"Ahmadinejad is a lame duck, and the ruling system wants to keep it that way," said Mehrzad Boroujerdi, a Syracuse University professor who follows Iranian affairs. "They want to keep him on a short leash. He'll yank back, though. It's the classic case of a weak office occupied by a strong personality."
"The fear is that the downfall of al-Maliki, coupled with the uncertainties about Assad's fate in Syria, could leave the Iranians suddenly looking at unfriendly faces."