Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nice assertions. Any evidence?

Thomas Erdbrink, writing in the Washington Post probably has some sources for his claims that there's pressure on the hard-liners in Iran, but it's really difficult for readers to see how he builds his argument.

He quotes Rafsanjani, but doesn't tell us the context of the statement. Erdbrink says others have joined Rafsanjani's criticisms, but offers no context.

Then again, an ambitious copy editor might have been working to fit the report into a defined news hole.

Watch for further developments.

In Iran, a new challenge to hard-liners
A rapid succession of challenges directed at Iran in recent days has reignited a debate in Tehran over how to deal with the rest of the world.

Iran’s rulers, led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, continue to refuse any negotiations in which they would have to compromise. But an influential faction is now pushing for back-channel talks with the United States as a step toward lowering the tensions raised by U.S. allegations about an Iranian assassination plot…

Among the former politicians and activists who have spoken out on the subject in recent days is former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who called Monday for more “tact and management” in Iran’s handling of controversial international issues…

In his new effort, Rafsanjani has been joined by several other former powerful politicians and influential analysts, who in recent days have called on Khamenei to take a more hands-on role that could include secret talks with the United States or a charm offensive aimed at Saudi Arabia…

Iran’s foreign policy has always been a stage for competing leaders to fight out their domestic rivalries. While the events of 2009 left the country with fewer players, there are plenty of foreign policy disagreements within the shrinking group of leaders that remains…

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