Qom Clerics defy Khamenei

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about how important the religious leaders in Qom were to guaranteeing the legitimacy of the regime in Iran. At that point, Ayatollah Rafsanjani was working on the clerics there, hoping to get them to come out against Khamenei's powerplay at the ballot box.The bombshell dropped today as Michael Slackman and Nazila Fathi of the New York Times report: that the clerics have issued a statement saying that the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult - if not impossible."This crack in...(Read Full Post)