Iran's 'Kennedys': Will They Fight Back?

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2009 6:20 PM CDT
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, is received by Sudanese officials upon his arrival along in Khartoum, Sudan Friday, March 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) – Dubbed Iran's "Kennedys," the Larijani brothers have risen to power as counterweights to President Ahmadinejad's hardline politics—but to what end? All five bespectacled and bearded brothers have held important posts, and two of them are now running two of the nation's three government branches. Backed by the Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, they're conservative, but look like lefties next to Ahmadinejad, Robin Wright writes in Time.

Yet analysts are debating whether their opposition to the president is truly ideological. Sadegh Larijani snagged the chief judiciary post during mass trials of opposition supporters, but may do little to help them—he's opposed civil liberties before. Ali Larijani has fired a few barbs at Ahmadinejad, but as speaker of parliament, said the president's supporters were not raped or tortured in jail. At least so far, Iran's opposition family is playing nice.