Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Khatami threatens resignations 

From the BBC:

Iran's reformist president has escalated his battle with hardline clerics by threatening the resignation of his entire administration.

Mohammad Khatami said his government would "stand or go as one" if a ban on reformist candidates standing in next month's election was not lifted.

The reformists are playing hardball--threatening mass resignations and electoral boycotts. Good for them. That puts the Guardian Council in a hard spot. (Along with Ayatollah Khameini, whose intervention seems increasingly likely.)

Resignations and boycotts could create a crisis that is larger than they can handle. For the hardliners, the lesser of two evils might be to let reformist candidates stand for election, at the price of a loss of influence and credibility among the people. The alternative could be chaos on a large scale, which certainly can't help their position.

But perhaps they are counting on their ability to weather the storm--a dangerous assumption, if the announcement in my post below is for real.
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