World Citizen: In Iran, the End of Ahmadinejad

World Citizen: In Iran, the End of Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has represented the face of Iran for the West for more than half a decade, is on his way out of power in Tehran. Whether or not the ayatollahs formally push him out of office is yet to be seen. But for practical purposes, the Ahmadinejad era of the Islamic Republic's history is coming to an end.

Two years ago, during the height of the pro-democracy protests that followed Iran's presidential elections, most of the country's most powerful clerics stood steadfastly behind Ahmadinejad. As millions of Iranians took to the streets accusing Ahmadinejad and his supporters of stealing the election, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his weight fully behind the president, displaying a unified front that relentlessly beat back, brutally suppressed and ultimately silenced the so-called Green Movement.

Now, the supreme leader and the clerical establishment have lost faith in Ahmadinejad. They have become convinced, not without reason, that Ahmadinejad wants to tilt the country's political balance and reduce their influence. The man clerics expected to act as a caretaker, a manager they could control, grew increasingly powerful with their support. He started moving to reduce the power of Shiite clerics, whose dictates are the last word under Iran's system of Velayat-e-Faqih, or Guardianship of the Jurist. In Iran's unique hybrid system that blends theocracy with a dash of democracy, the battle for power is between theocratic rulers and the purportedly elected executive. In a cruel irony to the Greens, it is Ahmadinejad who represents the democratically elected side of the system in this battle, the side that stands no chance.

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.