According to this report from the AP, all is not going well for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
TEHRAN, Iran – Critics say the 1980s-style radicalism of ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is hurting Iran at home and abroad – to the point that even his natural allies in parliament have rejected his three choices to run the all-important oil ministry.
The Islamic hard-liner appears undeterred, but pragmatists in the ruling hierarchy are growing restless and looking for ways to contain him.
“Ahmadinejad’s behavior has annoyed many fellow conservatives. That he doesn’t like to consult with anybody outside his small circle of old friends is a reality,” said Ghodratollah Rahmani, a conservative writer.
“He doesn’t consult even with knowledgeable people in his own camp.”
Even extremists within the hard-line camp want Ahmadinejad to be more responsive to their advice.
“If he doesn’t want to hear no for a fourth time, he has to consult with people outside his circle of friends,” said Mohammad Nabi Habibi, leader of the Islamic Coalition Society.
Since taking office in August, Ahmadinejad has jettisoned Iran’s moderation in foreign policy and pursued a purge in the government, replacing pragmatic veterans with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners.
The former Tehran mayor’s aim is to install a new generation of rulers who will revive the radical fundamentalist goals pursued in the 1980s under the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of the 1979 revolution that toppled Iran’s pro-Western shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
All pragmatists, including those seeking better ties with the West, have either lost their posts or likely will lose them soon, pushing the government toward an ever more radical stance in the already volatile Middle East and in the international dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which the United States believes is seeking to build weapons.
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