Analysis: Iran's supreme leader does not rule supreme

August 23, 2013 10:39 AM

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Analysis: Iran's supreme leader does not rule supreme

DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has twice written to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believing that he, not the president, holds ultimate power in the Islamic Republic and the key to unlocking the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

But the surprise emergence of President Hassan Rouhani, a close associate of Khamenei who advocates moderation, has shown a more nuanced picture of power in Iran in which the clerical leader listens to opposing views and then reaches a consensus.

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