May 29, 2011

FIDDLING WHILE THE REPUBLIC BURNS:

As Iran’s Woes Multiply, Leaders Wrestle for Power (DAVID ROSENBERG, 05/29/2011, Jerusalem Post)

It was supposed to be a piece of political theater. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flew down to the Abadan oil refinery on Tuesday to dedicate a new terminal for refining gasoline as part of Tehran’s efforts to increase domestic capacity in the face of global sanctions. It was a message to Iranians and to the world that the country was seeing off the threat.

But the show turned into a mix of comedy and tragedy. Just before the president arrived, a fire broke out at the terminal, apparently caused by an accidental leak of gas. But that didn’t stop Ahmadinejad. With his audience fanning away the lingering smoke and fumes, and rescue workers treating the injured and carrying away the dead, he delivered his address, assailing Iran’s foreign enemies and asserting that it could meet all its domestic oil needs.

His domestic enemies lost no time in blaming the president for the tragedy. Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said Amadinejad’s government had pressured refinery officials to get the plant ready before they were confident it was safe.

For many observers, the incident illustrates just how disconnected Iran’s leadership is from the country’s massive political and economic problems as they devote their time and attention in a bitter power struggle.


And then we're supposed to take seriously the people who portray them as a strategic threat?


Posted by at May 29, 2011 8:25 AM
  

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