Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The conservative and autocratic regime in Iran has maintained its power by holding on to key levers, such as the police, judiciary and semi-autonomous foundations while reducing its interference in the everyday lives of the Iranian middle class. This has helped to submerge tensions between society and state. The music ban may signal an end to that strategy. If so, Ahmadinejad may be the worst thing that ever happened to the conservatives. Hashemi Rafsanjani has been recently given more power to check the president's power, but that may not be enough to check the puritanical impulses of the former Tehran mayor.