Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Iran's objectives, and internal political struggle

Here is an interview for CNN with Fareed Zakaria, author and foreign affairs analyst. It starts off about the hikers/hostages, but then Zakaria has some interesting things to say about Iran's internal politics:

Zakaria: No one thinks hikers are spies

CNN: It's been reported that Ahmadinejad said the U.S. must abandon support for Israel to move ahead on better relations with Iran.

Zakaria: This has been a consistent theme of Ahmadinejad's. We read it too much as an expression of some kind of ideology. What it really is is Ahmadinejad's effort to appropriate, to take over the core central issue of the Arab world -- the Palestinian issue -- and make it his own. Iran is trying to become the dominant power of the Middle East.

It makes it very difficult for Arab countries to be critical of Iran because, on the Arab street, Ahmadinejad is seen as the great upholder of the Palestinian cause. He is trying to keep the Arabs on the defensive by constantly reminding people that he is the great opponent of Israel in the region. It's a very clever political calculation.

CNN: How can the Obama administration negotiate with Iran when it seems their stance on the nuclear issue is constantly shifting?


It's worth reading the whole thing, it's not very long.

For updates on current events in Iran, see the blog of Iranian ex-pat Azarmehr:

For a democratic secular Iran. For peace and prosperity in the Middle East.

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