Sunday, May 28, 2006

Iran Chief Eclipses Power of Clerics

NYT President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to consolidate power in the office of the presidency in a way never before seen in the 27-year history of the Islamic Republic, apparently with the tacit approval of Iran's supreme leader, according to government officials and political analysts here.

I have always thought that the way to convert Iran to a democracy would be to divide the mullahs into two groups, and kill one of them, making it look like it was done by someone in the other group. Then a week later kill two from the other group, and sit back and watch them kill each other off. But this makes it easier. Kill one mullah, then two of another group of mullahs, then three of Ahmadinejad's key people.
That rare unity of elected and religious leadership at the highest levels offers the United States an opportunity to talk to a government, however combative, that has often spoken with multiple voices. But if Washington, which severed relations with Iran after the 1979 revolution, opened such a dialogue, it could lift the prestige of the Iranian president, who has pushed toward confrontation with the West.

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