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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid