Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ahmadinejad faces post-protest troubles

TEHRAN, June 27 (UPI) -- The troubles for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not be over even though street protests have been effectively silenced, analysts say.
With opposition leaders saying they will no longer stage rallies without the permission of the government, the direct threat to Ahmadinejad from bloody civil disturbances appears to have passed. But the president's foes have been emboldened by the Tehran protests and his road to second term may be rough one, The New York Times reported Saturday.
"There has been too much violence to forget about it," said an expatriate Iranian analyst whom the Times did not identify because he has relatives in Iran and is afraid of reprisals against them.
"There are quite a few people sitting on the fence watching to see which way the wind will blow," added Ali Ansari, a professor of Iranian history at St. Andrews University in Scotland.
The newspaper said Ahmadinejad's legitimacy may rest with a third Iranian interest group situated halfway between his camp and that of opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi: Pragmatic military and security figures who have competed with Ahmadinejad but are believed to remain close to his chief backer, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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