The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came to power by appealing to the poorest Iranians with a class warfare message (isn’t that interesting). Since he has become president, however, Ahamadinejad has done an effective job of destroying the Iranian economy, and the elite in Tehran are not pleased:
TEHRAN — Iran’s clerical and business establishments, deeply concerned by what they see as reckless spending and needlessly aggressive foreign policies, are increasingly turning against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Within this context, many see the president’s long-running confrontation with the United States and Europe over Tehran’s nuclear program as an attempt to demonize the West and distract the Iranian public from pressing domestic problems.
A relatively small group of extremists “at the top of the government around the president” are seeking to benefit from a crisis with the West, because “that way they will be able once again to blame the West for all of their problems,” said Mousa Ghaninejad, the editor of Iran’s best-selling economics daily newspaper, Dunya Al-Eqtisad.
Millions of low-income Iranians voted for the new president last year, motivated by his firm stand against corruption and pledges to give financial priority to their needs.
“His appeal was to those for whom class discrimination is important, and his simple lifestyle gave an air of credibility to his claims,” said Nasser Hadian, a political analyst at Tehran University who attended high school with Mr. Ahmadinejad.
Mr. Hadian predicted that senior Iranian clerics would continue to support Mr. Ahmadinejad — or at least not move against him — for about a year because of that popular support. But privately, he said, they feel he is isolating Iran internationally and putting its economy at risk…
…The value of Tehran’s stock market had fallen by $10 billion under Mr. Ahmadinejad as of February, the Los Angeles Times reported. Other recent Western news reports say that the nation’s vibrant real-estate market has withered and that capital outflows are increasing.
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s spending has pushed the inflation rate to an estimated 13.5 percent, and several estimates say it could go as high as 30 percent this year.
Economic analysts note that inflation will be felt most acutely by the poor, undermining the president’s support among his most important constituency.
And we have even more confirmation from inside Iran that Ahmadinejad is in fact a lunatic who is fixated on the end of the world:
Mr. Ghaninejad was one of 13 experts in economics who warned, in two petitions to the government just before Mr. Ahmadinejad was elected, that his populist, short-term policies would spell disaster for Iran in the long term.
“Now he’s throwing money at complex problems and just doesn’t care about the long term. He thinks he should help the poor today and leave everything else to the Hidden Imam,” the newspaper editor said, referring to a character whom Shi’ites believe will one day emerge to bring justice to the world.
The elites in Iran may not allow the situtation between Iran and the West to continue to disintegrate. Let’s hope they step in to blunt the looming crisis that Ahmadinejad is instigating with great fervor.