Iranian president loses credibility in ruling camp

Commentary Materials 6 May 2011 09:00 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan , Baku, May 5 / Trend T.Jafarov /

The recent confrontation in Iran 's ruling conservative camp questioned the implementation of targeted programs in light of preparations for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The document is being developed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's supporters.

If the confrontation in the ruling party continues Ahmadinejad will gradually lose credibility, Iranian Politician and Theologian Hasan Shariatmadari told Trend.

Iranian Vilayi Xetibler (Preachers) Association Head Abbas Amirifar was arrested because he assisted with the shooting of a film about Imam Mahdi. Ex-Presidential Administration Head Isfandiar Rahim Mashai appointed Amirifar as member of the Presidential Administration Arts Council in May 2010. However, Mashai was himself removed from office last month.

Most MPs , religious leaders and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps oppose several individuals close to Ahmadinejad. Although Ahmadinejad accepted Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi 's resignation last month, the minister remained at his post given the dissent to the resignation from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamnei . Later Ahmedinejad refused to participate in state official meetings for 10 days and two meetings of the Cabinet of Minister were held with the president's absence.

Khamnei called on state authorities last week to show that he was patient. Parliamentary representatives threatened Ahmedinejad with impeachment and he returned to office on May 1.

Shariatmadari said confrontations organized by Ahmadinejad supporters against other conservatives concerns Khamenei.

"It is early to talk about fronts, which will take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, the fact that Khamenei returned Moslehi to his post is evidence that Khamenei is concerned over the permanent confrontations created by Ahmadinejad's supporters against other conservatives with a view to win the elections," Shariatmadari told Trend over the phone from Berlin.

Iran will hold parliamentary elections of the ninth convocation on March 2, 2012. Although almost a year remains before the elections, the opposition political parties have begun preparing for them and many forces in absentia have begun the regional pre-election campaign.

Shariatmadari said that if Khamenei continues to show his power until the elections, Ahmadinejad's supporters either will not participate in them, or else their participation would be negligible. "If Khamenei does not change his position, Ahmadinejad's supporters will have little chance in the upcoming elections, as the candidates' powers are approved by the Iranian Guardian Council, which operates under the supervision of the supreme leader," he said.

The Iranian Guardian Council is a control structure and consists of 12 members. Six of them are appointed directly by Supreme Leader Khamenei and the rest are lawyers. The Justice Ministry presents lawyers to the parliament for approval of their powers. Khamenei plays a direct role in the approval of their powers. The Guardian Council must approve all laws accepted by the parliament, as well as powers of candidates participating in all elections in the country, except municipal.

Experts believe in any case, the Guardian Council will take steps in accordance with Khameneis' wishes.

Ahmadinejad has lost his credibility in the ruling camp of conservatives as a result of the recent events, the Ex- Chairman of the Iranian Journalists Union, former MP and expert on domestic policy issues Ali Mazrui told Trend over telephone from Norway.

"The conservatives' camp is divided in two parts: Khamenei's supporters and Ahmadinejad's supporters. Following the recent events Ahmadinejad has lost his credibility among conservatives. Due to this, his supporters would have less changes in the upcoming elections," Mazrui said.