Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reza Aslan: Khamenei to Soften Tone?

Reza Aslan writes on The Daily Beast today that there are reports that a deal may be in the works in Iran that would result in a run-off election between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. This is apparently the work of former president Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who heads up the council that picks the supreme leader, currently his nemesis, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Though the government's brutal crackdown has quieted things today in Tehran, Aslan says things are still raging in the provinces: "[D]espite the fact that protests in the capital city of Tehran have diminished, there are still reports of massive protests taking place in other parts of the country, including in Tabriz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Mashad and Shiraz. These protests have been significantly smaller due to the brutal security crackdown, but they have also been much more forceful and violent."

He says that Khamenei's Friday prayers tomorrow should be a good indication of a softening of tone and therefore whether these reports of a compromise are real or not.

Now, would that new election be any freer than the one two weeks ago, aye, that's the rub.
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