Monday, January 04, 2010
Quite a few links to share today.
First of all, the tricky issue of sanctions. The National Iranian-American Council seems to be very pleased with the idea of very targeted sanctions that work only against the government of Iran and the Revolutionary Guard, and not the citizens of Iran. The most important issue is summed up nicely in this one sentence by an administration official:
We have to be deft at this, because it matters how the Iranian people interpret their isolation -- whether they fault the regime or are fooled into thinking we are to blame.It is a much better idea than the brainless and blunt sanctions Congress has been pushing for.
On a related note, the Iranian government has denied a visa to John Kerry's rumoured visit to Tehran. Note that nobody on Kerry's side either had ever confirmed the idea of visiting Tehran so it was nothing more than a rumour from the start, but it's still nice to see the idea of a visa quashed so early on as it's another sign of their hardheadedness and unwillingness to compromise on even the smallest of proposals.
The French foreign minister says that high-ranking clerics are undermining the government in Iran. The exact quote was "Nous voyons tous qu'il est menacé par des gens très déterminés, certains très religieux, par la hiérarchie chiite elle-même" and can be read en français here.
New York Times today on Iranian filmmakers and their continued focus on the current situation. The Iranian filmmaker most often mentioned when politics is brought up is Mohsen Mahkmalbaf, who works quite closely with Mohsen Sazegara and sometimes makes joint appearances like this one last month: