Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Blog

Last week, Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Washington Correspondent for Al-Monitor, discussed Iran on Viewpoint with Jim Zogby. Slavin noted that while Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had Ahmadinejad’s back during the unrest that followed Ahmadinejad’s controversial presidential win, the two men have been increasingly at odds since. Slavin also noted that the clash between the two men was not ideological, but essentially a power struggle. During the most recent parliamentary elections in Iran, Ahmadinejad’s allies had been disqualified from running, thus ensuring the victory of conservatives who are closely allied with Khamenei.

On the nuclear issue, Slavin described the sanctions imposed on Iran as “draconian,” saying they were strangling Iran’s economy, and accredited them to Netanyahu’s “hysteria” which led to unusually harsh sanctions to avoid war. On Netanyahu and Obama, Slavin read things differently from many pundits, saying that Netanyahu had effectively yielded to Obama’s red lines during his AIPAC speech, reiterating Obama’s objection to Iranian nuclear weapons without reference to weapons “capability” (which is Israel’s previously-stated redline on Iranian nuclear development). Slavin also said that both Khamenei and President Obama have signaled their readiness to make a deal, noting there is still a window for a win-win outcome.

This interview does not air until tomorrow night, but you can watch it now here:

 

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