March 14, 2008

BUT ARE WE CAPABLE OF PRAGMATISM?:

Tehran challenger reaches out to the West (Martin Fletcher, 3/14/08, Times of London)

A prominent Iranian politician has used an interview with The Times to signal that many conservatives are unhappy with President Ahmadinejad's confrontational attitude to the West and that they favour greater dialogue.

In a rare interview with a Western newspaper Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf, the Mayor of Tehran and the former Iranian police chief, spoke of the emergence of a political “third movement” in his country that lay somewhere between Mr Ahmadinejad's hardliners and the reformists.

Mr Qalibaf, 46, was speaking on the eve of parliamentary elections today in which “pragmatic” conservatives identified with himself and Ali Larijani, Iran's former nuclear negotiator, are competing against conservatives loyal to Mr Ahmadinejad.

Mr Qalibaf was defeated by Mr Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential election, but if his “pragmatic” conservatives do well today analysts expect him to challenge the increasingly unpopular President again in next year's presidential contest.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 14, 2008 8:12 AM
Comments

Would being seen reaching back be used against this gentleman (it probably would) and if so, would that be helpful or hurtful.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2008 12:00 PM
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