washington University.
"Nobody else had the courage to do this," Askari says. "He jumped on it because I think he saw this as a way to become even more of a populist. He wanted to target the cash payments to the poor."
All this is designed with a clear political purpose in mind, and many in Iran believed the goal was to put forward his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, as the presidential candidate to succeed him, says Nader of the RAND Corp.
"If you're an Islamic Republic and you have people who may run for president say that Iran is more important than Islam, then that is a fundamental challenge to the very principle that [the] Islamic Republic is resting on," Parsi says.
24 de maio, 2011 - 09:17
Explosão mata 1 em refinaria do Irã durante visita de Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad não ficou ferido em explosão em Abadanbbc.brasil
Uma pessoa morreu e pelo menos 20 ficaram feridas em uma explosão em uma refinaria de petróleo em Abadan, sudoeste do Irã. A explosão ocorreu enquanto o presidente Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visitava o local.
A agência de notícias Fars informou que um problema técnico causou a explosão, que foi seguida de incêndio. Outra agência de notícias, a Mehr, informou que a explosão foi causada por um vazamento de gás e alguns funcionários inalaram substâncias tóxicas.