Comparative Politics

Hello Kettle, this is the Pot Calling: Iran Edition (again)

Joshua Tucker Sep 9 '11

Can someone who knows something about Iranian politics please explain what this is all about?? As reported in the New York Times:

[O]n Thursday, President Ahmadinejad of Iran became the most recent, and perhaps the most unexpected, world leader to call for President Assad to end his violent crackdown of an uprising challenging his authoritarian rule in Syria….

“Regional nations can assist the Syrian people and government in the implementation of essential reforms and the resolution of their problems,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in an interview in Tehran, according to his official Web site. Other press accounts of the interview with a Portuguese television station quoted him as also saying, “A military solution is never the right solution,” an ironic assessment from a man whose own questionable re-election in 2009 prompted huge street demonstrations that were put down with decisive force.

As the Times rightly notes, the state’s reaction to Iran’s own unsuccessful “Green Revolution”: makes the phrase “beyond hypocrisy” leap to mind when reading these remarks. If this was Russia, I would assume Putin was saying this just to prove that he is so powerful that he can get away with saying and doing anything. But somehow I doubt that this is Ahmadinejad’s intention. So would welcome any comments from Iran experts who have thoughts on what he is trying to accomplish.