MORE ON IRAN: Dariush Zahedi and Omid Memarian, from openDemocracy, report that US-Iran relations are definitely going to sour further as this new year goes forward, thanks to the response of the reactionary fanatics at the helm in Tehran to the December municipal elections — and the coming “confrontation” with the United States, where (not by Zahedi and Memarian’s mention) the response of the reactionary fanatics at the helm in Washington to the November elections has continued to unfold.*
Zahedi and Memarian do point out the “ideological zealotry” of the Ahmadinejad clique that is threatening Iran, including whatever democratic prospects exist within the society; those aspirations look sort of hopeful now, but that could change. Nonetheless, any zealotry that aggresses toward peace and affronts historical memory must be condemned without equivocation. Extremism within and without Iran may cripple the hope of a democratic future, but not unless Iranians and Americans of good faith do a damn good thing or two about it.
*No hesitation will be drawn here to point out the critical parallels between the leaders that are bringing their respective countries ever closer to war. Much like Bush, Ahmadinejad has distracted Iranians from disastrous economic policies with bellicosity and aggression, thinly masked with diplomatic pretense. There is of course a major difference here; we have a much larger economy to ruin and we bear the guilt and shame of foreign aggression and invasion, which does not really apply to Iran. Their government sponsors terror groups for their strategic purposes; so does ours (Hezb’ullah and the Mujahideen-e Khalq, respectively, for one example).