Foreign Policy Blogs

As the Inauguration Day Nears

As the Inauguration Day Nears

Defying the government ban, ten of thousands of Iranians gathered yesterday at Tehran’s main cemetery for the 40-day commemoration of those killed in the aftermath of the election.  Police used tear gas and baton to break up the demonstration.  The Press TV reported that 50 people were arrested in the protest.  Renowned Iranian filmmaker Panahi was among those arrested. Though he was released afterward. This was the first major violent confrontation between security forces and demonstrators in three weeks.  The Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, blamed foreign countries for the deaths of opposition supporters in Iran’s post-election turmoil.  He stated that Western “interventionist countries are accomplices in all the committed crimes and murders” and Britain was the worst in meddling into Iranian affairs.

While the protests are showing no signs of slowing down, the Iranian government is getting ready for Ahmadinejad’s inauguration.  On Monday, August 3, Ahmadinejad will be confirmed by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, as the country’s president.  Two days later, he will be inaugurated before the Parliament.  He will then have two weeks after his inauguration to nominate potential cabinet members to the Parliament for a vote of confidence.

Furthermore, as the inauguration day is nearing, Ahmadinejad is clearing out the air between him and Ayatollah Khamenei (The controversy between the Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad has been discussed in a previous blog). On Friday, addressing academics in Mashhad, Ahmadinejad rejected reports of having fallen out of favor with the Supreme Leader. He went on to compare his relationship with Ayatollah Khamenei to that of a father and son.  He criticized efforts that have questioned his allegiance to the Supreme Leader, stating that such conflict-ridden efforts would not succeed in driving a wedge between Ayatollah Khamenei and himself.

Photo taken from the New York Times.



Sahar Zubairy

Sahar Zubairy recently graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin with Masters in Global Policy Studies. She graduated from Texas A&M University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In Summer 2008, she was the Southwest Asia/Gulf Intern at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she researched Iran and the Persian Gulf. She was also a member of a research team that helped develop a website investigating the possible effects of closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by Iran.