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Financial Times: Iran: A Widened Distance

Author: Najmeh Bozorgmehr
June 16, 2011

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Najmeh Bozorgmehr of the Financial Times offers an analysis on the "real distribution of power" undermining Iranian political affairs, particularly discussing the†power dynamics†between the president and the supreme leader.

Viewers may have expected the unusual but were instead served up the familiar. In an 11pm broadcast on Iranian state television a month ago, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad had been expected to begin by explaining why he had been off work for 10 days Ė an absence that had aroused much speculation about the fate of the country's hardline president.

Instead, he trumpeted how a cut in flour subsidies had led to a revival of traditional bakeries and not just higher bread prices, and he also sought to justify a recent jump in households' gas and electricity bills. A standard blend of rosily portrayed economic figures accompanied a ritual reiteration of Iran's opposition to the US and Israel as well as its determination to press ahead with a nuclear programme that, in the face of western suspicions, the government insists is peaceful.

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