The Wall Street Journal (Link) - Amir Taheri (November 30, 2010)
Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a closet Persian nationalist trying to de-Islamize Iran? Is he part of a plot to send the mullahs back to the mosques to make way for an Islamist military regime?
These are some of the questions raised in the Majlis, Iran’s ersatz parliament, by members who are trying to impeach the president. As astonishing as this might be for Western observers, Ahmadinejad is challenged by people who claim that he is not Muslim enough and that he harbors a hidden anti-clerical agenda to promote a mixture of messianism and chauvinism. His closest friend and aide, Esfandiar Rahim Masha’i, has even suggested that “within one year Ahmadinejad’s enemies would declare him to be an infidel.”
The anti-Ahmadinejad coalition within the Khomeinist establishment is a curious coterie that includes hard-line Islamists, mullahs clinging to their wealth and power, rival politicians, and crypto-Communists posing as Muslims. Because they have to claim to be more militant than Ahmadinejad, the victory of these groups could produce an even more unpredictable and dangerous Iran.