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January 26, 2006

Iran's "Perilously Honest Man"

Great article about Iran's maniacally mannichean president and his struggles against -- get this -- the mullahs who are more moderate than he is.

Ahmadinejad thinks he's caught the mullahs skimming $100 million billion from Iran's oil sales. And he might actually move to install his own handpicked Supreme Leader in favor of the current one.

Which may explain some recent unpleasantness:

Both Rafsanjani and Khatami have orchestrated a campaign of character assassination against Ahmadinejad in recent months designed to paint him as a delusional figure who believes that the Hidden Imam guided him through a September speech before the United Nations.

The mullahs may also have gone beyond character assassination. On January 9, a military plane crash killed 11 top commanders in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which has been a key source of support for Ahmadinejad. General Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of IRGC's ground forces, died in the crash, as did a number of other military notables.

Although an IRGC spokesman blamed bad weather and dilapidated engines, the private intelligence company Stratfor has noted that while negligent maintenance is "a plausible explanation for the crash," there are several reasons to suspect foul play. One reason is the political context surrounding the crash: Not only was Ahmadinejad's election controversial, but also his recent bomb throwing has "stirred up noticeable hints of dissent within the ruling regime." Moreover, because the Falcon aircraft that crashed carried some of Iran's top military commanders, it "would undergo thorough tests for technical issues before flight."

Thanks to OgreGunner.


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posted by Ace at 02:32 PM

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