Akbar Ganji, ex Revo Guard Commander and current dissident (with an interesting book called "The Road to Democracy in Iran" has an interesting bit up at Foreign Affairs about politics in Iran.
Pointing out the Gay Free Republic's fiery little rocketeer is a leader in name only.
"For many Iranian opposition leaders, as well as much of the Western
media and political class, Ahmadinejad is the main culprit of Iran's ills today: censorship, corruption, a failing economy, the prospect of a U.S
But this analysis is incorrect, if only because it exaggerates
Ahmadinejad's importance and leaves out of the picture the country's single most powerful figure: Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader."
And that nom de guere is so true. Supreme Leader is way more than a jumped up Ayatollah -
"The Iranian constitution endows the supreme leader with tremendous
authority over all major state institutions, and Khamenei, who has held the post since 1989, has found many other ways to further increase his influence.
Formally or not, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government all operate under the absolute sovereignty of the supreme leader; Khamenei is the head of state, the commander in chief, and the top ideologue.
He also reaches into economic, religious, and cultural affairs
through various government councils and organs of repression, such as the Revolutionary Guards, whose commander he himself appoints."
Ganji's dossier is a worthy read for info on Iran's topsy turvy crazy curvy bi polar body politic.
art - "MuLLaHs GaNg by fUnDaMeNtAl rEgImE