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Ahmadinejad’s star waning?
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 25, 2007

As we've been noting, not all is well in Iran, internally. As I suggested previously, I'm hopeful we're in a position to exploit this unrest. In the meantime, another report that President Ahmadinejad may be losing influence has trickled out of Iran:
Internal pressure on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to abandon his confrontational policies with the West has intensified after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme spiritual leader, snubbed a request for a meeting on the country's controversial nuclear programme.

Iran's president meets regularly with Ayatollah Khamenei, who is regarded as the guardian of the Islamic Revolution, to brief him on international and domestic political issues. But when the president requested a meeting earlier this month, the ayatollah declined.

It is the first time that he has refused to meet Mr Ahmadinejad since the former Revolutionary Guard commander was elected president in 2005 and is a further indication of the growing unrest within Iran at his hard-line policies.

"It is a clear indication that the cracks are starting to appear in the highest echelons of the Iranian regime," said a senior Bush administration official with responsibility for monitoring Iran. "If the country's leading religious figure is not talking to the political leadership then obviously something is going seriously wrong."
The latest development reported has been the Iran/North Korea partnership in which there is speculation that NoKo has agreed to help them conduct an underground nuclear test.

Again, one can only hope that we're in a position to help the internal strife along and hopefully see Ahmadinejad internally deposed.
But the country's growing international isolation, together with a dramatic decline in the economy, has seen opposition to Mr Ahmadinejad harden. Last week 150 Iranian parliamentarians took the extraordinary step of signing a letter blaming him for the country's economic woes.
Sweet.

A lot more background info here.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
The arrogance of wanting to have us in a position to somehow get involved in Iranian politics is misplaced. Would we want foreign powers to get involved in our political system to exploit the immense unpopularity of President Bush? Yet it’s OK for us because some people seem to think that anything we do to others that we would not want done to us is OK. Yet this perversion of the golden rule is not only wrong on moral/ethical grounds, but it also backfires. Iranian reformers have asked us to stay out, noting that if our fingerprints are on anything going on in their country, it backfires against us.

Perhaps we should let the Iranians work it out themselves. The failure in Iraq should bring home to us the folly of thinking that we can shape other political outcomes. We are no longer feared and respected abroad, and trying to intervene in the sovereign affairs of other states is misplaced arrogance, and given our desire not to have others intervene in our affairs, it is a horrible double standard. But double standards are our speciality. We can have satellite destroying weapons, but it’s bad if China has them. We can have nukes, but it’s bad if others have them. We can engage in wars of aggression, but if others do they are dangerous...and on and on...

Luckily, I think reality is teaching us a lesson and our days of arrogance are waning. Ahmadinejad may be learning a similar lesson — his arrogance and bombast is backfiring on him too.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Would we want foreign powers to get involved in our political system to exploit the immense unpopularity of President Bush?
Erb, you make it sound like they’re NOT already involved.

And McQ:
In the meantime, another report that President Ahmadinejad may be losing influence has trickled out of Iran:
Yeah, well, If all these people complaining about him were moderates I’d be encouraged. As it is, a goodly number of the reports I’m seeing are suggestive that some of the problem they have with Ahmadinejad is that he’s not wacky ENOUGH.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Scott,

See Chavez, thank you.

Josh b
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Iranian reformers have asked us to stay out, noting that if our fingerprints are on anything going on in their country, it backfires against us.
That is misleading. Actually reformers are begging us for help, but as usual you erect a straw man to knockdown. What reformers do not want is military action. They would love financial, communications and technological help. They want moral support including isolating Hezbollah. They would love for trade unions and other private actors to strengthen ties and provide expertise and funding with corresponding reformist institutions. There are a lot of actions that many reformers would like us to take and increase the support we are giving now. We should exploit the unrest, and Dale and McQ have made it clear they are not talking about attacking Iran.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I don’t believe any of the "Ahmadinejad may be learning" meme.
This is all for Western media consumption, a "peace offensive."

Anyone with any real knowledge of Iranian day to day life will
tell you what Ahmadinejad is saying is reinforced over and over
again in the Iranian state controlled media, long before it
publicly emerges from the mouth of Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad is merely the medium, rarely the source.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
This is all for Western media consumption, a "peace offensive."
I tend to buy that argument.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Sure, and where will those 150 Parlimentarians be next week !?
 
Written By: d
URL: http://
Would we want foreign powers to get involved in our political system to exploit the immense unpopularity of President Bush?
No.

However, the answer to "Do we expect that foreign powers will get involved in our political system to exploit the immense unpopularity of President Bush?" is yes.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
But double standards are our speciality. We can have satellite destroying weapons, but it’s bad if China has them. We can have nukes, but it’s bad if others have them. We can engage in wars of aggression, but if others do they are dangerous...and on and on...
Yes because we all know that the U.S. operates on the same moral plane as Kim Jong-Il, the Chinese commies, etc. More of the same from the Department of Groupthink Studies.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
but if others do they are dangerous
Is it a double standard if you can drive your car but your ten year old can’t?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Is it a double standard if you can drive your car but your ten year old can’t?
It would depend YOUR 10 y.o. no, but if the 10 y.o. were Jimmy Carter.....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It would depend YOUR 10 y.o. no, but if the 10 y.o. were Jimmy Carter.....
Well, yeah, because Jimmy was destined to win a Nobel Prize and go down in history as a great President.
I’m talking about Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez or Kim Jong-Il here, either at 10 years old, or today.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Ya know, historically speaking, Jimmy Carter has negotiated (in a manner of speaking) with all three of these guys at one time or another.

Brilliant success too, every time.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Brilliant success.....they seem appropriately pacified and positively fuzzy and warm now. Go Carter, lol. At least we know the elections in Venezuela are not fradulent, i sleep much better now, thanks mr carter. Oh and now that NoKo has stopped his nuclear pro...awwwwww darnit.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Last week 150 Iranian parliamentarians took the extraordinary step of signing a letter blaming him for the country’s economic woes.
This is a fine example of political butt coverage.

Iranian economic troubles are partly due to the fact that the government has not invested in oil production infrastructure. Their nationalised oil industry has not got sufficient refining capacity to produce gasoline for their internal market. They have to sell oil to foreigners, then buy back refined gasoline to sell to their own population at highly subsidised prices and as the oil price has gone up this becomes more expensive. Also the whole exploitation infrastructure is maxxed out and prone to failure, so that Iran cannot take full advantage of todays high oil price. Nevertheless at the moment the Iranian government is undertaking high spending on the back of the increase in oil price.

Now generally speaking it is the legislative branch that is responsible for economic management of a country. Irans legislature is a consultative assembly, a 290 strong body. The running down of the infrastructure and continuation of subsidies and high rates of spending are all passed through this legislature.

Now the majority (51.5%) of this legislature, that has increased spending, sustained subsidy & underinvested in infrastructure, blames the President for economic troubles. Classic.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
I’m expecting similar results in Venezuela - only Hugo won’t have to take the blame as long as there’s a U.S. to point a finger at.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Now the majority (51.5%) of this legislature, that has increased spending, sustained subsidy & underinvested in infrastructure, blames the President for economic troubles. Classic.

Who says Iran isn’t ready for Western Democracy!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
From what I understand Rice and the Start Department have passed on opportunities to help foster that internal pressure. Like passing on a Radio Free Iran like program and such.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://

 
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