Monday, March 16, 2009

Iranian reformers unite; seek ouster of Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad may be losing support. Is it a new day for Iran?
clipped from
Mohammad Khatami, the reformist former president, has decided to withdraw from the June presidential race to support a political ally
“The most important goal is to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from re-election, not to get Mr. Khatami elected,”

Mr. Mousavi, who is also a painter and architect, stayed out of politics for the past two decades and had turned down calls to run as presidential candidate in previous elections. His wife, Zahra Rahnavard, was the dean of the prestigious women’s university, Al Zahra, from 1998 to 2006 and is close ally of Mr. Khatami.

President Ahmadinejad is supported by the conservative Iranian establishment, but his economic policies have unleashed economic inflation of over 25 percent, and two major setbacks last week suggested that he might be losing support ahead of elections.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why bombing Iran won't work

And some things that just might ...
clipped from
"You can't bomb knowledge," said Robert Litwak, Director of the Division of International Security Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars [...]
[B]ombing ... Iran's nuclear sites will not deter future technological developments [...]
US military action ... would only trigger major responses worldwide, ... a worsening of the fragile state of Iraq and "a rally around the flag effect in Iran."

Washington will need to recognize that "what is politically serious in Washington is politically insignificant in Tehran." What the US has previously viewed as a big step toward normalization, such as allowing the importation of pistachios and carpets, has little weight in Iran [...]
Pres. Obama and other political figures have not recognized the need to use sensitive language when dealing with Iran.
Iran has expressed its disdain for phrases such as "carrots and sticks," that the US has repeatedly used [...]
[T]his mistranslates to say that the US plans to deal with Iran as a donkey, either reward it with carrots or
beat it into submission. "This will backfire on us," ... stated Robin Wright, journalist, author and public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
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