January 23, 2007

MAHMOUD SWING:

Criticism of Ahmadinejad mounts (Frances Harrison, 1/23/07, BBC News)

It is becoming clear that the green light has been given from the very top for open debate of President Ahmadinejad's record in power.

Normally compliant newspaper editorials have suddenly started criticising his handling of the economy and his undiplomatic language.

Now the former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, has voiced public criticism of President Ahmadinejad's tendency towards a highly centralised state-controlled economy.

Mr Rafsanjani, who is a capitalist, has invoked the supreme leader, suggesting the leader was pained by the very slow pace of privatisation under Mr Ahmadinejad's government.

There has also been criticism from the speaker of parliament, who, in a veiled reference to the president, complained about some figures in Iran having the wrong view of investment.

All this suggests that many in the top echelons of power are beginning to realise that Mr Ahmadinejad's confrontational foreign policy and populist rhetoric internally carry a heavy cost for Iran's future.


No economic growth, no Islamic Republic.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2007 11:59 AM
Comments

One of the positive results of the Iraq War is that we found out that the inspections regime actually succeeded in disarming Saddam. What worked with Saddam might not work on Iran, but it's an encouraging precedent, anyway. An economic squeeze can stop or reverse proliferation, without recourse to war.

Posted by: Nathan Smith at January 23, 2007 1:56 PM
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