Scholar says U.S. demonizes Iranian president09/25/07 Mitch E. Perry
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In the New York Times yesterday, a variety of Iranian officials and political experts said that in demonizing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the West has served him well.
The story reported that Ahmadinejadâ€™s status at home and in the Mideast has been elevated; at the same time, he is increasingly isolated politically in Iran because of his go-it-alone style and ineffective economic policies.
Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. He agrees with that analysis.
The Times and other publications have reported that Ahmadinejadâ€™s power stems not from his office necessarily, but from the refusal of his patron, Ayatollah Khamenei and some other hard liners, to transcend Iranâ€™s revolutionary identity, making full relations with the West impossible.
There is a battle within Iran between other hard line Mullahs who want to integrate Iran economically with the west. But they are not driving the agenda.
Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005.