March 29, 2012
Iran Keeps Compromise Option Open
Washington Institute, Washington Institute
Uncompromising rhetoric aside, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's recent decision to reappoint Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as head of Iran's Expediency Council could be a sign that he is preparing the regime for making concessions to settle the nuclear impasse. If Tehran does decide to negotiate seriously with the P5+1 (i.e., the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), Khamenei would certainly need someone like Rafsanjani to shepherd the process. As economic pressure on Iran increases and its banking system begins to buckle, the regime may feel compelled to compromise within the next few months.
Despite his consistent and successful efforts to marginalize Rafsanjani in the domestic political sphere, Khamenei surprisingly asked him...