IRAN CRISIS

Ex-Leader's Family Briefly Detained

By throwing himself headfirst into the turmoil racking his country, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, may have irreparably damaged his image as a spiritual arbiter of Iranian political and cultural life, The New York Times reports. The brief arrest of relatives of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani only reinforces this point, reports The Times, and serves as a public indicator of a schism at the top of the Iranian hierarchy. Rafsanjani, an influential figure in Iran and an outspoken supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi, insists the June 12 presidential election was rigged. Rafsanjani leads a council with a great deal of influence over the ayatollah, and the arrest of Rafsanjani’s relatives signals that tensions are reaching a boiling point among the conservative and reformist sects in Iranian politics.