Tomorrow shapes up as a very important day for the on-going internal conflict in Iran, as Friday prayers will be delivered by none other than Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who generally has aligned himself throughout the crisis on the reformers’ side and has spent much of the period since the election on June 12 in the holy city of Qom, supposedly trying to mobilize opinion among the Assembly of Experts (of which he is the Chairman) against Ayatollah Ali Hoseyni Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader and supporter of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad. Time Magazine’s Joe Klein gave us the heads-up yesterday in a post on his “Swampland” blog.
The Berlin newspaper Die Tageszeitung also released a Friday-preview piece yesterday (End-Time scenarios in Iran), which generally agrees with Klein’s evaluation, going on to provide additional supporting details. For one thing, Rafsanjani’s speech is to be televised on Iranian State Television; for another, both the main putative loser of that June 12 election, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, and another high-placed ayatollah who has been supportive of him (as well as formerly serving Iran’s president himself), Mohammad Khatami, will be sitting there in the first row, as we learn from Moussavi’s Facebook page. (more…)