Ahmadinejad's Legacy: Near-Total Isolation

Ahmadinejad's Legacy: Near-Total Isolation

Last March, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was summoned by an angry parliament to answer questions about his economic policies, a banking fraud perpetrated by some of his allies, and his defiance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mr Ahmadinejad made light of the questions, delivered irreverent one-liners, and questioned the intelligence of the MPs - most of whom hail from conservative and hard-line camps.

The parliamentary showdown, aired live on state radio, offered a window into the power struggle between Mr Ahmadinejad and his former allies in the conservative camp, most of whom stood firmly behind the president in his controversial 2009 "re-election" that resulted in massive street protests amid allegations of fraud. By March 2012, Mr Ahmadinejad had few allies left.

Mr Ahmadinejad might have remembered that parliamentary showdown amid the rough treatment last week as the Iranian rial collapsed, angry protesters called him a traitor and he faced yet another round of bashing from hardliners and conservatives in parliament and in the media.

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