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11.18.2005
  Iran in turmoil
Having not achieved enough by calling for the wiping of Iseral and the renewal of nuclear bomb building etc, newly elected Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has purged government institutions of his opponents, bringing accusations that he is undertaking a coup d'état. His clearout of his opponents began last month but is more sweeping than previously understood and has now reached almost every branch of the government.

An Iranian source with first-hand knowledge of all the main political and clerical figures said: "Ahmadinejad is defying everybody. He does whatever he wants and considers it to be right. This is not how things are done in Iran."

Rafsanjani, former Iranian president, runner-up in the election, denounced the purge and, in comments reported by Iranian news agencies, suggested the president should be reined in. "A tendency in Iran is trying to banish competent officials and it is harming the country like a plague."

The stock market has fallen 30% since the new president took office and the upheaval has raised serious questions about Iran's ability to conclude negotiations on its nuclear program. Hassan Rohani, sacked as Iran's senior nuclear negotiator, told Tehran newspapers that the negotiations with the west were being mishandled. The former president Mohammad Khatami also voiced concern that Mr Ahmadinejad was exceeding his powers.

"There is a very tense situation. Ahmadinejad has made a very bad start and needs to get attuned to political realities," the Iranian source said, suggesting that Mr Ahmadinejad could face impeachment. Paralysis at the top of the Iranian government could pose serious problems for the west as it struggles to resolve the nuclear stand-off. Iran began processing a fresh batch of uranium yesterday in spite of compromise proposals. Next week's UN meeting will debate whether to refer Iran to the security council for possible action.

I guess it doesn't help he thinks the 2nd coming of the 12th Imam is soon.

Ahmadinejad's belief in the 12th Imam's return may be linked to the supposed growing influence of a secretive society devoted to the Mahdi which was banned in the early 1980s.

Founded in 1953 and used by the Shah of Iran to try to eradicate followers of the Bahai faith, the Hojjatieh Society is governed by the conviction that the 12th Imam's return will be hastened by the creation of chaos on earth.

But don’t worry. The experts say Iran won’t have nuclear weapons for another five years.
 
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