Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reza Aslan: A Deal in the Works in Iran?

There are reports of a deal forming in Iran that would end the current turmoil there, Reza Aslan writes on The Daily Beast today. He says that it's looking like there may be a run-off election between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. This is apparently the work of former president Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who heads up the council that picks the supreme leader, currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rafsanjani has reportedly been in the religious center of Qum negotiating with other religious leaders in an attempt to put pressure on Khamenei and President Ahmedinejad.

Though the government's brutal crackdown has quieted things today in Tehran, Aslan says things are still raging in the provinces: "[D]espite the fact that protests in the capital city of Tehran have diminished, there are still reports of massive protests taking place in other parts of the country, including in Tabriz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Mashad and Shiraz. These protests have been significantly smaller due to the brutal security crackdown, but they have also been much more forceful and violent."

He says that Khamenei's Friday prayers tomorrow should be a good indication of a softening of tone and therefore whether these reports of a compromise are real or not.

For some background, listen to this audio of Aslan's May 16, 2009, speech to The Commonwealth Club. And don' t miss his return engagement here when he comes to our San Francisco headquarters on September 1. See event and ticket information.


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