Foreign Policy and Iran

by cactus

Via Steve Benen and The Reality-Based Community, an interview in >Foreign Policy with Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mousavi’s spokesman outside Iran:

FP: There has been growing criticism here in Washington that U.S. President Barack Obama hasn’t said or done enough to support those demonstrating in the streets of Iran. Do you think Obama is being too careful? Or even that he is helping Ahmadinejad by being cautious?
MM: Obama has said that there is no difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Does he like it himself [when someone is] saying that there is no difference between Obama and [George W.] Bush? Ahmadinejad is the Bush of Iran. And Mousavi is the Obama of Iran.

I did a bit of traveling – mostly in South America – over the past few decades. GW’s presidency certainly didn’t create any warm and fuzzies for the US anywhere I went. And apparently the same was true in many places I didn’t go either.

But despite that, there is a lot of truth to the quote from FP magazine… Mousavi would probably seem more similar, from our perspective, to Ahmadinejad than we want to pretend he is. And Obama, so far, when it comes to the “bail-out” has been more similar to Bush than most Americans (be they the fighting 25% or the rest of us) would like to admit.
by cactus

Rdan here with an update for a rally set for Saturday as reported by PressTV, an Iranian based news organization in English:

top Reformist body, made up of influential clerics, has asked for authorization to hold a pro-Mousavi rally on Saturday in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

The Association of Combatant Clerics (Majma’-e Rowhaniyun-e Mobarez) made the request via a letter to Tehran’s governor’s office, Kalameh website reported on Thursday.

The rally is scheduled to be held on Saturday from 4 to 7 pm (1230 to 1530 GMT) from Enqelab (Revolution) Square to Azadi (Freedom) Square in protest at the results of the country’s 10th presidential elections.

Response as quoted in PressTV:

No permission has been granted to Iranian Reformist groups to hold a Saturday rally in protest at the presidential election results, says Tehran’s governor general.

“I hope that this rally will not be held as no legal permission has been granted for this rally,” Morteza Tamadon said on Friday.