IRAN: Taiwanese animation team's take on Khamenei-Ahmadinejad feud [Video]
Iranian politics is so complicated.
Who can keep track of all the various and ever-shifting factions jostling for control of the Islamic Republic?
The irreverent news junkies at Taiwan's NMA television have assembled a hilarious animation, above, that illustrates the ongoing power struggle between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
At the outset of the video, the two men are literally engaged in a match of wrestling, a sport popular in Iran.
The eventual winner is ...
Lately, however, the conduct of the players in Iran's political game has been anything but sportsmanlike.
On Wednesday, an extremist news outlet loyal to Khamenei called on security forces to arrest Ahmadinejad's controversial chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who is also the president's in-law.
The newspaper called Mashaei a "very dangerous person who is propping up a new cult," according to a report by the Associated Press.
The latest episode in the ongoing rift between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad broke into public this year when the supreme leader reinstated an intelligence chief the president had fired for allegedly wiretapping Mashaei's office.
Last weekend Ahmadinejad defiantly fired three Cabinet ministers as part of a government streamlining plan that the country's constitutional watchdog insists is illegal until it gets parliament's OK.
Ahmadinejad also named himself caretaker minister over the country's vast oil resources and announced his intention to preside over the upcoming meeting of OPEC in Vienna.
-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut
Image: Ahmadinejad vs. Khamenei. Credit: NMA television / YouTube