Iran: Zamani Freed, Sanctions Talk
Following an online petition circulated in early November, GroundReport.com has published a statement from Majid Zamani’s family that announced the Iranian activist has been released from prison after the petition received thousands of signatures from academics and friends. Additionally, Iran has released the five Britons detained after straying into Iranian waters.
Illustrating the growing internal political divide, The NY Times reports that both President Ahmadinejad and former-President Rafsanjani failed to attend a meeting in Parliament aimed at creating political “unity.” A source close to Rafsanjani explained that “Mr. Rafsanjani refused to go because this was not a meeting for unity” because “the opposition leaders should have been invited if this was really going to be a meeting for unity.” On the opposition website www.mowjcamp.com, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has decried the Basiji crackdown against protesters as being “against religion and “in the path of Satan.” In addition, the NY Times reports on the growing societal tension over Ahmadinejad’s proposal to phase out subsidies in the face of the opposition intention to use Iranian economic failure as a new rallying cry. Ahmadinejad, has presented the measure as a matter of economic justice to helping poorer Iranians.
The Boston Globe has an editorial arguing strongly against over-reacting to Iran’s posturing and against sanctions. They write “The worst elements in Iran want nothing better than to provoke a new confrontation with the Great Satan. To give them what they want…would make it harder than ever to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran.”
On the international stage, Karim Sadjadpour argues that Iran’s decision to build new nuclear enrichment facilities is a bluff. He believes the moderates have all been pushed out of the Iranian government, sothe regime’s default response to negotiations is defiance. He also calls on the U.S. to prevent an Israeli strike and allow domestic pressures to erode the regime. He also notes that Dubai’s economic crisis will not likely allow Abu Dhabi to limit Dubai’s close relationship with Iran.
On another note, niacINsight reports that the Iranian Protesters are leading online polling to be the next Time Person of the Year.