A fascinating, must-read column in the Wall Street Journal Europe by the highly respected Iranian dissident reporter Amir Taheri indicates the “impeachment Ahmadinejad” movement is growing in Tehran. Taheri says that 178 Members of Parliament have signed a petition calling on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to remove Ahmadinejad from office, and that 290 signatures are needed for the petition to be officially sent to Khamenei.

One of the reasons the anti-Ahmadinejad movement is gaining strength, Taheri writes, is the President’s continued assertion that he is in direct contact with the Twelfth Imam. Consider these excerpts:

The campaign to impeach Ahmadinejad is being orchestrated by Ali Motahari, a brother-in-law of Larijani and a member of the Majlis. Ali Motahari is the son of the late Morteza Motahari, a Khomeinist mullah assassinated by Forqan, a terrorist group of which Ahmadinejad has been accused of being a member. Forqan was inspired by the ideas of Ali Shariati, a Shiite propagandist who preached an Islam without the clergy.

The charge that Ahmadinejad is trying to push the mullahs out of power is based on his own claim that he has a direct line of communication with the Hidden Imam, a Messiah-like figure in Shiite Islam who is supposed to emerge at the end of time to install eternal justice.

Ahmadinejad constantly talks of the Hidden Imam but almost never mentions Ruhollah Khomeini, the mullah who created the present regime. Nor is Ahmadinejad keen to pay tribute to Khamenei. A man who talks to God wouldn’t bother with mere saints.

Several times a year, Ahmadinejad takes his entire cabinet to Jamkaran, a suburb of the “holy” city of Qom south of Tehran, to report to the Hidden Imam. In Jamkaran there is a well that is supposed to lead to the place where the Hidden Imam is in hiding. In a solemn ceremony, Ahmadinejad throws copies of his government’s budget and other edicts into the well for consideration by the Hidden Imam.

 The message is clear: A government that is preparing for the end of times, under the command of the Hidden Imam, does not need the mullahs.


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