“Ahmadinejad bolstered by cabinet approval but still faces political troubles”

“Ahmadinejad bolstered by cabinet approval but still faces political troubles”
September 3 & 4, 2009
     Fredrik Dahl and Reza Derakhshi write that the Iranian parliament’s approval of 18 out of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 21 cabinet nominees will allow him to take a hard line on the nuclear issue. The approved cabinet members included the new defense minister Ahmad Vahidi, who has been accused of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina. Ahmadinejad, who has recently been facing opposition from other conservatives [previously covered here], declared a “new era of constructive cooperation” between the government and parliament had begun and dismissed the threat of additional sanctions (Reuters). Borzou Daragahi reports that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who urged lawmakers to approve the nominees in order to demonstrate national unity, allowed Ahmadinejad to avoid a costly political battle (Los Angeles Times).
     However, Kamal Nazer Yasin argues that Khamenei views Ahmadinejad as “a loose cannon at best and a dangerously ambitious politician at worst”, citing anonymous reports and highlighting recent contradictions between the two leaders’ public statements on the post-election turmoil. Yasin writes that Khamenei initiated a successful truce with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has supported the opposition movement [previously covered here], in order to balance against Ahmadinejad (ISN Security Watch).
Reuters | Los Angeles Times | ISN Security Watch

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