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Det ser ut til at den ultrakonservative borgermesteren i Teheran, Mehdi Ahmadi-Nejad (48) er den foretrukne kandidaten til Øverste leder, Ali Khamenei.

Det er med på å øke sjansene for Ahmadi-Njead. Ali Hashemi Rafsanjanis kandidatur derimot er ikke like overbevisende. Studentene som fraråder folk å stemme på Ahmadi-Nejad, sier ikke noe om at de skal stemme på Rafsanjani.

Rafsanjani oppfattes av mange som en «spent force», en som har fått prøve seg, men ikke leverte, i de to periodene han var president: 1989-1997.

Det er polemikken mellom nummer tre på resultatlisten for første omgang, Mhedi Karroubi, som viser Khameneis preferanser.

Karroubi forsøkte å få to moderate aviser til å publisere hans fire sider lange åpne brev mandag, hvor han redgjør for mistankene om valgfusk. Begge aviser ble prompte stengt. Da la Karroubi brevet ut på internett. En høyst uvanlig handling for en person som tilhører nomenklaturaen i Iran. Khamenei var rystet.

With no other alternative, Mr. Karroubi posted it on the Internet, along with a copy of the response he said he had received from Ayatollah Khamenei.

The response was sharp and angry and suggested that the ayatollah felt betrayed by a member of his inner circle. «What you said is beyond your position and is aimed at creating a crisis in the country,» the statement said. «Are you aware of what you are doing? Are you aware that what you are doing is aimed at creating a crisis and pessimism among people, and is in line with what our enemies want to do to the revolution and the Islamic republic, and it will catch up with you, too?»

The ayatollah’s remarks concluded: «Others may have similar protests. Do you think they should have the right to question everything as well? I was not expecting this from you. And I will not allow anyone to create crisis in the country.»

Khameneis reaksjon minner om sovjetiske ledere som pleide å spørre dissidenter: hvem ga deg rett til å stille spørsmål? hvilken grenseløs frekkhet!

Kjemien mellom Rafsanjani og Khamenei virker ikke spesielt god. Rafsanjani luftet selv mulighetene for at det hadde forekommet valgfusk, noe som neppe setter ham i Khameneis kritthus:

In a statement carried by the news media here, Mr. Rafsanjani, a stalwart of the revolution who will be in a runoff on Friday, said he also believed that the first round of voting had been tampered with.

«During the election, we witnessed certain organized interferences aimed at directing peoples’ votes, which is not clear where it would lead if such behavior is institutionalized,» he said, adding that he would like an investigation into the «protest and complaint of my dear brother, Mr. Karroubi, about the election in certain cities.»

Iran’s Leaders Warn Candidate Who Charged Vote Fraud