“What is certain is that both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are facing a crisis of legitimacy and authority,” Mr. Khalaji said.
Meanwhile, Iranian opposition forces called for a public ceremony later this week to mourn those killed in protests since the June election, and Iran’s justice minister promised a decision soon on the fate of hundreds of people arrested since the vote.
Mr. Mousavi has refused to concede defeat.
“The more people you arrest, the more the movement will spread,” Mr. Mousavi said Monday, according to Agence France-Presse.
Two former Iranian presidents — Mohammed Khatami and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani — as well as several senior Shi’ite Muslim clerics have demanded the release of political prisoners and government action to heal the breach between the regime and the Iranian people.
Iranian media said the intelligence minister was fired after he quarreled with Mr. Ahmadinejad over his desire to elevate Mr. Mashaie, currently in charge of tourism as one of a dozen vice presidents, to first vice president.
Mr. Mashaie angered Iranian hard-liners last year by saying that Iran was friends with everyone in the world, including Israelis.
Mr. Mashaie withdrew his name from consideration as first vice president Friday, but only after Ayatollah Khamenei made public a letter demanding that Mr. Ahmadinejad “annul the appointment and announce it as null and void.”
The appointment of Mr. Mashaie “is to your disadvantage and the government, and it will cause discord and frustration among your supporters,” the letter said, according to a translation by the U.S. government’s Open Source Center.
Mr. Ahmadinejad on Saturday then named his in-law as his chief of staff.
Iranian hard-line newspapers Monday were scathing in their criticism of the president.
Hezbollah, a hard-line publication, wrote in an editorial: “Unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has failed in the practical test of being faithful to the supreme leader. … Mr. Ahmadinejad: the eminent position of the supreme leader is not a shelter which you can use whenever you need and disregard when it is against your personal interests!”
If Mr. Ahmadinejad is removed, Mr. Katzman suggested another conservative, such as parliament Speaker Ali Larijani or Tehran Mayor Mohammed Baqr Qalibaf, might be encouraged to run in a new election.
However, Mr. Khalaji, the Iran specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he doubted that Ayatollah Khamenei would push Mr. Ahmadinejad aside after declaring June 13 that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s re-election was a gift from God.
“They may not like each other, but they have no alternative,” Mr. Khalaji said. “The political life of each is dependent on the other.”