Tehran, June 13(ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his aides have been dismissed by conservative rivals and clerics as a "deviant current" in the country's theocracy.
Two years ago, on June 11, 2009, Ahmadinejad had a landslide re-election victory that was hailed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a "divine assessment".
However, conservative rivals now dismiss them as a "deviant current" obsessed with the imminent return of the Shiite messiah, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
Close aides have been arrested for sorcery and witchcraft, and there is talk that Ahmadinejad could be ousted before his second term expires in 2013.
Khamenei's deputy representative to the Revolutionary Guard, Mojtaba Zolnour, even declared this week that "the current of deviation is the gravest danger in the history of Shiite Islam."
Experts now believe that Ahmadinejad's political fate depends on whether he now submits to Khamenei's will or continues to try to shunt more power to his office in ways that challenge the Supreme Leader and the country's Parliament.
"Iran simply has not developed the institutions and rules that are needed to prevent very unsettling change," says Farideh Farhi, an Iran specialist at the University of Hawaii.
"So, rather than moving toward stabilization, what we see is a system that is constantly faced with deepening political turmoil," she added. (ANI)