One of the main problems of Iran’s government beside being reactionary, is the conflict between the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, as the highest power in the country which has both political and religious power and has the last word in the most important decisions, and the President, Hassan Rouhani, who is leading the government, but no one inside and outside the country believe in it as an effective element in the relation and of course advancing the affairs.
Many inside the government calling the president a ‘purveyor’ with restricted authorities. That is, Khamenei in his Persian new year’s speech was forced to defend the president, to prevent any ripples in his regime.
“That now some say that the president has no authority, the president is the purveyor, all of this is wrong. It is not like this. From all the country’s administrators, the president is more busy and more responsible. Almost all of the country’s management centers are in the hands of the president.”
Is this claim by Khamenei correct? Observers argue, in this regime the supreme leader is the official with the most challenging problems with the president.
Let us have a look at the fate of the past seven presidents of Iran.
The first president was Abolhassan Banisadr who was not tolerated for more than one-and-a-half year by the first supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini, and eventually fled from the country. His presidency started on February 7, 1980 and finished June 22, 1981. Khomeini’s forces even tried to arrest or kill him.
Mohammad Ali Rajaee was the second president; his presidency was very short. It started on August 2, 1981 and ended August 30, 1981, because he was killed by a bomb in his office. For him there was not a chance to challenge the supreme leader.
The next president was Khamenei who was for two periods the president. From September 1981 to July 1989. He also contradicted Khomeini in the story of the government orders, and you received a ‘kick in the teeth’ from Khomeini, who warned him no to meddle in this subject, then he was forced to apologize and played the role of a purveyor.
The next President was Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who was one of the most powerful figures in this regime and most trusted by Khomeini. He was the president from 1989 to 1997. He became the president two month after Khomeini’s death. In the 2013 presidential election he tried to become the president for a third term but was disqualified by the Guardian Council because of his contradictions with supreme leader Khamenei. He finally died on 8 January 2017 in the famous Farah pool and many speculations said that he was killed by Khamenei’s intelligence service due to his opposition to Khamenei.
After Rafsanjani came Mohammad Khatami, as the head of the so-called reformists. Due to his conflicts with the supreme leader, he is now hated by the most reactionary elements and is banned from the media.
The next president was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who Khamenei once said was his closest ally. But finally, he contradicted Khamenei too, and until now Khamenei no longer accepts him. While he now is one of the main problems inside the rule.
And finally, there is Hassan Rouhani who has also contradicted Khamenei. Rouhani has spoken many times about a referendum. He publicly said that he has no authority in the foreign policy of the government.
This amount of conflict is due to structural contradictions in this regime. This structural contradiction is of a pre-capitalism head being artificially attached to a capitalistic relation in the body of this rule. The practical reflection of this contradiction is that in this regime they want to elect a president by the people’s vote, which is a phenomenon derived from liberal democracy. But on the other side, this president who considers himself as the voice of the ‘people’ has no authority. And the constitution of this regime gives full power to the supreme leader, so in practice the people are ignored. Even the enforcement of the presidential decree is in the authority of the supreme leader, and nothing is allowed until the supreme leader approves it.
Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, one of the main clerics in this regime, once said: “The elected president of the people if not elected by the supreme leader is a tyrant.”
So, people’s vote Has no worth in this regime. That is the reason why Iran’s people call the elections a ‘show.’
And finally, the Friday prayers leader of Pardisan county said: “We do not want a president who has his own ideology. We want a broker to be under the command of Imam Khamenei.”