↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is the Real Power in Iran ... Eastasia or Eurasia?

When a reformer occupies the office of the president -- as was the case during Mohammad Khatami's term, from 1997-2005 -- then one hears quite a bit about how the Iranian presidency is a toothless office that doesn't direct foreign or military policy. In that period, it was commonly argued that his moderate approach to governance was inconsequential because of the power of Ali Khamenei, the ominously-titled "Supreme Leader." But when a buffoonish hardliner like Ahmadinejad is in office all of that is forgotten, and he, happily playing the role of The Next Hitlerâ„¢ for many in the West -- easily caricatured as a crazed Holocaust-denier with nuclear ambitions -- has been a convenient foil for his neoconservative counterparts in Israel and the United States.

PS: For a better understanding of Iran's political and social divisions, let me once again recommend Hooman Majd's excellent book, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran. We ran an excerpt from it a while back, which you can read here.


Post a Comment

<< Home