Iran’s Voice is Heard: Clerics Consider Alternative to ‘Supreme Leader’

Middle Eastern news site Al Arabiya is reporting that the very foundation of modern Iranian government may be due for a re-write:

Iran’s religious clerics in Qom and members of the Assembly of Experts, headed by Ayatollah [Ali Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani, are mulling the formation of an alternative collective leadership to replace that of the supreme leader, sources in Qom told Al Arabiya on condition of anonymity.

These reports come on the heels of arrests and killings of protesters that most of us have seen splashed across our Twitter and Facebook status feeds, and it is these recent events that are being credited as the impetus of for the re-consideration of Iran’s governmental structure.

Though the death of the iconic Neda and others like her may have played a part, it is likely that the imprisonment of five family members of Rafsanjani may have played a much more directly influencing factor. Rafsanjani is considered, according to Al Arabiya, to be one of Iran’s most powerful man as the head of Assembly of Experts (the group of clerics

responsible for the appointment and dismissal of the Supreme Leader) and the head of the Expediency Council (the group that arbitrates disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council).

This is exactly what the movement’s calls for reform now entail. The change of heart by Rafsanjani and the clerics may not have come at a better time, as ABC News reports along with other organizations that the recent rounds of brutality against protestors has demoralized the movements, and rallies have had much lower attendance today in Tehran:

The crackdown on protestors promised Saturday by the Iranian government appears to have worked, with few people on the streets of Tehran today, though there was violence overnight.

But as rallies failed to materialize, a female protestor reached by ABC News by telephone in Tehran complained about the lack of leadership.

Asked whether she is disappointed that the streets were so quiet, the female protestor, who did not give her name, said “yes.”

“Of course it is! It’s really sad. People getting killed, people doing everything in their power to go against the regime after 30 years and we don’t have the support here. We don’t have proper leadership,” she said.