Also by Mazyar Mokfi
August 17, 2009
Fresh Faces, But Familiar Challenges Still Remain
Mahmud Ahmadinejad is busily piecing together his new cabinet, promising "major changes" and the addition of fresh faces to his team for his second term in office. But below the surface, the Iranian president continues to face considerable challenges both from his reformist rivals and his fellow conservatives.
August 14, 2009
Will Ahmadinejad Be Stronger, Or Weaker, In Second Term?
Iran has been in deep political crisis for two months since the June 12 presidential elections. But the nature of the crisis seems to be changing with time. The first phase pitted hard-line conservatives against reformers who say Mahmud Ahmadinejad stole the election. But that fight is increasingly being overshadowed by a second one: a public battle between Ahmadinejad’s camp and other powerful members of the conservative establishment over how powerful he will be in his second term.
August 14, 2009
Ahmadinejad's Cabinet Highlights Possible Iran Rift
As Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad prepares to present his new cabinet to parliament next week, experts say there are new signs of growing rift between the hard-line president and the conservative camp that traditionally supported him. Some conservative Iranian lawmakers have criticized Ahmadinejad for refusing to consult the parliament about his candidates and are hinting his actions could have an impact on the confidence vote.
August 05, 2009
Ahmadinejad's Special Brand Of Mysticism
The president’s first term was largely about completing the hard-line backlash, approved by the Supreme Leader, against the reformist camp led by former President Mohammad Khatami. And Ahmadinejad did the job thoroughly. But now Ahmadinejad begins his second term immediately after feuding with the supreme leader. At issue was Khamenei’s backing of conservative demands that the president dismiss a top aide.
July 08, 2009
Who Are The Vigilantes?
The most-feared force that keeps protestors off the streets of Tehran is a shadowy group of men who wear street clothes and carry clubs and pistols. When they swoop down on a demonstration in cars without license plates, the police stand back and so does the Basij militia. The men literally get away with murder. Who are they?
July 04, 2009
'Historic Cracks' And Hard-Liners In Iran
A fresh challenge of Iran's disputed election by a key group of religious leaders comes just as hard-liners step up their attacks on the opposition. Is it part of a growing rift in the establishment brought on by hidden efforts to pick the next supreme leader and snuff out republican institutions?
July 03, 2009
The Rise Of The Ultra-Conservatives
The hard-line camp of Iran's ruling establishment has so far quashed a major challenge by reformists. But a much greater test may lie ahead. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is ill and a succession battle looms. The hard-liners are unlikely to leave the choice to chance.