Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ahmadinejad Feeling the Pressure?

Judging from the official Iranian media portrayal on their English website, Ahmadinejad is sounding a little shrill on the campaign trail. Is he beginning to get the feeling that the elite are starting to view him as a liability? He appeared very much on the defensive not only against his opponents but against the Rafsanjani family, whom he rather gratuitously insulted, against the wife of an opponent, and against a bureaucrat.

A fascinating race is underway. Anti-Iranian terrorism threatens to spoil the mood, but so far it seems not to have done so. The obvious attempts to do so in recent days deserve far more Western attention and condemnation than they have yet received. Terrorism by Jundallah not only threatens the mood of democratic competition in Iran but threatens the overall approach toward Iran of the Obama Administration. Whether Washington is currently complicit or not, anti-Iranian terrorism offers a perfect opportunity for any hardline Iranian politician to exploit. Let's hope that, in this regard, Obama's hands are clean.

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