It looks like Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might be on the way out. There’s been a power struggle between President Ahmadinejad and the ‘supreme leader’ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As a result, Ahmadinejad has refused to carry out his presidential duties for 11 days, only returning to the job last Sunday. Now close allies of Ahmadinejad have been arrested and charged with sorcery (see here). In debates last year the clerics alluded to the many reports of superstition, magic, and sorcery surrounding Ahmadinejad. Indeed, after giving a speech to the UN in 2005, Ahmadinejad stated he had “felt a halo over his head during his speech and that a hidden presence had mesmerized the unblinking audience”. This of course pissed off the clerics, because no ordinary being can claim special closeness to God, nor can an ordinary being imply the presence of the Mahdi (see here). The clerics also said that denying the Holocaust and threatening to destroy Israel was not a good idea. Incidentally, Ahmadinejad has Jewish blood (see here), a la Reinhard Heydrich.
Another thing that pissed-off the clerics was when Ahmadinejad made the preposterous suggestion that women in Iran should be allowed to attend football matches (ever the populist, old Ahmadinejad). In fact, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani was so annoyed by this that he refused to speak to Ahmadinejad for weeks and weeks and weeks. The main reason, though, that President Ahmadinejad is going to get kicked out of office is because he’s a reformist (he wants to have rigged elections in Iran). The ‘supreme leader’ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the otherhand, does not see any need for elections, because of course as ‘supreme leader’ his is the word of God, and he knows everything.
The leaders in Iran not only give religion a bad name, they also give insanity a bad name. Many pundits say that the reason the uprisings in Iran have not been successful thus far, is because the majority of the middle-class won’t take part in the demonstrations. Most Iranians are very well-educated. Perhaps now sheer embarrassment will overcome their fear of imprisonment and torture ‘in the name of God’ and bring the majority on to the streets.