News / Middle East

Tensions Escalate Among Top Iranian Leaders

Iran's top leaders appear to be quarreling in public, as pressure mounts on the government due to deteriorating economic conditions.   

A war of words broke out between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani during the weekend and the Iranian press has taken the unusual step of publicizing their quarrel.

President Ahmadinejad reportedly slammed Sadegh Larijani in a speech to religious leaders Sunday, calling a suspended sentence against a top aide "strange."  Mr. Ahmadinejad's deputy chief of staff, Jafar Behdad, was punished for writing an article criticizing Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, the brother of the judiciary chief.

Justice Larijani described Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech as "unjustifiable" in the Tehran press, contending the president should use "sober, dignified and fair language."

Tensions between the Larijani brothers, and President Ahmadinejad have received widespread attention in recent months.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has repeatedly criticized the president's economic policies, recently in a parliament session.

He says parliament has the right to impeach top officials, using legal procedures, if they go against the law and the constitutional rights of parliament.

Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr, who lives in exile in Paris, says the deteriorating Iranian economy is exacerbating Mr. Ahmadinejad's struggle with other top leaders:

He says a number of factors are aggravating  tensions between Mr. Ahmadinejad and the Larijani brothers, including the failing economy, a botched economic-reform plan, and a failed attempt to name a protégé to succeed Mr. Ahamedinejad.

He adds that tensions are also mounting because elements of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard are angry with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for imposing Mr. Ahmadinejad, after last year's disputed election.

Iranian-born analyst Alex Vatanka of the Middle East Institute in Washington says the Supreme Leader is worried about his shaky position within Iran's power structure:

"Khamenei is looking out for number one," said Alex Vatanka. "He has to be the over-riding factor in keeping this system together, and if Ahmadinejad becomes too powerful or anybody else, for that matter, he will bring him down, totally or a notch, and Larijani is playing that role.  The Supreme Leader is giving Ali Larijani the tools to stand up to the president."

Vatanka also says Iran's political quarrels are likely to make things more difficult for U.S. President Barack Obama to achieve a possible rapprochement with Tehran.

President Obama repeated his desire to "engage" with Iran, during a meeting last week with journalists.  He added he thought international economic sanctions are starting to pinch the Iranian economy.  

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid