Al Jazeera is speculating that hothead Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be about to resign. He has clashed with his country's real power, its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the straw that may have broken Ahmad's camel's back was the Ayatollah's decision to reinstate the intelligence minister Ahmadinejad had sacked.
Mehrdad Khonsari, an analyst with the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies in London, told Al Jazeera on Friday that the dispute, which began last month, had become "serious".
"It shows the level of disunity at the very top of the Iranian [political] hierarchy [with] Ahmadinejad having already polarised the internal political scene as a result of fraudulent election results that were announced more than 20 months ago," Khonsari said.
"He is now beginning to encroach on the powers and privileges vested in the supreme leader, and he and his constituency - mainly among the Revolutionary Guards - have tried to do this.
"And, of course, the supreme leader has tried to make a stand and in this stand he has been joined by many people from the ruling establishment who have been cast aside by Ahmadinejad."
..."This is quite a standoff," he said. "Ahmadinejad, I think, at this particular time, has bitten more than he can chew and has been forced to essentially step back, but the fact [remains] that both he and the supreme leader are damaged as a result of this conflict."
Although speculation continues that Ahmadinejad may resign, Khonsari stopped short of hinting at the possibility of him quitting and instead said the dispute would lead to "further polarisation; further disunity [and] rivalry ... within a state structure that's already fractured".