Photograph by khamenei.ir, via Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 01.08.17

Political manoeuvring between Iran’s Supreme Leader and elected President is nothing new. However, recent events suggest that there could be a heightened level of power plays unfolding between Tehran’s two most authoritative figures and thereby test the resolve of political stability in Iran. Previous instances of such behaviour are indicative of what to expect in such scenarios, although how this may play out during Rouhani’s second term is of particular interest.

Impact
  • President Rouhani’s brother was arrested on the 17th of July 2017 on charges of corruption. His arrest marks a further step in the power confrontation between the executive power and the Supreme Leader.
  • This political struggle and power competition is not an isolated event in the Iranian establishment, but is rather a structural issue because of the duality of power stated in the Constitution.
  • The regular tensions between the Supreme Leader and the President have often been a source of political instability – or even crisis – in Iran. This rivalry between the two authorities takes more importance in the context of uncertainty over Ayatollah Ali Khamanei’s succession.