Iran suffers from an ongoing economical crisis, about 12% official unemployment, about 17% inflation and a very high rate of drug consumption of about 25% of the population (Iranian official numbers). Unlike North Korea Iran is not isolated and cut of from Western influences. The modern world is appealing to the Iranian society through the internet, Satellite TV channels, movies, phones and Iranians can visit abroad if they can afford it. Iran is also visited by over 1,600,000 tourists a year (2004), a large number of whose are from Western Countries. The young Iranian generation is yearning for a more liberal way of life and, generally speaking, does not wish to carry on with the Islamic Revolution and Islamic indoctrination.
Many Western Countries believe, therefore, that the best way to cope with the prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb is to delay and to slow down the progress of the project by deferent means such as sanction on specific technologies or materials as well as undercover operations and, on the other hand, to promote changes in the Iranian society. Almost all commentators believe that a dramatic internal change in the Iranian society is inevitable in the coming years although the fear that Iran will obtain a nuclear bomb before those dramatic changes will occur remain a major concern.
Iran goes to the polls in presidential elections, on June the 12th. The elections became a major indication to the degree of changes in the Iranian society.
In an unprecedented event – a debate between the reformist former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, the leading candidate for the moment, and the Iranian ultra conservative leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was broadcasted live in the Iranian TV.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began by accusing opponents of spreading lies about his government. Mir Hossein Mousavi responded by mocking Mr Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy, which he said had undermined the dignity of Iran and that Ahmadinejad’s firebrand style had caused problems for Iran. He also criticized the government for repressing student protests.
Eventually the outcome of the Iranian elections, on 06/12/2009, and the Lebanese elections, scheduled to begin on 06/07/2009 (see – Biden-LEBANON), will determine the direction of the Middle East and the prospect of a regional reconciliation or more confrontations and violence much more then any American foreign policy (see also – Obamas Cairo Speech ).
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