February 2, 2008


A Frail Economy Raises Pressure on Iran’s Rulers (MICHAEL SLACKMAN, 2/02/08, NY Times)

The heating crisis in this oil-exporting nation is adding to Iranians’ increasing awareness of the contrast between their growing influence abroad and frailty at home, according to government officials, diplomats and political analysts interviewed here.

From fundamentalists to reformists, people here are talking more loudly about the need for a more pragmatic approach, one that tones down the anti-Western rhetoric, at least a bit, and focuses more on improving management of the country and restoring Iran’s economic health.

The mounting domestic challenges, the most serious of which is a grinding period of stagflation, with inflation growing and the economy weakening, have apparently deepened tensions between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the religious establishment he ultimately answers to. And they have helped spur a collective rethinking of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s stewardship as Iran prepares to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution this month and to hold parliamentary elections on March 14.

That's the beauty of the End of History, not only do we have our societal structures optimized, but the enemies have theirs structured in ways that we know must fail. That's the deep insight of containment, though it would be unChristian of us to just stand by and not help the folks stuck under such backwards regimes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 2, 2008 4:25 PM
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