Revolution Leaders Struggle for Power in Tehran
der spiegel / By Dieter Bednarz and Erich Follath

In the wake of a bogus election, the deadly harassment of protestors and squabbling among hardliners, everything seems to have changed in Tehran. Two men could now pose a serious threat to the regime: Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and multimillionaire Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Sometimes a kiss is more than just a kiss. The kiss in Tehran last Monday was certainly unique, as kisses go.

During the inauguration ceremony to mark his "reelection," disputed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 52, bowed to religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 70, and attempted to grasp his hand to kiss it, but Khamenei turned away at the last minute. When Ahmadinejad attempted to at least embrace the supreme leader, Khamenei turned away again, leaving Ahmadinejad awkwardly facing his shoulder. It was a scene straight out of a low-budget slapstick comedy.

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