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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Iran fears rapprochement with the US?

Here's an interesting perspective from one of the blogs in London's Daily Telegraph:
Iran's rulers fear rapprochement with the United States far more than conflict, since they derive part of their legitimacy from their rampant anti-Americanism. Washington's unconditional offer of talks therefore undermines efforts to maintain domestic consensus. If the prospect of Israeli bombers flying towards nuclear targets inside Iran might alleviate internal pressure on Tehran's embattled leadership, far worse for the future of the regime would be the sound of Air Force One starting its descent into Imam Khomeini International airport.
Maybe. Unlike most of the Arab world, Iran had contested elections until this past election (which was contested but which had fraudulent results published). In fact, you may even recall that in the days leading up to June's election, the political debate in Iran was quite open.

Israeli jets heading toward Iran might unify the country - it's no secret that the Iranian opposition is also in favor of Iran's nuclear program, and is probably also interested in attacking Israel. But it's less clear that Obama's fawning efforts at rapprochement are endangering the regime.

In any event, from Israel's perspective, when the time comes to take action against Iran's nuclear weapons program, whether that action unifies Ahmadinejad and his opponents is irrelevant. We cannot be left facing a nuclear-armed Iran with Moussavi in charge either.


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