“Nuclear file central to struggle for power, legitimacy among Iran’s leaders”

“Nuclear file central to struggle for power, legitimacy among Iran’s leaders”
December 14-17, 2009
     Iran continues to announce counterproposals for a nuclear fuel swap amid growing domestic tensions between regime loyalists and opposition supporters. Shahram Chubin outlines the importance of the nuclear issue and foreign policy in defining and legitimizing the revolutionary government but argues that Western analysts have overlooked the influence of “moderate Iranian nationalists” hoping to normalize ties with the West. Chubin writes that the June elections, in which opposition candidates called for a more flexible posture on the nuclear issue, raised criticism of the hard-line approach. The regime, Chubin argues, now hopes that international talks will divert attention from its repression of domestic opposition without requiring any substantive concessions on the nuclear issue, thereby legitimizing its hard-line policies (Washington Quarterly).
     Ray Takeyh writes that while President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had hoped that diplomatic success on the nuclear file would raise his domestic standing, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei withdrew his consent after officials opposed the October uranium export deal. According to Takeyh, Khamenei’s decision was spurred not by “peripheral figures” such as Ali Larijani and Hashemi Rafsanjani (two influential conservative opponents of Ahmadinejad) but by a new national security committee including senior military and intelligence officials. Takeyh believes the rise of militant forces into senior positions will make a diplomatic solution less likely (Boston Globe).
Washington Quarterly | Boston Globe

Related posts
“Nuclear debate in Iran could mean progress despite West’s growing impatience”
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“Iran counterproposal may validate Western skepticism of negotiations”

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