On the surface, the recent turmoil in Teheran looks like a case of the clerical elite, led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, slapping down an independent-minded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though the battle is couched in vocabulary that does more to obscure than to reveal. Accusations of “sorcery” and “witchcraft” get equal billing with charges of corruption and violations of the constitution. But if the language can at times seem odd, the players and the stakes are hardy abstruse.
-Conn Hallinan is a Foreign Policy In Focus columnist. He also writes the blog Distpatches from the Edge