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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 25-Sep-2011
25-Sep-11 World View -- Ahmadinejad takes revenge against Iran's supreme leader

Web Log - September, 2011

25-Sep-11 World View -- Ahmadinejad takes revenge against Iran's supreme leader

Putin and Medvedev agree to switch jobs in Russia

This morning's key headlines from

* Iran's Ahmadinejad softens his stance on nuclear program
* Iran's Ahmadinejad takes revenge against supreme leader Khamenei
* Tensions growing between Iran and Azerbaijan
* Al-Qaeda's young generation takes over from depleted older leadership
* Putin and Medvedev agree to switch jobs in Russia

Iran's Ahmadinejad softens his stance on nuclear program

Ahmadinejad kisses supreme leader Khamenei after winning 2009 election
Ahmadinejad kisses supreme leader Khamenei after winning 2009 election

Iran has called on the European Union to resume nuclear talks, following the unexpected announcement in July that Iran would allow full inspections of all nuclear sites by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA). That offer was considered by many analysts (including this writer) as some kind of meaningless negotiating ploy to buy time. But Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi is suggesting that the desire to resolve the issue through talks is real. The offer reflects what appear to be mixed signals coming from Iran about a "swap deal" discussed last year, where Iran would stop its 20% nuclear enrichment process in exchange for obtaining the enriched material it needs from other countries. The mixed signals reflect a disagreement within Iran's government, with the hardliners wanting to continue the 20% nuclear enrichment program, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad favoring the swap deal. Deutsche-Presse Agentur (DPA)

Iran's Ahmadinejad takes revenge against supreme leader Khamenei

An analysis indicates that Iran's climb-down on the nuclear issue is dramatic and important, and is part of the struggle between President Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and thus is part of a generational change in government. Ahmadinejad's actions are part of a general strategy of revenge, following his extreme humiliation earlier this year at the hands of Khamenei. (See "7-May-11 News -- Resignation of Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be imminent") This motive also explains, on September 3, Ahmadinejad's openly calling Iran's closest ally, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, to end its crackdown on Syria's opposition. By cutting loose Syria, Ahmadinejad is crippling Khamenei's fantasy of gaining hegemony over the entire Arabian peninsula, a role that Turkey is now poised to take on. Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS)

As I've been writing for many years, Iran is basically a schizophrenic nation. Its top leadership, starting with the supreme leader, are survivors of the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution, an extremely bloody civil war. Like generational crisis war survivors in any country, these leaders imposed austere rules and institutions designed to prevent another bloody civil war, and this has led them to adopt a harsh anti-Western attitude. But the generations born after the crisis war have no such motivation, and Iran's younger generations are, in fact, generally pro-Western and have no particular desire to see Israel pushed into the sea. As months go by, people in these younger generations are displacing the war survivors, moving Iran's policies closer to the West. Ahmadinejad himself is young enough to be pulled by both sides in this massive generational battle, and as the younger generations gain power, he's joining them. As I've written many times, my expectation is that Iran will be on the side of the West, including Israel, when forced to choose sides in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war.

Tensions growing between Iran and Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has strong relations with the United States and Israel. Concern is rising in Azerbaijan that, because Iran is increasingly feeling isolated and surrounded, it could potentially lash out at a neighbor that is perceived to be helping Tehran’s enemies. In particular, Iran is attempting to stoke separatist nationalism among Farsi-speaking and Shia communities in Azerbaijan, a country with big problems with minority rights, shortcomings in public services, and widespread official corruption. Eurasia Net (Paragraph corrected - 25-September)

Putin and Medvedev agree to switch jobs in Russia

Putin and Medvedev on Saturday
Putin and Medvedev on Saturday

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that he has accepted President Dmitry Medvedev's kind proposal for Putin to run for the presidency in 2012, while Medvedev runs for Prime Minister. Of course, this announcement had been expected. The surprise was that Medvedev asked Putin to take the job as President. In fact, Putin confirmed that they had made this agreement years earlier. "The fact that we have not been disclosing our position publicly for quite a time is a matter of political expediency and conforming to the political genus in our country – I hope our citizens understand that." Russia Today

Al-Qaeda's young generation takes over from depleted older leadership

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is dealing with a depleted organization that may no longer be able to conduct additional attacks. During the past five months, al-Qaeda has lost several prominent leaders, including its founder Osama bin Laden, as well as a core group who had acquired experience in combat operations and al-Qaeda’s secret activities. Al-Qaeda’s younger generation consists of young members who lack experience in the arts of combat and guerilla warfare. This observation can be deduced from the failure of al-Qaeda’s General Command in the Afghan-Pak border area to carry out any major operation in recent years. In contrast, al-Qaeda affiliates, notably the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are attempting to carry out attacks worldwide. Magharebia [[Magharebia, a news web site covering the Maghreb region (northern Africa), is sponsored by the United States Africa Command]]

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 25-Sep-11 World View -- Ahmadinejad takes revenge against Iran's supreme leader thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (25-Sep-2011) Permanent Link
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