It is handbags at the moment in the Iranian leadership, with the president taking an unannounced week off cabinet meetings in a sulk after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reinstated an intelligence chief he had sacked.
Lest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad get too big for his boots, the message from the theocratic heirarchy was sent out during Friday prayers:
“I’m sure our government and president and nation are aware of the issue of the Supreme Leader’s complete authority, and will pay the highest attention to it,” said Kazem Sedighi. conservative cleric and prayer leader at Tehran university.
Ahmedinejad must step carefully, as Iran’s clerics say to disobey Khamenei is equal to apostasy, as he is “God’s representative on Earth.”
At the heart of the battle is the president’s closest advisor, a secularist who wants a weaker role for the clergy in Iran.
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei has been accused by some of using sorcery and supernatural powers to advance government policies. Khamenei and his allies would dearly love to see him brought down a peg or two, or failing that, his boss.