08 September, 2006

A Pain in the Gas

In today's Washington Post op-editorialist David Ignatius reflects on his recent 10-day trip to Iran. He begins his article by posing two questions that are anything but rhetorical:
At the end of a 10-day visit here, I am struggling with a question: Is the Iranian revolution of 27 years ago following the normal arc of history and moving toward a rational and stable society? Or is this country still exploding with radical energy and a desire to export its revolution to other Muslim nations?
Ignatius doesn't claim to have definitive answers to these questions. He does, however, point to much that is suggestive of them, to attitudes of the Iranian people and of officials that might help outsiders predict rather than react to events. Keeping with the theme of the article's title, "Tehran's Two Worlds: Veering Between Conciliation and Confrontation", Ignatius identitifies competing power bases, conflicting interests, and ideological fault lines the likes of which the foes of Iran are sure to try and exploit.

One of the more intriguing quotes in the article concerns differences of opinion on the state and fate of the Iranian economy, particulary as it pertains to oil prices:

Read the rest here

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