Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And Commentary on Iran ...

Most commentary on the elections focused on the impact the results would have on the president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. My colleague Ray Takeyh, in contrast, argues in the IHT that the results complete Supreme Leader Khamenei's "long march" to dominance:

"Khamenei's nearly two-decade strategy of ensuring his political primacy has finally been realized. In a remarkable achievement, he has managed to marginalize the wily Rafsanjani and the still-popular Khatami. The future of Iran belongs to the Supreme Leader and dogmatic younger conservatives who outdo one another for his support and affection. Whatever the composition of the new Parliament, and whoever succeeds the office of the presidency next year, Iran has entered the age when a single mullah dominates all institutions and arbitrates all debates. Iran's Supreme Leader has never been more supreme."

Both in the nuclear case and the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War his leadership has been decisive. He did not need this latest election to cement that leadership.
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