Signs of a political tug of war showing in Iran. Hashemi Rafsanjani, who lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential runoff, was picked today to head a powerful clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, considered a defeat for Ahmadinejad’s hard-line faction.
Rafsanjani’s election as chairman of the Assembly of Experts means the charismatic cleric will oversee the secretive body that chooses or dismisses the Islamic Republic’s ultimate authority, its supreme leader.
The tug of war is between democracy and theocracy. Given a choice, the Iranian people will choose a democracy, where “the government’s authority is derived from popular elections.”
While extremists such as Jannati are among the proponents of the theory that the legitimacy of Iran’s clerics to rule the country is derived from God, Rafsanjani is believed to side with pro-democracy reformers who believe the government’s authority is derived from popular elections.
Question is, will it happen before or after Ahmadinejad does something stupid?