Not only Iranian politics but the whole of Southwest Asia enter another era after the heart attack, this past Sunday, that killed Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 82, president from 1989 to 1997 and a stalwart of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.…
With Rafsanjani out, it's safe to assume hardliners such as Ahmadinejad, the former head of the judiciary Mohammad Yazdi, and the ultra-hardcore Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a.k.a "The Crocodile", will be back with a vengeance.
And there's an even more earth-shattering problem. Crucially, last year Rafsanjani got the most votes in the election of the 88-member Assembly of Experts, the all-powerful clerical club that approves Ayatollah Khamenei's successor. It was virtually a done deal that Rafsanjani would have got his candidate to win the Big Prize. Not anymore. Marandi qualifies the Rafsanjani era as "a roller coaster ride for a brilliant politician." For Iran, the real roller coaster ride might as well start now.
Backgrounder on Iranian politics.
So What Happens Next in Iran?