[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Haaretz adds this to the the story, clarifying it considerably:
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an ultimatum over the reinstatement of the country’s intelligence chief, a local website reported Friday.
Khamenei, who, according to the constitution, has the final say on all state affairs, vetoed Ahmadinejad’s decision last month to dismiss Heydar Moslehi.
The website Ayandeh quoted presidential advisor, Morteza Aqa-Tehrani, saying that in a meeting this week between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, the ayatollah has pushed the president to either accept Moslehi or resign.
Ahmadinejad has not yet responded with a final decision on the supreme leader’s ultimatum, Agha-Tehrani added.
The Ayandeh report is yet to be confirmed by official or local media.
And while that makes some sense, there is that confirmation problem noted. Anyway, read the whole thing.
Things are starting to get strange in Iran right now. President Mahmoud Amadanutjob Ahmadinejad had asked the country’s intelligence minister to resign, but Ayatollah Khamenei had overruled him. That led to an 11 day walkout by Amadinnerjacket Ahmadinejad. And now, as often tryants do, Khamenei is apparently asserting control by silly claims of the supernatural.*
Close allies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being “magicians” and invoking djinns (spirits).
Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds”.
Incidentally, a djinn, or a jinn, is better known in the West as a genie. Yeah, as in like this:
But in the West we have badly distorted the myth. A jinn is pretty accurately described as a spirit, capable of various kinds of magic and even possession of a human. That trapped-in-a-bottle and granting-three-wishes stuff only applied to one genie in one story, but we have run with it so to hear us talk, that’s how all genies are.
And this is officially part of Islam, much as angels are officially part of Christianity only angels are generally good, and jinn can be good, bad, or indifferent, as I understand it. It’s hard to say how much anyone believes in the existence and actions of jinn, but now and then people do act on that belief.
Anyway, meanwhile we also are seeing this, well… this:
A few minutes ago on May 5, 2011, Arab TV announced that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini requested Iran’s President Ahmadinejad to step down from his post. This has not been confirmed nor verified by Western media as yet, however, it has been reported that several of his close aides are already under arrest.
That seems pretty unverified, but still just the arrest of people who are supposedly keeping him in power by the use of magic suggests that it is possible that we are reaching the end of the road for Ahmadinejad. And if there is strife in Iran, would that be an opening for a popular revolution to kick down all of the tyrants?
Beats me, truthfully, but I will be watching.
* Mind you, I am not expressing sympathy for Mahmoud. A fight between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei is just a fight between tyrants giving rise to the clichéd lament that you wish somehow both could lose. And if the people rise up, that could happen.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]