Leadership: Clash of Conservatives in Iran

Archives

February28, 2007: There seems to be a major political clash developing in Iran. The religious leadership seems to want to avoid an outright clash with the UN/U.S. over the nuclear issue, and appears to prefer not having nukes. Apparently, they believe having nukes makes them more vulnerable to attack than not having them. This is not as unreasonable as it may seem at first – after all, they'll never be able to have enough nukes to deter the US, and so their nuclear "threat" will have little impact on American policy. Worse, even if they have just one or two nukes, it will be enough to seriously threaten Israel, which they believe would have no compunctions in taking preemptive action.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, appears to ignore this calculus. He keeps saying the country has a right to do anything it wants in the nuclear field. This is part of the growing power struggle between the more radical Ahmadinejad and the more conservative clergy. The religious leadership has already several times told Ahmadinejad that the country's nuclear program is their responsibility, not his. That's because the powers of the Iranian president are restricted to domestic issues, and do not cover the armed forces or foreign policy. Ahmadinejad does have a lot of support among the rural peasantry and national militia. But in a clash with the clerics he'll almost certainly lose, mainly because the religious conservatives and the social liberals in the country would unite behind the mullahs.

 


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close