Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The whole awful regime will come crashing down

Simon Tisdall , Guardian - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hostile jibes at Israel have caused almost universal offence. But Iran-watchers are divided over whether the president's statements mark a dangerous shift in Tehran's international outlook or form part of an internal power struggle.

But the most likely rational explanation for his behaviour was domestic political weakness, the British official said. His bid to purify the revolution had stirred up stiff opposition from old guard conservatives, reformists (who call his policies delusional) and corrupt "clerical oligarchs" who run the powerful bonyads - lucrative semi-official business enterprises which Mr Ahmadinejad wants to rein in.

Mr Ahmadinejad was trying "to be more religious than the mullahs", the official said. "But he is very naive. He has thrown away a lot of support by not delivering on his promises to ordinary people. This is all about internal dynamics. It's not Iran versus the west, it's Iran versus Iran.

And the more it goes on, the more likely the whole awful regime will come crashing down."

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