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Iran, the Hard-Liners, and the Most Hard-Line - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It is normal for Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to defend of Hamas, and to make reference to Egypt with regards to the issue of [the construction of] the wall along the border with Gaza. This comes following [Hamas chief] Khalid Mishal’s recent visit to Iran, and prior to this Hamas met with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and almost a month ago an Iranian official met with Hamas in Damascus. However what is strange is that Hassan Nasrallah’s talk about Egypt comes at the same time that Ali Larijani was meeting with the Egyptian president in Cairo, and following this [meeting] he spoke to the media about the necessity of activating Egyptian – Iranian relations, and also Arab – Iranian relations, in order to reach a strategic relationship based upon an Arab – Turkish – Iranian alliance. Larijani’s conciliatory talk completely contradicts the speech given by Nasrallah on the occasion of Ashura, in which he lectured Egypt and the Egyptians.

Nothing can be understood from this other than that there are two trends reacting against each other in regional Iranian politics…two trends that were born from the womb of the [original] conservative trend, and they are the hard-line trend, and the most hard-line trend. The Iranian reformists are busy, and in fact have concentrated all their efforts on the internal struggle that has begun to develop in a concrete and substantial manner, and this indicates that something might happen there.

The talk about a hard-line trend and the most hard-line trend in Iran is justified if we recall the course of events, especially those events that are connected to Iran in our region, and there is the contradiction of Larijani’s position [towards Egypt and the Arabs] with Nasrallah who is associated with the most hard-line [trend] in Iran, particularly the Revolutionary Guards. However apart from Egypt, there is another example of this [contradiction], and that is the occupation of the Iraqi Fakka oil well [by Iran], which came at an awkward time for Iran’s allies in Iraq, and was embarrassing to the attempts of some Iranian officials who wanted to improve their regime’s image in our region.

Of course there are the attempts made by Ahmadinejad and others, to accept uranium enrichment abroad during negotiations with the west on the nuclear issue, however this was an issue that Tehran soon backed down from in the face of internal pressure from the most hard-line [trend] in Iran. This is something that could cause the Islamic Republic serious difficulties with the West, and particularly the US, and this will become clearer over the course of the month.

Therefore the internal division that has struck Iran seems to be causing larger cracks between the hard-line trend and the most hard-line trend, and this is something that will aid the west in dealing with Iran at a time when Tehran is in more danger than ever. It is clear that the most hard-line trend does not hesitate in moving forward to achieve its interests, the most prominent of which is removing all of those that stand in their way internally. This is something that increases Tehran’s vulnerability, and everybody is expecting a dangerous event to take place as a result of this, especially the [reformist] Green movement is growing, and this proves that the movement is continuing its advance, without being concerned about being the Revolutionary Guards, or the Wali Al Faqih, and they are not concerned about what is happening abroad and continue to focus on the internal struggle that is now sweeping the cities, and not just the [political] circles.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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