Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet in Question
The 3-day Majlis debate over President Ahmadinejad’s future cabinet began on Sunday. Some experts predict the Parliament will reject up to eight of Ahmadinejad’s picks, including potentially the three women nominated to serve in the cabinet. Despite Ahmadinejad’s aura of invincibility as he strode into Parliament with armed guards, the Majlis may yet prove to be “an obstacle” for the President.
Meanwhile, the government prosecutor behind the crack-down of protestors, Saeed Mortazavi, has just received a promotion to the new post of Deputy Prosecutor-General. While Muhammad Sahimi of the Tehran Bureau laments that the appointment “does not bode well for the future of the Iranian judicial system,” some Iranian trial lawyers interpret the move as a practical demotion in power.
As we reported last week, Supreme Leader Khamenei’s recent softening in tone may signal an attempt to transcend the politicking over cabinet positions and trial prosecutions. Yet Michael Ledeen of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies likens the speech to the Shah’s disastrous admission of abuse that proved the “watershed” moment of the Islamic Revolution. Citing the potential for a massive labor strike, Ledeen warns against underestimating the possibility of a new Iranian revolution.