Saturday, November 24, 2007

Iran: Accusers, Supporters, and Leaders

U.S. officials have accused Iran of many things: Developing nuclear weapons. Sponsoring terrorism. Killing Americans in Iraq. Planning Israel's destruction.

Does the U.S. have evidence?

In the buildup to the Iraq war, the Bush administration made allegations against Saddam Hussein. Polls showed that Americans believed these allegations, which were later shown to be wrong.

The United States and Iran have been enemies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a time of mullahs returning from exile, demonstrating students, and American hostages.

For almost two decades, Iran pursued a secret nuclear program.

Iran claims its program is for civilian power generation only. The U.S. says it is for a bomb.

Many other countries agree that Iran's actions to date, such as its enrichment of uranium and its continued secrecy suggest it has seeks to develop nuclear weapons. Other nations, including Russia and China, urge Iran to be more open, and call for compromises on all sides.

A new national intelligence estimate, originally due last spring, was delayed by the need to evaluate new information, the U.S. national intelligence director, Mike McConnell, said recently. But most analysts say that new information is mostly just Iran's political developments and recent U.N. findings on enrichment, already public.

Very little is known about Iran would do with a bomb, if it had one.

Most countries develop nuclear weapons as a way to gain regional power and influence, as was the case with India and Pakistan.

The real power in Iran is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's top religious and political authority whose views remain shrouded in mystery. He has backed Ahmadinejad and is deeply conservative.

There are numerous signs Iranians dislike their current government. Iran's young, well‑educated population objects to many aspects of the current authoritarian regime. The country has an inefficient economy, exacerbated by Ahmadinejad's blunders.

Khamenei lacks the stern, spellbinding charisma that bound the first revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, so strongly to his people.

1 comment:

The Pakistani Spectator said...

We have compared the Putin with Pakitani President Musharraf at the following address:

Would you please comment for the benefit of the Pakistani readers there?