Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One interpretation

Journalist’s Release Shows Divide Among Iran’s Leaders
The release of an Iranian-American journalist imprisoned on charges of spying for the United States... illustrates the volatility of the Iranian government.

American officials said Iran’s handling of the Saberi case underlined a deepening divide within its leadership about how to respond to President Obama’s recent overtures. It also reflects domestic politics a month before Mr. Ahmadinejad faces a critical election, according to analysts.

“Those who are trying to engage the U.S. won out,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly...

[T]he political cost of keeping her in prison may have come to seem too high. The fact that the severity of the charges against her was changed, officials said, illustrated the internal tug-of-war over the case...

Some analysts warned the United States against drawing too much comfort from Iran’s decision...

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