Iran’s Green Movement Shifts Gears

Iran’s Green Movement Shifts Gears

A number of recent moves suggest that Iran's mullahs and secular leaders are bridging their recent differences, even if their reconciliation is a begrudging one. These developments are not wholly unexpected. Essentially, the two sides are putting their political, confessional, and personal self-interest above all other considerations. But although the shift will result in a short-term loss of leadership figures for the opposition, the Green Movement's desire for sweeping change has now become mainstream.

Perhaps the most prominent among opposition leaders who have recently come in from the cold is former two-time president and consummate political survivor, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Having failed in his efforts to convince the Assembly of Experts to remove Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani once again accepted Khamenei's authority, claiming that "enemies' plots against Iran's Islamic system and the concept of velayat-e faqih [rule of the jurists] have been foiled." He then extolled his former foe as "the most qualified person to resolve the current problems," and even remarked fawningly, "The Supreme Leader has never endorsed extremism or transgression of the law by any political party."

The reasons for Rafsanjani's change of heart go beyond politics. His son, who was forced to flee Iran after having sided with the protestors, might now be permitted to return home, his wife and daughters, who led public demonstrations, may find their legal troubles soon over, and the family is likely to hold on to its financial fortune. So it is not surprising that he is now urging the Assembly of Experts and the general public to show "support for the Islamic Republic and safeguard the sacred Islamic system."

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review