M. K. Bhadrakumar writing in the Asia Times last week seemed to have an entirely foreign take on the Iranian crisis. It’s unclear to me if he has a different perspective or if he is just plain wrong. Supporting the idea that he is just wrong is the predictive statement he made about the protests dying out, as he wrote last Thursday – the 18th:
The signs are that the color revolution struggling to be born on the streets of Tehran has had a miscarriage.
He also seems to vaguely suggest that the Iranian Green Revolution is foreign-sponsored – but in a vague way that may just be the result of a poor translation.
Bhadrakumar states that:
Rafsanjani is undoubtedly the West’s favorite poster boy…
I’m not sure where he gets that. Or even what he means by it. But I am pretty certain this isn’t true.
Bhadrakumar also speaks of a Mousavi-Rafsanjani animus which I wasn’t aware of – as most news reports have only mentioned on the Khamenei-Mousavi rivalry – and how Rafsanjani’s timely intervention actually led to Khamenei becoming Supreme Leader.
Finally, he praises the one statement by Obama on the matter that I have seen condemned virtually everywhere:
But Obama is treading softly. He said late on Tuesday there appeared to be no policy differences between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. “The difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we are going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States.”
That’s a cleverly drafted formulation. Prima facie, Obama pleases the regime in Tehran insofar as he appears “stand-offish” as to what ensues through the coming days by way of the street protests or out of the deliberations of Iran’s Guardians Council. Fair enough. But, on the other hand, Obama also is smartly neutralizing any allegation that the Rafsanjani-Khatami-Mousavi phenomenon is in any way to be branded by the Iranian regime as “pro-US”. Obama’s remark helps the Iranian opposition to maintain that its motivations are purely driven by Iran’s national interests.