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Did Rafsanjani Cave?


by Patrick Appel

Two Enduring America writers debate the former Iranian president's role. Writer one:

I think that Rafsanjani has been giving up his “Godfather” role within the Green movement progressively. If you add up his non-reply to [Mehdi] Karroubi’s letter [on abuse of detainees], his embarassing retreat from Friday prayers, and today [appearing with President Ahmadinejad], you get the impression of someone who is deeply distressed but does not feel secure enough to embark on a major confrontation with the state power. It is unnerving in the sense that, as the Mehr photos show [of the Rafsanjani-Ahmadinejad encounter], it is actually Rafsanjani that is adopting a body language geared towards subordination, and not the other way round. The gesture is the single most important “frame” to have come out of elite circles in Iran afte the shoulder kiss of Ahmadinejad to the Supreme Leader during his inauguration.

Writer two:

I’m not sure his “Godfather” role was anything but a superficial and transitory collision of interests. Now Rafsanjani is unsure how his interests are best served and is thus “pausing”. This also coincided with the emergence of the Majlis [Parliament]hmin challenging Ahmadinejad, a dynamic in which Rafsanjani was less involved. I think when he does get around to speaking at Friday Prayers, we will have a much better understanding of his peace of mind and tactical re-appraisal.

(Image via NIAC)