A Power Struggle in Iran
3:20 PM, Mar 9, 2012 • By EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI
But even when all the chips are down – Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi is a fugitive from corruption charges and his daughter Faezeh, a former MP, was convicted of incitement against the Islamic Republic and barred from all political activity for five years – it is not at all clear that Rafsanjani will be the loser or Ahmadinejad the winner.
Ultimately, they all lose. Their futile struggles for dominance, and the ferocity with which they eliminate one another, mean nothing to the outward orientation of Iran’s foreign policy. That is a constant: A paranoid fear of Western influence, a sense of historical righteousness coupled with religious destiny, and a disposition to throw once loyal followers in the dust so that the show can go on.
Emanuele Ottolenghi is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Corps (FDD Press, September 2011).