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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Khamenei's Power Eroded?

For two decades, Khamenei's word has been law in Iran, where the supreme leader is considered by some as God's representative on Earth. Today he is reviled, not revered, by thousands of supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims he was defrauded in the June 12 presidential elections.

Unprecedented chants of "Death to Khamenei!" by some protesters underscore an astonishing blow to the 70-year-old cleric's standing.

"The election dispute may further erode his religious and political authority, especially among the traditional clergy, leaving him even more dependent on the Revolutionary Guard," Iran's most powerful and feared security force, said Ali Nader, an Iran expert with the RAND Corp.

Khamenei, to be sure, has spent years meticulously cultivating support in the powerful military and judiciary, and that could mean he remains secure in the country's top job.

link: Iran's Khamenei may be a casualty in vote crisis | TPM News Pages


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