The Closet Moderate: Ahmadinejad as an actor

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ahmadinejad as an actor

Following up on my blogmate's posts on Iran, I'd like to throw in that we shouldn't be automatically assuming that Ahmadinejad's destiny is stuck to Khamenei's. Not only is there an outcome where Khamenei retains power but Ahmadinejad doesn't, I think there's also a plausible outcome where Ahmadinejad retains power but Khamenei doesn't. As Statler pointed out, the military holds a lot of power in this situation, and Ahmadinejad is apparently quite close with the military. As long as we're baselessly speculating on the situation, we might as well baselessly speculate about the possibility that Ahmadinejad will seize or attempt to seize actual control of the country from Khamenei; even if that doesn't happen, the idea that it could might change Khamenei's actions. This gives an additional reading to Ahmadinejad's upcoming trip to Russia; it could be a way for Ahmadinejad to credibly commit to not staging a coup against Khamenei and thus giving Khamenei more room to maneuver.



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