October 6, 2007


In Search of Ahmadinejad (Barry Rubin, 10/01/07, Global Research in International Affairs)

Ahmadinejad is a demagogue on a lot of issues for three distinct reasons:

First, he is trying to use his radical stance—extremist even on the already extreme Iranian political spectrum—to gain control of the country. As head of a faction and due to personal ambition he is trying to displace other groups. Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei remains the single most powerful person in Iran and Ahmadinejad real rival within the country.

Second, Ahmadinejad is pursuing the Iranian Islamist revolution’s long-term goal—but one not always given top priority by the regime—of spreading Islamist revolution throughout the region and emerging as the most powerful force in the Middle East. In terms of promoting Iran’s primacy, there is an inherent nationalist as well as Islamist element in his policy.

Third, Ahmadinejad seems to be a true believer in the Iranian Islamist ideology which sees international politics as a struggle between the true followers of the deity and the allies of Satan.

Ahmadinejad’s goals, then, are his control over Iran, Iran’s control over the Persian Gulf area (especially Iraq), Israel’s destruction, Iranian leadership over the Middle East, the expulsion of Western (and especially American) influence from the region, and even world domination, in roughly that order.

He won't even get to succeed at the first one because he scares both Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian voters.

Khatami to lead Iranian opposition in elections, says brother (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Oct 6, 2007)

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami will lead the opposition coalition in next the country's March parliamentary elections, the cleric's brother told the Fars news agency on Saturday. [...]

The new coalition is unofficially led by former presidents Khatami and Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and gained an initial victory in last December's Experts Assembly, imposing Ahmadinejad a first setback since his presidency in 2005.

The parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 14, 2008, will this time also have international impacts due to the global crisis over Iran's controversial nuclear programmes.

A victory by the reformist would not only affect Iran's domestic and foreign policies but eventually also prepare ground to replace Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential elections.

'A Way Out' for Iran (David Ignatius, October 7, 2007, Washington Post)
If you read the liberal blogosphere, and even the stately New Yorker magazine, you get the impression that the Bush administration is itching to drop a bomb on Iran. But talking with senior administration officials this week, I hear a different line:

They worry about Iranian actions, and they are disappointed that diplomatic overtures to Iran so far have resulted in little progress. They believe that Washington and Tehran remain on a collision course over Iran's nuclear program and its destabilizing activities in Iraq. But senior officials say they are seeking to avoid military conflict.

The administration wants Iran to make a strategic shift -- by changing its nuclear policy so that it doesn't have the potential to make weapons, stopping its support for terrorism and working with the United States to stabilize Iraq. Officials continue to believe that the regime is capable of such a shift, despite its internal divisions. But they have concluded that Iran won't bargain unless it feels more pressure -- from tougher economic sanctions and from credible threats of military power.

The bottom line, officials say, is that the United States must avoid a future situation in which its only options are to accept a nuclear Iran or go to war.

All they have to do is say Uncle (Napoleon).

-Persian Gulf: Insights into Iran can be gleaned from these masterly works. (MICHAEL LEDEEN, October 6, 2007, Opinion Journal)

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 6, 2007 7:03 AM
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