Our partner, EAWorldView, has published a ground-breaking piece on Iran’s Supreme Leader. This is a must-read:
Followers of our daily coverage of Iran will be aware of the political tensions that have gripped the Islamic Republic’s establishment. Those battles, from charges of corruption to warning of a “deviant current” affecting the Government, will only grow in intensity before next March’s Parliamentary elections.
Yet EA sources have given us a story that goes even farther. The core of the tale is the belief amongst many observers in Iran that, despite all the attacks upon it, the President’s camp will be the winner in the elections. Whether or not that assessment is correct, the Supreme Leader’s advisors are concerned.
In recent weeks, those advisors have taken several steps. Among those measures are the pursuit of a new political ally — at least in the short-term — to check an Ahmadinejad success at the polls in March, Ayatollah Khamenei’s people are seeking out reformists to call for their participation in the elections.
1. We have already reported the claim that a “senior security official” approach to 2009 Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, under strict house arrest since mid-February, to offer a relaxation of his detention if Mousavi spoke out against a boycott — the opposition figure immediately refused.
Now EA sources tell us that the Supreme Leader’s officials have gone to former Presidents Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami to ask them to call out voters. So far there has been no sign of progress with that request — Khatami has been maintaining that political prisoners must be freed, a free elections with freedom of political parties must be assured, and the Constitution must be observed before he will support participation.
2. The Supreme Leader’s camp has also gone to Qom…