Iran’s political crisis could prevent the nation from making any swift move to ratchet up its nuclear program, said analysts and officials, giving President Obama and Western allies more time to grapple with the issue.
The chaos over the disputed reelection of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brings into question who calls the shots in Tehran, and what any deal with the Islamic Republic involving its nuclear program would look like.
The Obama administration, concerned that Tehran is seeking to amass the materials needed to manufacture nuclear weapons, set an informal deadline of September for Iran to respond positively to an offer to discuss the matter rather than risk new economic sanctions. [continued…]
Iran’s president called Friday for the prosecution of opposition leaders over the postelection turmoil, saying that senior activists currently on trial shouldn’t be the only ones punished.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call stepped up the pressure against reformers in the continuing unrest that has gripped the country following the June 12 presidential election.
“Serious confrontation has to be against the leaders and key elements, against those who organized and provoked [the riots] and carried out the enemy’s plan. They have to be dealt with seriously,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in Tehran before Friday prayers. [continued…]