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View Diary: Khatami is In--This is a Clear Signal (309 comments)

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  •  Can you elaborate... (0+ / 0-)

    brief synopsis at least. Thanks.

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

    by FrankCornish on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 09:21:57 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  My take (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk, mrchumchum, FrankCornish

      It's hard to write a summary of this report because the report is in someways contradictory and I, myself, being an Iranian-American have my own biases based on what I hear from my relatives back home and also reading many articles in Persian.

      Here is an excerpt from the report:

      The leader,
      ‘Ali Khamane‘i, in advance of the next presidential elections (now scheduled for June
      2009), has tried to pre-empt the outcome by telling the current incumbent, Mahmud
      Ahmadinejad, to prepare for another term in office. The June 2009 voting will mark the
      tenth presidential election since 1980, suggesting a degree of institutionalization. But in
      fact it seems that the pre-determining of the outcome of such elections remains an abiding issue. This is not to suggest
      that sometimes presidential outcomes do appear to be the result of an open electoral process, but this is the exception
      (for example, the presidential elections of 1997 and 2001).

      ( I think it's on Page 23, Mr. Akhavi's analysis)

      In my humble opinion, Ahmadinejad will be re-elected simply because the IRI does not trust Obama because first, he chose Dennis Ross and second, because of growing internal dissent due to economic meltdown. IRI needs an external threat to justify its incompetence in managing the economy. Normalization of relationship with the US is costlier to the regime at this time. Khatami is just another method of realsing some of the internal pressure out, not a meaningful signal to the US. (see http://www.iran-emrooz.net/...

      In Iran's view, nuclear parity with Israel is a must. There is no reason why Iran should settle for anything less. A right-wing government in power in Tel Aviv is no less a threat to Iran than a mullah-led government in Tehran is to Israel. We all know that to be true no matter how much we pretend otherwise.

      Dennis Ross and Rham Emmanual are unfortunately, viewed as a pro-Israel advocate. Dennis Ross will not even be taken seriously by the hardliner leadership in power.  In fact, appointing him to this effort has been perceived as a slap in the face to the IRI's hopes of normalization of realationship between the two countries. Notice  the timing: Iranain protester burn Obama's picture:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/...

      Any efforts he makes will be doomed from the start. IRI's leadership truly believe that if Israel is "allowed" to have those weapons, Iran, likewise, has every right to have them. They don't understand and find it hard to understand why Iran should be discriminated against.
      Iran has a long memory and may engage on the surface but will be able to circumvent any approaches by a mediator who is impartial.

      A nuclear parity with Israel is a must. In the ayatollahs view and increasingly the militant hardliner, IRGC,  There is no reason why Iran should settle for anything less. A right-wing government in power in Tel Aviv is no less a threat to Iran than an increasingly IRGC-led government (see page 109 of the report by Kazem Alamdaari) in Tehran is to Israel. We all know that to be true no matter how much we pretend otherwise.

      •  I still remain more optimistic... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mithra, elwior, mrchumchum

        I see many powerful forces that want to move back to more stability in the region. I think Europe already sees the reality of Iran's position. Afghanistan combined with the desired US withdrawal from Iraq makes cooperation with Iran more, not less, necessary.

        I will look for the report nonetheless. Thanks.

        You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

        by FrankCornish on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:21:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Provincialism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrankCornish

          Swiss diplomat Philippe Welti spent more than four years as his nation's chief envoy to Iran -- and Washington's. He discusses the benefits and limitations of diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.
          I fully agree with his assessment. go Read the full story

          Excerpts:  

          Bleak Perception...Black-and-white footage of angry demonstrators and clerics clouded Welti's imagination. He foresaw life as a diplomat in Tehran as an endless cycle of working and sleeping, occasionally heading abroad for decent food and entertainment. "I had a bad picture," he recalled. "Gray on gray."

          His very first morning was a shock. The weather was fantastic. The sunshine gleamed. And he was received just as warmly by Iranian officials, and was stunned by their respectfulness and delicate manners.

          In the following months, he visited ancient sites in Isfahan, Shiraz and Yazd, glimpsing the depths of a Persian civilization that Iranians so proudly celebrate. In southern Iran he saw wild camels roaming the desert as well as a highly sophisticated bioresearch center led by a female scientist.

          "Everything was colorful -- the society, the women's outfits, the beauty of the young women and men," he recalled. "There was a decency among the people."

          Then there were the parties, rollicking all-night affairs filled with music, dance and booze. "It was incredible," he said. "We're in Tehran here!"

          Evolving perception

          But his initial euphoria gave way to a more negative view of the nation as he gained a more thorough understanding of Iran's political and social system. In getting to know ranking officials, he came to believe that the Islamic Republic was "not at the level of its aspirations or claims."

          He saw mendacious officials manipulate public opinion and was disappointed by the cynicism of some top officials, who rationalized away concerns about human rights and freedom of expression by labeling them "Western" concepts.

          He was struck by the provincialism of the officials, many of them recent arrivals to the capital from rural backwaters, he said. "I got the impression that there are officials who do not know the world well."

          He found himself frustrated with both the stubbornness of Iran's conservative camp and the weakness of its reformists. After a couple of years in Tehran and watching the transition from Khatami to Ahmadinejad, he concluded that it would be tough to change Iran's foreign policies.

          "As long as there is a gap between fundamentalist positions and international standards of intergovernmental exchange and relations, it will be difficult for Iran to engage fully with the world," he said.

          Another Must read:

          "The Power Structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran: transition from populism to clientelism, and militarization of the government" published in Third World Quarterly. Full text

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