Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The tea-leaves of an Iranian resignation

From the Economist here.
"... In the past two years, the European diplomats who have been negotiating with Mr Larijani over Iran’s nuclear plans feel he is flexible up to a point—and certainly worth trying to convince that the merits of a “grand bargain” ...
... the background of his replacement, Saeed Jalili, has alarmed the Europeans (Britain, France and Germany) who have been mandated by the West to negotiate with Iran. A former head of the department for America and Europe in the foreign ministry, he is a close friend and ideological ally of Mr Ahmadinejad...
The big question is the state of relations between the president and the Supreme Leader. Does their apparent disagreement, at least over the style of nuclear diplomacy, mean that Mr Khamenei is moving towards a more flexible negotiating position—and may perhaps be more amenable to reform in other spheres too? “Khamenei is the new Khatami”, muses Karim Sadjadpour, an analyst of Iran at the Carnegie Endowment ..."

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