The Clerical Rift in Iran

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The Tabnak news agency, quoting Etemad newspaper (belonging to Karroubi) stated that the Keyhan newspaper has stopped publishing Ayatollah Javad Amoli´s column. This has been a permanent feature of the newspaper for a number of years.

This is yet another sign of the growing rift between the clergy and Ahmadinejad. It must be noted that Ayatollah Amoli (relative of Aki Larijani) was a supporter of Ahmadinejad. In fact it was at his house where Ahmadinejad was filmed talking about his holy moment a the UN when he felt an aura surrounding him.

However, due to Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei´s efforts to reduce the power of the clergy, relations soured. In fact, according to Rooz daily, prior to the elections, Ayatollah Amoli belonged to a group of clergy who issued a fatwa stating that cheating in elections are forbidden (haram).

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, Ahmadinejad´s messianic ally, issued another fatwa saying that it is permissible (halal) to cheat, if its in the interest of the regime. Keyhan sides with Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.

This development is yet another important indication of the chasm created between Tehran and Qom. How much has this caused? The results will become evident when the question of finding a replacement for Khamenei arises, or when Khamenei dies. The hand over of power, and how smooth or hard it will be, is going to be a good yard stick to measure the damage.

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