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Iran: Power Struggle over Nuclear Crisis

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Governance, Ideas, International Relations, Politics, War & Conflict

The resignation on Saturday of Ali Larijani [1], the top Iranian nuclear negotiator, has led to speculation [2] about the reasons for his decision, and how it will affect the nuclear crisis. About 200 members of Parliament protested against replacing Ali Larijani with Said Jalili, a close ally of President Ahmadinejad. Iranian bloggers share their opinions, and describe Jalili.

A bad sign

Mohmmad Ali Abtahi, former reformist Iranian vice president and blogger, says [3] the resignation of Ali Larijani is a bad sign for the country. The blogger says:

This change, which naturally means non-responsiveness to international demands is an important and dangerous piece of news for Iran. When Mr. Larijani who was holding an extremist political view… feels he should resign, the world will have a bitter and dangerous understanding – and we are talking about a world that we all know is looking for excuses to have another victim in this region called Iran.

NikAhang, a leading cartoonist and blogger who drew hundreds of cartoons of Larijani says [4] [Fa] that Iranian reformists considered him the smartest person among the conservatives. The blogger wonders when conservatives cannot even tolerate Larijani’s presence, what can others expect?

Uncertainty

Bahnam Gholipour says [5] he does not think that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a decisive role in Larijani’s resignation. The blogger adds that his resignation may in fact be in protest of the Iranian state's position regarding nuclear policy, and that Larijani probably does not want to put the government's policy in to practice.

Jomhour says [6] [Fa] it is possible that Larijani’s time was past and his presence was no longer useful to push “desired state policy”. The blogger adds that in the future we are facing both the possibility of war and of making a compromise on the nuclear crisis.

Gaining Time

Digital Klashinkov reminds [7] [Fa] us that Ali Larijani was a candidate in the last presidential election. He was an opponent of Ahmadinejad’s and was backed by traditional conservative groups. The blogger adds that Ahmadinejad gains more power in foreign policy by replacing Larijani. He says Ahmadinejad is failing in his policies, but is trying to buy time, since he has only 18 months left of presidency. He says he acts as though he has only been president for three months.

Viva ideology and power!

Moslem Reporter, a pro-Ahmadinejad blogger presents [8][Fa] a few of Said Jalili's ideas. The blogger says Said Jalili lost his right foot during the Iran-Iraq war. He speaks Arabic and English and was recently responsible for the North America and Europe section of the Foreign Ministry under Ahmadinejad.

The blogger quotes Said Jalili to show he believes in strong Islamic ideology. According to him Jaili has said: “One of the challenges in our foreign policy is the question of human rights. If what you believe about human beings is not the right thing, you get into trouble. But if we believe that our vision of humanity is superior to the Western – then we are not going to be challenged by human rights questions.”

It also seems that Jalili enjoys reading Samuel Huntington [9], an influential American political scientist, and approves of the weight that he gives to Iran in his writing. The blogger quotes Jalili again: “Huntington places Iran second among the 9 most influential countries. He places England third. It is certain that he has seen some power points in Iran.”