The power struggle in Iran between the hardliners on one side and moderates, pragmatists and reformists on the other, will not only decide the future of the most important nation in the Middle East, it will also affect the entire region. The West should pay attention to the struggle and support the moderate coalition against the hardliners by reaching a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.
Intelligence experts provide explanations for the motivation behind Iran's nuclear weapons program that are deeply rooted in Western concepts, including regime preservation and enhancing Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. In my view, this is a mistaken approach, because it is based solely on speculation from analysts schooled in secular geopolitical theories.
For Nasrin the headscarf transcends aesthetics, it is a symbol of the Islamic Republic itself. A symbol of that which reduces her to something that she is not. A symbol of something that can quite literally smother her identity. Only in the alcoves of this rigid regime, such as the corner of her friend's café, could she be herself.
On my second night in Iran, I was invited to a party in a middle-class area of Tehran. Since we were a mixed gendered group with a foreigner in their midst, we had to be reasonably inconspicuous. As soon as we stepped over the threshold of the house, however, we were no longer in the Islamic Republic.
It should be mentioned that in response to my protest against massive vote rigging during the first election of the parliament after the Revolution, Khomeini told me in a private conversation that people have no vote whatsoever and that we only conduct such elections in order to close the mouths of Westerners.
Not only does Khamenei approve the Geneva Accord, he also supports the resolution of the standoff over Iran's nuclear program in an equitable and just framework, one in which Iran's nuclear rights are respected and the economic sanctions are lifted, in return for Iran's guarantee of not pursuing nuclear weapons
The nuclear negotiations with Iran are in their eleventh hour. By Monday we'll know whether a resolution has been reached or a new crisis of the first order added to the conflagrations in the Middle East -- indeed, one that will exacerbate all the others. Even an understanding that lays out a few principles while extending the deadline would be a dangerous outcome. The technical issues are complicated. But they are not in themselves the main obstacles to be overcome. Let's get down to brass tacks. The starbursts of commentary on centrifuge numbers and Iran's retention of low-enriched uranium (LEU), albeit under international inspection, should not be allowed to conceal the underlying reality: If Washington and Tehran want a nuclear deal, it is there for the taking. While the responsibility is shared, the crucial decision rests with the White House. This is not the way that President Obama and his advisers see it, though.