A number of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s closest advisers have reportedly been arrested in recent weeks, by forces loyal to Ayatollah Khamenei. Among those arrested is Abbas Ghaffari, reputed to be the Iranian president’s personal exorcist. Ghaffari’s power is said to be so great that one of the men interrogating him last week suffered a heart attack.
The idea of the president having a personal exorcist isn’t so strange when you consider the extent to which religion and mysticism dominate even the highest levels of Iranian politics.
Some observers of Iranian politics now fear that Ahmadinejad could destabilise the country and even stage a revolution to overthrow Ayatollah Khamenei. With most of his trusted associates having been sidelined by Khamenei, Ahmadinejad might decide that he has nothing left to lose, especially since he is otherwise unlikely to be willing to just walk away, and Khamenei is unlikely to want him to be on the loose.