There is an unprecedented power struggle at the highest level in Iran's government.
The confrontation escalated after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, declined to officially support the supreme leader's reinstatement of Heydar Moslehi, a cabinet minister fired by the president.
Making his position clear on the issue, Ahmadinejad effectively went on strike for 10 days, skipping cabinet meetings.
But in a country where unwritten rules demand no one should oppose the supreme leader, Ahmadinejad's future now seems uncertain.
Inside Story, with presenter Dareen Abughaida, discusses with Mohammed Syed Marandi, a professor of political science at Tehran University; Mehrdad Khonsari, a former Iranian diplomat; and Majoob Zweiri, an expert on Iran and the former head of Iranian studies at Durham university.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, May 8, 2011.