Iran on the Edge

After a hotly contested presidential election that resulted in street riots and a disputed claim to a renewed mandate by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran stands at a crossroads: between reformist and conservative leadership, between its revolutionary past and its post-revolutionary future.

Ahmadinejad's claimed landslide was met with angry disbelief by the country's reform movement; it also gave renewed urgency to the many unresolved issues that face Iran at home and abroad. How will Iran manage its approach to the Arab World? How will it deal with its rapid demographic growth? How will it manage its image through media outreach-to the Arab World, Turkey, the West, China, Russia and Africa? How will it manage a population, especially among the young, for whom the Islamic Revolution has turned stale? Iason Athanasiadis reports from Iran as these social, regional and evolutionary political developments loom large.

Iran's Political Winds are Shifting

In late December, I received a New Year's e-mail from a former Iranian diplomat. The contact surprised me. I had known the man when I lived in Tehran from 2004 to '07, but I hadn't heard from him in more than two years. In 2007, as the Ahmadinejad administration began tarring its ideological enemies as foreign stooges, he cut relations with me.