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Military Coup Against the Old Clerics?

Iran’s top electoral body, the Guardian Council, has confirmed the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential election after a partial recount (10%). CNN reports that what has actually happened is a military coup wherein the revolutionary guard has taken power under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, further militarizing the regime. What’s interesting is that it suggests that Khamanei may have lost his legitimacy and the “elected” president has usurped power and sidelined him by securing alliances with the Revolutionary Guard. It would be a smart tactical move to see the nuclear program through to its end goal but the report suggests the putsch is against the old clerical establishment paving the way for a new class of elite to rule the country headed by Ahmadinejad. The New York Times reports, “Mr. Ahmadinejad‚Äôs rise to power was in part because of Guard support, and he has since rewarded it handsomely. The Revolutionary Guard runs Iran’s nuclear program. If the opposition gains power, the Guard has to wonder what it might negotiate away. And outside agencies estimate that Iran could become able to assemble a nuclear weapon between 2010 and 2015.”

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