INVESTIGATIONS

Ahmadinejad on the Campaign Trail

The New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson gives an incisive account of the political situation inside Iran running up to its presidential election. Among Anderson's revelations: Iran's political structure is opaque--the president wields a certain amount of clout, but so does Ayatollah Ali Khameni, Iran's Supreme Leader, yet even he is constrained by a web of relationships. No matter the candidate, Iran's desire for nuclear armaments will likely be a core national issue for years to come, and derives from the country's need for respect. Ahmadinejad's appeal--he's the Islamic equivalent of a born-again Christian who knows how to talk to the common people--distinguishes him from the opposition. Anderson also explains how Obama's branch of peace may help scuttle Ahmadinejad's reelection bid by creating a debate between president and people about how to engage with the U.S.