Though almost a week has passed since President Obama unveiled the framework understanding with Iran, the casual observer may be confused as to its value. And little wonder. The president has said it could be a game-changer – a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see whether or not we can at least take the nuclear issue off the table”. But the stated parameters of this framework are already fraying at the edges. So where do we stand?
On the face of it, this is a good deal, a very good deal indeed. Supporters on either side have understandably spared no time in heralding it as a “historic breakthrough” achieved against the backdrop of negotiations that appeared agonisingly close to failure.… Seguir leyendo »
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed a victory that many find difficult to believe: 64% of the vote on a turnout of 84% in Iran’s election. The provincial breakdown of the results – obtained by the University of St Andrews and Chatham House from Iran’s ministry of interior – show some statistics that are even more surprising.
The surprises include voter turnouts of up to 100%, and the apparent defection of huge numbers of former reformist voters who suddenly changed their minds and voted conservative. Turnout may have been high across the board, but the just over 100% recorded in the conservative strongholds of Yazd and Mazandaran is particularly striking.… Seguir leyendo »
Reports over the weekend that as many as 110 Iranian reformist politicians had been arrested late at night have given further credence to suggestions that more is afoot than simple election manipulation, and that the “landslide” election victory of the country’s incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a means to a broader end.
Indeed, a question from a hardline journalist at yesterday’s press conference provided further evidence of a deeper agenda being pursued by Ahmadinejad with the apparent full support of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. The question addressed the letter sent last week by the hitherto powerful chairman of the Expediency Council, the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in which he had protested against the lies and slander hurled against him and his family by Ahmadinejad.… Seguir leyendo »