Friday, January 25, 2008
Remember how removing the threat of an American military strike was supposed to allow the political faultlines in Tehran to resurface, enabling Iranian moderates to push back against Ahmadinejad's brand of radicalism? Not happening. In fact, according to the LA Times, so many of the reform candidates for Iran's parliamentary elections have been barred from running that they're threatening to boycott the elections entirely should Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei reject their appeal.
On the other hand, a more credible threat is being mounted from Ahmadinejad's right by former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. As negotiator, Larijani was able to balance an appearance of flexibility with a refusal to compromise. So he represents more of a change in tone than policy from Ahmadinejad.
In any event, I'm increasingly of the opinion that, in the final analysis, the actual consequences of the Iran NIE will bear no resemblance to what people predicted at the time of its release.