Monday, June 22, 2009
MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) – Political tensions in Iran are rising, with senior figures in the Islamic Republic considering whether to depose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an Arabic-language TV channel said.
Tehran has seen mass demonstrations over alleged ballot fraud in the landslide reelection of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12. Official results gave the incumbent 63% of the vote, with reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi getting 34%.
Khamenei said during Friday prayers that the margin of victory was too great for the election to have been stolen, and declared his support for Ahmadinejad.
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Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV channel said former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani becomes a key figure in any move to depose Khamenei.
Rafsanjani heads two influential organizations – the Expediency Council, which is a mediator between parliament and the Council of Guardians, and the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to remove the country’s supreme leader.
The Al-Arabiya website cites a high-ranking source in the city of Qom, who said Rafsanjani, the Assembly of Experts and the Council of Guardians have agreed to depose Khamenei but do not intend to appoint a successor for the time being, mulling the establishment of a collective supreme rule.
This article was posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 at 7:44 am