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23 Jun 2009 19:566 Comments

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Voices from Iran [open Democracy] If my experience is any guide, Iranians outside Iran are living some of the most intense days of their lives. Since the first, disputed results of the presidential election were announced soon after the polls closed on 12 June 2009 and the protests almost immediately started, my waking hours are absorbed- hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute - in gathering computer-delivered news about what is happening in my homeland. read

Why Iran's Ahmadinejad is preferred in Israel [CSMonitor] But even though Mr. Ahmadinejad has threatened the Jewish state with destruction, many officials and analysts here actually prefer the incumbent president because - short of the downfall of Iran's theocratic system of government - he'll be easier to isolate. read

The Devil Is in the Digits [WaPo] Since the declaration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's landslide victory in Iran's presidential election, accusations of fraud have swelled. Against expectations from pollsters and pundits alike, Ahmadinejad did surprisingly well in urban areas, including Tehran -- where he is thought to be highly unpopular -- and even Tabriz, the capital city of opposition candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi's native East Azarbaijan province. read

Iran's dash for foreign scapegoats [The Guardian] Unsourced reports are circulating, meanwhile, that British banks have frozen $1.6bn in funds belonging to Mojtaba Khamenei, son of the supreme leader. This supposed affront is cited as another reason for displeasure with Britain in high places. read

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6 Comments

Those who believe in negotiations want a better president. Those who do not will want the clown Ahmadinejad. Some think some in US want him because he could be your Nixon to our China/Soviet Union. That is, if he negotiated with his, no one will think he is 'soft' on the West.


Obama and many Americans know of the great Persian civilization. We know we can negotiate. But Obama is afraid he will get stuck with Ahmad so cannot say much. Netanyahu probably does not believe in negotiation as much.

Lexcordis / June 23, 2009 1:49 PM

For Barack Obama to still consider or state that he will sit down with this human excrement and camel turd of a Dictator in Iran given what he

is doing to Iranian citizens who wish to express their God given rights of free speech and assembly is a disgrace before Almighty God.

If he does that..we..Americans should be in the streets!

NewOrleansPuma / June 24, 2009 10:48 AM

I think Obama has been careful in his rhetoric because he doesn't want to strengthen the base of support for the hardliners by deliberately siding with aim of the protests. In a way, he is confounding the hardliners because the more he doesn't do anything, the more ridiculous it sounds when the hardliners claim the United States is involved in the protests and just helps the protesters continue the same message of more freedom and real democracy without looking like traitors.


Also, keep in mind that most of the clerics in power would support more freedom and reforms but the pragmatic conservatives in particular would not support them if that meant appearing to strengthen any rationale from the West for regime change. So in other words, Obama can not say he supports regime change because that would push the pragmatic conservatives into siding with the hardliners and allowing Khamenei to strengthen the police state.


Right now I'd say there is a delicate balance between good cop, bad cop going on between European countries and the United States. The hope is that the alliance between the pragmatic conservatives and the reformists win so that there can be the possibility of a detente between the West and Iran. This is also a good thing because it also means democratic Iraq will be able to more openly assist Iran into moving toward freedom and democracy and religious quietism.

reality based / June 25, 2009 1:22 PM

The one thing President Obama can do right now...that would give the people of Iran hope is to state he will not recognise "Ahmadinejad" as President, followed by every other Western Leader. People are still being ferociously beaten in the streets, at least those brave enough to go on protesting. I plead with Obama, be strong for their sakes, not from our fears. Because that would send the message to all other Dictator's they've the green light to carry on their individual savagery without fear!

PS. Michael Jackson the famous pop singer...has just died (RIP)...so that story may bury the news of Iran in the West for some time, I'm praying it won't!

Jaker / June 25, 2009 6:44 PM

The problem is that Russian President Medvedev already recognized Ahmadinejad. Obama is to meet with the Russian President July 6-8.

reality based / June 26, 2009 12:33 PM

"reality based" has a point about not publicly supporting any candidate or party in Iran, because the corrupt government can use that against those pushing for reform.

It would also be problematic to openly declare that Ahmadinejad stole or rigged the election, but hinting about it may be possible, if deftly done.

What he can get away with is decrying the beatings, the detentions (especially of certain clearly ludicrous cases), the denial of freedoms (press, assembly and speech) and of open use of electronic communication. These argue that Iran is a police state, clumsily crushing dissent with thugs.

Roger / July 13, 2009 4:31 PM