"The most important vote in Iran’s presidential election is that of Ayatollah Khamenei" --- And the Supreme Leader and his office, weighing all the political possibilities and pitfalls, do not cast that vote until late in the jousting for the Presidency and the ballot in June. As analyst Essikhan Sadeghi Boroujerdi summarises, echoing one of our top EA correspondents, "Everything on presidential election is pretty much speculation, rumour, and hearsay till March."
Entries in Karim Sadjadpour (9)
This week there has been a sudden bandwagon of comment that the Supreme Leader is the only man in town when it comes to Iranian politics.
So that's it, then? Not just the elections but all the political conflict of the last three years has been a show, with Ayatollah Khamenei sitting comfortably in power the entire time?
A discussion, including David Albright and Karim Sadjadpour, on a Sunday talk show about the IAEA report and Iran's nuclear programme
A classic case study in how information/propaganda --- choose the word according to your perspective --- circulates between Western governments, supportive media, and "think tanks"....
If the burden on Iran, in the eyes of the IAEA, has been to show the level of co-operation to meet questions and assuage doubts, then the burden on the IAEA --- given that "proof", of either the absence or presence of a militarised nuclear programme, is likely to be beyond reach --- was to at least sweep away some of the cynicism over its effort by establishing a clear record of its enquiry.
The Agency may have cleared the low bar set by The New York Times, for whom any assertion was going to constitute "meticulous sourcing", but it has not gone much higher.
Herman, if you must compare foreign policy to pizza-making...keep reading
Israel and Palestine: Half and Half Pizza
It was supposed to be half and half, but someone mixed all the toppings up! Don’t try to separate them or you’ll burn your hands in the cheese. Let the toppings magically figure out how to migrate to their own side of the pizza before you get involved.
See also Iran Video: President Ahmadinejad's Address to the United Nations br>
Iran Special Analysis: US Hikers Released --- Everyone, including Ahmadinejad, is a Winner (for Now) br>
Iran Interview: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Runs Circles Around ABC News' Stephanopoulos br>
The Latest from Iran (21 September): The In-Fighting Over the US Hikers
2135 GMT: The UN Speech. An EA correspondent notes that, in his attention to the centuries-long perfidy of the West, President Ahmadinejad failed to mention the current issue of Palestine and its quest for statehood. Any significance?
What is definitely significant is the marker set down by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's National Security Council, over Ahmadinejad's signals that he would like a resumption of talks with the US: Boroujerdi that is not within the Government's power to decide Tehran's relationship with America.
1945 GMT: Analysis of the Day. Interesting that Press TV opened its de-brief of the Ahmadinejad speech not with praise for the address but by asking about the walkout by many delegates. And Dr Seyed Mohammad Marandi ran with the theme:
I think it shows the intolerance that is dominant in the United States and in Europe...at least at the official level. They are unwilling to even listen to a person who has an alternative viewpoint, yet ironically the United States allows the Mujahedin-e-Khalq [MKO], the terrorist organisation, to rally outside the United Nations at the time of President Ahmadinejad's speech.
There is evidence that your chief adviser, [Esfandiar] Rahim Mashai, helped secure loans for the leading suspect in a $2.6 billion bank fraud case, the largest embezzlement scandal in Iranian history. You came to office vowing to “cut off the hands” of the corrupt; how will you deal with Mashai?
Your opponents in 2009, Mir Hossein Mousavi, 69, and Mehdi Karroubi, 73, have been held incommunicado for nearly a year. On what basis are they confined? If they have no influence, as you have said, why are they under house arrest?
Khamenei's inflexibility has so far served him well. His unwillingness to bend, however, has made it more likely that the Islamic Republic itself will have to break. As a young advisor to opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi recently told me, "We don't want a revolution; we've seen how it turns the country upside down. But they're giving us no other choice."
Machiavelli died in 1527, distrusted by all sides and disliked by the people he aimed to serve. It would be poetic justice if one of his most practiced disciples suffered the same fate.
A discussion on 25 March at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace between political philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo and Italian diplomat Roberto Toscano, moderated by Carnegie's Karim Sadjadpour. Carnegie's summary of the discussion follows the video:
Non-Violence as a Strategic Imperative
Despite the Iranian regime’s willingness to crack down on protestors with brutal force, Jahanbegloo and Toscano argued that non-violence is the best strategic option for the opposition.