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Iran, Still Churning

Friday should be interesting:

A powerful cleric who has been a driving force behind the opposition movement challenging the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will lead Friday prayers this week after a two-month absence that was considered a sign of conflict within the Iranian establishment.

The semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency reported Sunday that Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will deliver the nation's weekly keynote religious sermon. Rafsanjani, who chairs powerful boards that oversee the office of the supreme leader and adjudicate disputes between government bodies, is the highest-profile backer of opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who lost to Ahmadinejad in an election marred by allegations of vote-rigging.

--Michael Crowley