July 15, 2024
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Intrigue and Infighting: Iran’s Election Upset Sparks Feud Among Hardliners

Intrigue and Infighting: Iran’s Election Upset Sparks Feud Among Hardliners

Iranian hardliners are currently grappling with the fallout of their defeat in the recent presidential election. The loss exposed deep divides within their ranks, with supporters shifting their allegiance to the reformist president-elect, Masoud Pezeshkian. The aftermath of the election has sparked tensions between the two prominent hardline contenders—Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of parliament, and the more radical Saeed Jalili—who failed to unite behind a single candidate. This failure underscores the absence of strong political leadership within the hardline camp, as individuals pursue their own interests and beliefs.

Key points to consider:

  • The divisive nature of the hardline grouping, mainly composed of social conservatives opposed to a US rapprochement, has become increasingly evident post-election.

  • Hardline supporters of Ghalibaf have accused Jalili of overstating his popularity and his ability to govern effectively. This internal strife has fueled animosity between the factions.

  • On the other hand, Jalili’s backers have criticized Ghalibaf, citing his past shortcomings and alleged corruption among his associates. The infighting among hardliners reflects a broader struggle for dominance and relevance within Iranian politics.

  • Despite receiving strong backing from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, hardliners faced public discontent due to policy failures under conservative Ebrahim Raisi’s presidency. This discontent, coupled with internal power struggles, led to their defeat in the election.

The electoral upset underscores a shifting dynamic in Iranian politics, marking a potential turning point in the country’s trajectory. The victory of Pezeshkian, a regime loyalist aiming to bridge the gap between hardliners and reformists, signifies a desire for unity and progress in the face of political discord.

Moving forward, concerns linger about the hardliners’ attempts to undermine reformist efforts and restrict substantive change. The imprisoned lawyer and rights activist, Mohsen Borhani, stands as a stark warning of the judiciary’s heavy-handed tactics in curbing dissent.

In conclusion, the post-election landscape in Iran mirrors a complex interplay of competing ideologies and visions for the future. As Pezeshkian assumes the presidency, the country stands at a critical juncture, teetering between entrenched hardline policies and the possibility of meaningful reform. The outcome of this power struggle will not only shape Iran’s domestic landscape but also reverberate across the region and beyond.

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