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Who’s in Charge?

Ervand Abrahamian: How Iran Works, 6 November 2008

Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran’s Radical Leader 
by Kasra Naji.
Tauris, 298 pp., £12.99, December 2007, 978 1 84511 636 1
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The Road to Democracy in Iran 
by Akbar Ganji.
MIT, 113 pp., £9.95, May 2008, 978 0 262 07295 3
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... national referendum aimed at trimming the powers of the unelected bodies. Some reformers, such as Akbar Ganji, a former revolutionary guard commander turned dissident, and Abdulkarim Soroush, a leading ‘Muslim intellectual’, went even further, arguing that politics and religion belong to different realms and that the latter should be confined to ...

Death to Potatoes!

James Buchan: Sarah Palin in Tehran, 17 March 2011

The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future 
edited by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel.
Melville House, 439 pp., £12.99, March 2011, 978 1 935554 38 7
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The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge 
by Hooman Majd.
Allen Lane, 282 pp., £20, January 2011, 978 1 84614 319 9
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... has seemed to be almost taunting the mullahs and ayatollahs.’ Ahmadinejad’s bugbear is Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the rich former president who was present at the creation and pretty much everything else, and now holds a number of high clerical offices. That Ahmadinejad is erratic in his office work, and that his appearances abroad resemble cabaret ...

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