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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 15th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

June 14, 2009 – the Puerto Ricans in New York had a proud parade, in Iran we saw the Ahmedi-Nejad goons, and at the Bar Ilan University Netanyahu did hide under a capota. This in a day’s TV harvest.

Sunday, June 14, 2009 was a day of pride to Puerto Ricans who paraded in New York after the fact that one of their ladies of the people was nominated to the Supreme Court of the USA, but it was also a day of some tension to the rest of us who were watching a potential Ahmedi-Nejad and Netanyahu media fight. Now that was a total fizzle – Ahmedi-Nejad was the victor hands down. He shrugged off the whole world while Nethanyahu managed to hide under the Bar Ilan “capota.”

We watched on CNN the full Iran program that was there for the whole world to see – Iran’s Ahmedi-Nejad with all his wisdom and warts. Whatever he may be – we do not forget that he has a capable nation behind him and they know now how to tie together an atom bomb. We also saw that their young people are restless, and want more say in the way their country is run. The Supreme Leader has hand picked four competitors to become Prime Minister – so we know that there is indeed no great difference between them. Some TV pundit in the US said today that they range in US terms from Duke to Dole. So, no great importance in practical turns for who wins.

But that was not the issue. What we saw is that the young generation preferred a new generation of the Revolution, even though embodied by someone that he himself had previously worked with the leaders of the Revolution – that was the Moussavi candidacy. They preferred him over the first generation of the Revolution, that is represented by the people who surround Ahmedi-Nejad, even though he himself was previously only the Mayor of Tehran. Why that preference? Simply – that would have meant change – at least some change – even if that change is still within the system. Not having been granted this minimal change, the day is near that they will want real change, and this may be good for the world or who knows if this is the case indeed?

Moussavi campaigned with his wife at his side, this was a novelty – a la Obama or Clinton – and the women came to vote for him because of her. With half of the population women, the declared 85% that voted, so 40% should have been just the part of the female voters in the Moussavi bag – but Ahmedi-Nejad’s police gave a final reading to the   Abadgaran candidate Mir-Hossein Moussavi 13,216,411 votes or 33.75% and to Independent Reformist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 24,527,516 votes or 62.63%.

This just does not seem right – further, the Iranian officials knew to release the results already after 2 hours from the end of the election – as they said after having counted just one fifth of the votes – and you know what? They seemed to have hit quite close with the suggested 2/3 for Ahmedi-Nejad and 1/3 for Moussavi – a 2:1 win that did not seemingly take in consideration areas were Moussavi had a clear advantage – like in his home town in the Azeri part of Iran. According to the official figures he lost even there – and at the same split? Does not seem right. In short – it was there for the whole world to see that the governing Iranian machine cheated all the way!   So, not enough that the Iranian economy is in shambles, and the standing of Iran in the world is in the pits – now Iran will have on its hands a younger generation that has seen that it was had by the religious leaders. Is internal unrest in a faltering Iran, that plays at the big nuclear casino table, to anyone’s interest?

Now I turned the TV monitor to this morning’s press conference in Tehran. And what did we see? A one man cross between Hitler and Goebels trying to smile his way in the face of the world – and talk to the nitwits that mistake life for a game of soccer.

We saw an imaginary two line of questions – the one line from what he called the Press, that were the government paid folks of Iran – giving him their congratulations, one even his adoration, then throwing a soft-ball – the other line of people with questions – what he called the “Private Media” that was the International Press were The Independent, The Economist, and Our Christiane Amanpour of CNN, did shine like the sun. This second group had real questions and Ms. Amanpour, herself born in iran, simply did not let him get away with the movement of the feather boa – she should get the good journalist of the year award or something like it. The questions came in alternating sequence – one from an iranian official press person and one from the “Private” people – privates like in BBC.

The Iranians also watched that program – not just the outside world – and they know for sure that the world is ready to point a finger, but it is now for them to clench their fists. So, where does this take us when we realize that Iran has enough baton swirling goons, in civil close, to enhance any fighting force sanctioned by the Ayatollahs, in Iran and outside?

—————-

After I saw the above, and watched the Puerto Ricans, I waited to open at 1PM the website that advertised a video where I could see the Nethanyahu long awaited answer to the Obama Cairo University speech to the Muslim World.
We have written about this new speech, its location at the religious Bar Ilan University, wondered why there and speculated what he will say. We understood his dilemmas and wished him well.

Well? We know he is US educated, speaks a good English and expected him to speak in English to the world. We knew he is under pressure and needs friends that need arguments – why he will or will not accept the advice that President Obama was giving him.

We knew that Mr. Netanyahu was looking eastwards to Iran, and having watched Ahmedi-Nejad we thought that this super-goon gave him now material to be able to avoid giving straight answers to Obama. We did not like this because we think that Israel and the World should take advantage of the Obama interest to push the various Middle East fractions to some sort of an understanding that could actually benefit them all. We have our collection of papers on the subject and I will mention here the Jacob Stein article in The Jewish Sentinel (New York) of June 16-22, 2006 – “Israel at 58 – Time for Borders and Sovereignty.” Now Israel is 62 and there are no borders yet and as such – indeed – what is the meaning of “Sovereignty?” If you have no borders you are by definition in a continuous state of war – is it not so?

We loved President Obama’s recognition of the fact that the US was responsible for the start of the Iranian disaster – back then when the US CIA removed the Mosadegh government. We know that President Obama understands that previous US Presidents imposed addiction to cheap Mideast oil upon the US economy – this is something like what the British did when they brought cocaine addiction to China. OK – I know that some will cringe at reading this – but then this is what the Middle East had to live with for more then the second half of last century. We believe President Obama wants to move away from oil, and could work with the local governments to help them develop alternatives to their own addiction to the oil money. He promised that the US will get out of Iraq and its oil wells and pockets. Israel has here a tremendous potential scientifically – and potential political interest. would Netanyahu pick up something here and put in his speech? Look – Iran and his nuclear programs are oil based, and its economy is broken – now its Prime Minister, forget his obsession with the Holocaust, but he personally showed on TV the real goon he is. Will Netanyahu pull out some honey from this bee-hive for his speech?

Also, today’s New York Times had the Clifford J. Levy article written in Moscow – “Mideast in Flux – An Israeli Cozies Up To Moscow” that tells about Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a previously Soviet citizen, who is now a friendly guest in Putin’s court. Russia has serious interests in Iran, it cannot be bypassed in the whole rest of the region east of Suez either – can Nethanyahu take an initiative, with Lieberman’s help, of enlarging on the US-Israel-Iran triangle by suggesting how the Russians who want to become accepted suppliers of arms to a Palestinian government, could be pulled in to his larger concept of regional peace? Was Netanyahu going to provide some new ideas for international consideration?

So what does Netanyahu do instead? He decides to speak in Hebrew from the pulpit of the modest size hall at the BESA Center. TV coverage – zilch! Don’t worry, Obama has his own translators – the one that I heard, on the two minutes that FOX allowed his voice, was not so hot. But then, if I were Obama, I would just have the third secretary of the US Embassy fax in his printed release from the official Israeli Ministry of Information – or whatever this is called in Israel. The content of the speech was anyway sent to him beforehand, and the real target of that speech was not the US and was not the World – Islamic or not – but right there the right wing members of the Netanyahu governing coalition – the choir in the room that had to be kept in line so they do not rebel.


The following website, advertised by Israeli sources, which we also posted on our web – did not work –   www.biu.ac.il/live/
and let me state flatly here that I did not take kind to having been mislead and having thus mislead others. When I write these lines after 7 PM New York Times, that is full five hours after the speech, there is no video released yet to the internet from that speech.

Fox News, that is their Channel #44 in Manhattan, said that they will show the speech when it starts. The speech was delayed and started 5 minutes late but their whole coverage amounted to less then 5 minutes – first by cutting out after two minutes what Mr. Netanyahu was saying and replacing it with their own pundits’ words, then they also cut off the picture altogether. We decided that they really did not feel it important enough to let the translation lose valuable commercial TV time. Nevertheless, the few minutes were enough to show the “wild west” atmosphere in the room – I must have seen some of those that represented the settlers in the shown frames.

The regular FOX channel – #5 – had a completely different program

CNN is not represented in Israel for over a year, this because of disagreements on the way they covered the last two wars, so the 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM time slot that belongs to the excellent Farid Zakaria GPS program, and that is repeated anyway 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM was untouched – there was a lot about Iran and the Middle East – very good material – but about Netanyahu all they said was that he will speak that day and answer President Obama’s speech in Cairo.

Two Jewish programs went on that time – on channel #51 and on channel #67 – but they did not consider seemingly replacing those programs with Mr. Netanyahu’s presentation.

I was thus left without contact to the speech until information started to trickle in.

from: CNN Breaking News <BreakingNews@mail.cnn.com>

 textbreakingnews at ema3lsv06.turner.com

Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 1:47 PM

——- Israeli prime minister says Israel would agree to a peace agreement with a “demilitarized Palestinian state.”

and then the first real information we got was from the Jewish www.sanfranciscosentinel.com and it amounts (after reorganization) to:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his address by saying that he had formed his new government earlier this year with three major challenges facing Israel: the economic crisis, the Iranian threat, and the Middle East peace process.

He stressed that the greatest threat to the world today was the link between Islamist extremism and nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu, who until now had not endorsed U.S. President Barack Obama’s goal of Palestinian statehood, used this policy speech as an opportunity to reverse course and try to narrow a rare rift between Israel and its closest ally.

The address at Bar Ilan was much anticipated in the wake of the Obama administration’s insistence that Israel impose a complete freeze on settlement construction and recognize the two-state solution.

During the speech, Netanyahu vowed that Israel would not build any new settlements and would refrain from expanding existing Israeli communities in the West Bank. Still, he said the government must be allowed to accommodate natural growth in these settlements. Netanyahu has until now been adamant that a settlement freeze is unfeasible and that he would concentrate on strengthening the Palestinian economy, rather than agreeing to their statehood.

The Prime Minister called on Palestinian leaders to restart Middle East peace negotiations without preconditions: “I call on you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority – Let us begin peace negotiations immediately, without preconditions,” he said. “Israel is committed to international agreements and expects all the other parties to fulfill their obligations as well.”

In an apparent reversal of Israeli policy, Netanyahu also declared that he was prepared to see the creation of a Palestinian state, so long as the international community can guarantee that it not have any military capabilities. Israel cannot agree to a Palestinian state unless it gets guarantees it is demilitarized,” Netanyahu said. He also said that Jerusalem must remain the unified capital of Israel.

The prime minister said he was prepared to meet with the leaders of neighboring Arab countries at any time, to promote regional peace and to gain their contribution to the Palestinian economy.

Netanyahu reiterated that Israel has no desire to control the Palestinian people, and declared that both nations should be able to live side by side in peace.

“We want both Israeli and Palestinian children to live without war,” Netanyahu said, but added: “We must ask ourselves – why has peace not yet arrived after 60 years?”

Israel would not accept any situation in which it was forced to exist beside a terrorist state. Every withdrawal from settlement territories would contribute to such terror, said Netanyahu.

The prime minister also said that Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state, and cited the root of the regional conflict to “even moderate” Palestinian elements’ refusal to do so.

“When Palestinians are ready to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, we will be ready for a true final settlement,” the prime minister said.

He emphasized that the Jewish people have been linked to the land of Israel for over 3,000 years and ruled out the option of granting Palestinians refugees the right to settle within Israeli borders.

Netanyahu said that Israel would not negotiate with terrorist who wish to destroy it, and said that Palestinians must choose between path of peace and Hamas.

——————-

If we use already material from the San Francisco Sentinel – then let me also include their pre-speech info that came from Jerusalem and remember please that this was before the Ahmedi-Nejad press conference but after the results of the elections in Iran gave already been announced by the Ahmedi-Nejad machine:

from HOWARD SCHNEIDER     www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=3…

When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivers a major foreign policy address Sunday, the setting will be part of the message: He will speak at Bar-Ilan University, which was founded in 1955 to unite secular learning with religious Zionism. Advisers to Netanyahu and Israeli political analysts say the speech will be a response to President Obama’s address to Muslims this month at Cairo University. Netanyahu, they say, wants to inject a Zionist “narrative” into a discussion that he believes was tilted in Obama’s speech toward the Arab version of events.

While Netanyahu’s remarks are expected to range across issues, including Obama’s demand for a freeze on Jewish settlements and the U.S. president’s call for the establishment of a Palestinian state, they will center on Netanyahu’s assertion that Arabs must recognize Israel as a state for the peace process to succeed.

The point is not a condition for the start of peace talks with the Palestinians or other Arab nations, Netanyahu’s advisers have said. But just as Israel is being asked to acknowledge the Palestinian identity of a neighboring country under the “two-state solution” advocated by Obama and European leaders, Netanyahu believes that an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict requires a similar acknowledgment from the other side, they say.

“They need to cross the Rubicon of a Jewish state,” said a Netanyahu adviser involved in preparing the speech. “That will be necessary for an agreement, because then you know the conflict is over.”

The run-up to Netanyahu’s speech has been dominated by debate in the media and in political circles about how he will address Obama’s call for a settlement freeze and whether he will endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu and his governing coalition oppose both ideas, and they say that security concerns still make creation of a Palestinian state and a withdrawal from the West Bank too risky. That argument is likely to be bolstered by the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose support of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and pursuit of nuclear technology are considered among Israel’s chief threats.

——————

Then arrived The Washington Post with an exotic picture sub-noted: An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man walks past posters,   hung by an extremist right wing group,   depicting US President Barack Obama wearing a traditional Arab headdress,   in Jerusalem,   Sunday,   June 14,   2009. Senior aides say they don’t expect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to explicitly endorse Palestinian statehood when he delivers an anxiously awaited policy speech Sunday night,   a stance that would preserve an uncomfortable impasse with the United States. T (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner), (Sebastian Scheiner – AP)


Netanyahu accepts limited Palestinian state.

The Associated Press, Sunday, June 14, 2009; 2:38 PM

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday called for creation of a limited Palestinian state for the first time, saying it would have to be disarmed.

Netanyahu made the call during a major policy speech about his Mideast peacemaking intentions.

“In any peace agreement, the territory under Palestinian control must be disarmed, with solid security guarantees for Israel,” he said.

“If we get this guarantee for demilitarization and necessary security arrangements for Israel, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, we will be willing in a real peace agreement to reach a solution of a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state,” he said.

Up to now Netanyahu has resisted endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a Mideast peace settlement, drawing intense pressure from the administration of President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu also said the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and he declared that the solution of the Palestinian refugee problem must be “outside Israel.”

Palestinians claim that refugees from the 1948-49 war that followed Israel’s creation and their millions of descendants have the right to reclaim their original homes.

“I call on you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority: Let us begin peace negotiations immediately, without preconditions,” he said. “Israel is committed to international agreements and expects all the other parties to fulfill their obligations as well.”

Netanyahu also called for Arab leaders to meet him and contribute to Palestinian economic development.

——————-

eventually, the Israeli HAARETZ came up with the full talk
Last update – 23:41 14/06/2009

I picked up for direct posting two excerpts from the text of Netanyahu’s foreign policy speech at Bar Ilan
as released at 23:41 Israel time   – 7:00 or 4:41 PM New York Time.

for the full article please see:   www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092…

Whoever thinks that the continued hostility to Israel is a result of our forces in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is confusing cause and effect. The attacks on us began in the 1920s, became an overall attack in 1948 when the state was declared, continued in the 1950s with the fedaayyin attacks, and reached their climax in 1967 on the eve of the Six-Day War, with the attempt to strangle Israel. All this happened nearly 50 years before a single Israeli soldier went into Judea and Samaria.

To our joy, Egypt and Jordan left this circle of hostility. They signed peace agreements with us which ended their hostility to Israel. It brought about peace.

To our deep regret, this is not happening with the Palestinians. The closer we get to a peace agreement with them, the more they are distancing themselves from peace. They raise new demands. They are not showing us that they want to end the conflict.

A great many people are telling us that withdrawal is the key to peace with the Palestinians. But the fact is that all our withdrawals were met by huge waves of suicide bombers.

We tried withdrawal by agreement, withdrawal without an agreement, we tried partial withdrawal and full withdrawal. In 2000, and once again last year, the government of Israel, based on good will, tried a nearly complete withdrawal, in exchange for the end of the conflict, and were twice refused.

We withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last centimeter, we uprooted dozens of settlements and turned thousands of Israelis out of their homes. In exchange, what we received were missiles raining down on our cities, our towns and our children. The argument that withdrawal would bring peace closer did not stand up to the test of reality.

With Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north, they keep on saying that they want to ‘liberate’ Ashkelon in the south and Haifa and Tiberias.
Even the moderates among the Palestinians are not ready to say the most simplest things: The State of Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish People and will remain so. (Applause)

———

The connection of the Jewish People to the Land has been in existence for more than 3,500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked, our forefathers David, Solomon, Isaiah and Jeremiah ? this is not a foreign land, this is the Land of our Forefathers. (Applause)

The right of the Jewish People to a state in the Land of Israel does not arise from the series of disasters that befell the Jewish People over 2,000 years — persecutions, expulsions, pogroms, blood libels, murders, which reached its climax in the Holocaust, an unprecedented tragedy in the history of nations. There are those who say that without the Holocaust the State would not have been established, but I say that if the State of Israel had been established in time, the Holocaust would not have taken place. (Applause) The tragedies that arose from the Jewish People?s helplessness show very sharply that we need a protective state.
The right to establish our sovereign state here, in the Land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: Eretz Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish People. (Applause)

As the first PM David Ben Gurion in the declaration of the State, the State of Israel was established here in Eretz Israel, where the People of Israel created the Book of Books, and gave it to the world.

But, friends, we must state the whole truth here. The truth is that in the area of our homeland, in the heart of our Jewish Homeland, now lives a large population of Palestinians. We do not want to rule over them. We do not want to run their lives. We do not want to force our flag and our culture on them. In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor?s security and existence.

These two facts ? our link to the Land of Israel, and the Palestinian population who live here, have created deep disagreements within Israeli society. But the truth is that we have much more unity than disagreement.

I came here tonight to talk about the agreement and security that are broad consensus within Israeli society. This is what guides our policy. This policy must take into account the international situation. We have to recognize international agreements but also principles important to the State of Israel. I spoke tonight about the first principle – recognition. Palestinians must truly recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is demilitarization. Any area in Palestinian hands has to be demilitarization, with solid security measures. Without this condition, there is a real fear that there will be an armed Palestinian state which will become a terrorist base against Israel, as happened in Gaza. We do not want missiles on Petah Tikva, or Grads on the Ben-Gurion international airport. We want peace. (Applause)
And, to ensure peace we don?t want them to bring in missiles or rockets or have an army, or control of airspace, or make treaties with countries like Iran, or Hizbullah. There is broad agreement on this in Israel. We cannot be expected to agree to a Palestinian state without ensuring that it is demilitarized. This is crucial to the existence of Israel ? we must provide for our security needs.

—————

To summarize – Israel lost a tremendous opportunity to publicize its cause – right there on the day that Ahmedi-Nejad showed up in his nakedness, but Israel blew it.

Our question to Nethanyahu is – Why talk to one wing of the Israeli government when you can get the whole world to listen to you. Why talk in Hebrew from the jewish religious Bar Ilan University small hall, when you could actually have spoken from some historic hall of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem – the University that was built as part of the reconstruction of Jewish sovereignty in its homeland – and speak in your good English so the world does understand what you are saying?

Yes, we know that Bar Ilan University is home of the Begin-Sadat Center for Peace, but The Hebrew University has The Truman Institute on its campus that has done much to bring Israel closer to Africa and other developing regions in the world. Why talk about Jerusalem from Ramat Gan and not from the real place were your justification of your States existence comes from?

Then, why not take advantage of what goes on in Iran of today. Would not – right now – just with the young people in Tehran in upheaval – be in place to remind the young Iranians of Cyrus and the days the Jews and the Persians actually did have good relations – that the Jews are part of the history of the region – and that Ahmedi-Nejad’s diatribes are total rubbish?

Seemingly Israel has to get greater internal consensus, to include its intellectuals, and in addition to the useless 30 Ministries that were established by the ruling coalition – establish also a Ministry for Future Generations to serve as Think Tank and Ministry of Intelligent Information to the outside world.

————————————————————————————————–

UPDATED with SAN FRANCISCO SENTINEL
MONDAY MORNING EDITION
June 15 2009

EGYPT SAYS NO ARAB COUNTRY WOULD ACCEPT NETANYAHU APPROACH:
Hosni Mubarak  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech
on Sunday saying “Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish
state is ruining the chance for peace,” Egyptian news agencies reported on Monday.
Mubarak further added that “not Egypt, nor any other Arab country would support
Netanyahu’s approach.”
Continue Reading:   EGYPT SAYS NO ARAB COUNTRY WOULD ACCEPT NETANYAHU APPROACH  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

PALESTINIANS REJECT TERMS OF NETANYAHU ADDRESS  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]–

——

IRAN SUPREME LEADER REVERSES POSITION, ORDERS ELECTION INVESTIGATION – MOUSAVI SET
TO APPEAR AT BANNED RALLY  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

FIVE REASONS TO SUSPECT IRAN’S ELECTION RESULTS  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

IRAN REJECTS PRO-MOUSAVI RALLY – COMMUNICATIONS DISRUPTED  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]
MOUSAVI SUPPORTERS PLAN RALLY IN TEHRAN MONDAY  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

——

REACTIONS TO NETANYAHU KEYNOTE SPEECH  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

NETANYAHU SPEECH RECEIVES HARSH RESPONSE FROM ISRAELI RIGHTIST PARTY SPOKESMAN  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

THE NETANYAHU SPEECH – START PEACE TALKS IMMEDIATELY – ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER WILLING
TO MEET ANY ARAB LEADER, EVEN IN RIYADH  rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102611203798&a…]

———————

and from truthout.org
Steve Weissman | Israel Offers a State and a Half.
<A href=”http://www.truthout.org/061509J”>www.truthout.org/061509J</A&gt;
Steve Weissman, Truthout: “Could Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu become the Richard Nixon of the Middle East, as Barack Obama invited him to do? Could he break with his hard-line past and reach out to the Palestinians the way Nixon did with the Chinese? Or will he pay lip service to peace even as he does everything he can to keep the Palestinians from ever getting a viable state of their own?”


Top Ayatollah Calls for Investigation of Iran’s Election.

<A href=”http://www.truthout.org/061509L”>www.truthout.org/061509L</A&gt;
Ian Black and Matthew Weaver, The Guardian UK: “Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered an investigation into claims of vote-rigging and fraud in last week’s presidential election, Iranian state TV reported today. The report said Khamenei had told the guardian council, the clerical body that oversees elections, to examine the pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi’s claims of widespread rigging in Friday’s poll.”

———————

The analysisis in the June 15th Economist ends with:

“Western diplomats express disappointment with the opposition’s failure to unseat Mr Ahmadinejad, but not because they expected any of his challengers to make dramatic policy turns. Iran’s foreign relations, including such important issues as the nuclear file, fall largely within the remit of the Supreme Leader, rather than the presidency. But a fresh face, and a change in style, would have made it easier for other countries to engage with Iran. Seeking to think positively, one diplomat suggested that Mr Ahmadinejad’s return to office would at least eliminate a lengthy transition between administrations. The president’s undisputed conservative credentials might also make him better able to rally backing for any future concessions on the vexed question of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”   Let us pray that the pragmatic people are right, and that a chastised Ahmadi-Nejad might be willing to stop spitting fire.

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