Day: January 3, 2011
President Ahmedinejad may have fired a lot of advisors, but someone is working overtime in Tehran. Today there is news of Iran’s invitation to Russia, China, the European Union and others in the Arab and developing world to tour its nuclear sites, before the late January meeting with the P5+1 in Turkey.
There is no real, substantive significance in a visit by non-technicians to a nuclear facility. Even a well-trained and equipped physicist can be led around by the nose and shown geegaws of all sorts that may or may not have the significance attributed to them by the tour guide. And of course the Iranians will show their visitors whatever they want, and not show them whatever they don’t want.
But you’ve got to admire the pace and daring. Here is Ahmedinejad seemingly locked in a power struggle with the Supreme Leader (what about that appellation does he not get?), firing the foreign minister and a baker’s dozen or more advisers, removing oil product price subsidies, executing supposed miscreants and still able to stage a show visit to Iranian nuclear facilities for gullible foreigners. Can he get away with all this in an Iran that is resistant to newcomers and change? Or is comeuppance around the next corner? Are we seeing the emergence of a much stronger president, or his last hurrah?
Before answering, let’s remind ourselves that Ahmedinejad is a millenarian who believes the twelfth imam is not far (and probably regards himself as a deputy empowered to help make his return possible). No need to watch all of this, the millenarian vision gets really clear about 5:15: