As Iran prepares for a major commemorative rally on Wednesday, the leaders of the opposition movement called over the weekend for a renewed challenge to the government, setting the stage for a possible showdown between protesters and the police.
Although the opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mohammad Khatami, did not openly call for street protests, their remarks were widely seen as a call to arms on a day of considerable symbolic importance.
The occasion is the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran by hard-line students on Nov. 4, 1979. The day is marked every year with anti-American rallies. [continued…]
Did Michael Goldfarb, a former John McCain staffer and now an editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, defame Trita Parsi, the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, by suggesting that Parsi is working for the Iranian government?
Last week, Goldfarb described Parsi as “the Iranian regime’s man in Washington.” Goldfarb didn’t present any evidence to support this. He stated it as fact and moved on. When I emailed Goldfarb asking if he meant to say literally that Parsi is working for the Iranian government, he doubled down, replying, “If it walks like an ayatollah and quacks like an ayatollah…. Maybe you should do your due dilligence [sic] on Trita Parsi.” [continued…]
In an op-ed that reveals far more about him than about Iran’s Green Movement, Jackson Diehl expresses disappointment that Iran’s dissidents apparently aren’t all Western-style democrats. Diehl kicks things off with a bit of the dusty old Orientalism:
The enduring nature of Iran is to frustrate outsiders who work by the usual rules of political logic or who seek unambiguous commitments. The West relearned that truth last week as the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dragged a straightforward plan to swap its enriched uranium for fuel rods into a swamp of double talk and counterproposals.
Those crafty Iranians — they’re so crafty! Unlike we Westerners, who always do things that make perfect rational sense. In point of fact, the P5+1’s uranium swap plan was itself a response to Iran’s original idea “to refuel the Tehran research reactor through purchasing fuel assemblies from international providers, including the United States.” Iran has apparently refused the uranium swap plan, and that’s bad news, but it shouldn’t be too much to expect the Deputy Editorial Page Editor of The Washington Post to be able to analyze this without resorting to tired cultural stereotypes. [continued…]