The Leveretts and "Iran Experts"

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So here's what I don't get about Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett's piece in yesterday's Politico on the current situation in Iran. One is certainly entitled to his or her own opinion on the matter, and if they truly believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the Iranian presidential election fair and square, well that's fine.

But at what point do you, if you're the Leveretts, at least acknowledge the fact that you are not a part of the clear consensus forming around the issue? At what point do you stop derisively referring to those with whom you disagree as "Iran experts," and accept the fact that you've become an increasingly marginal voice on the subject?

I don't happen to agree with Mr. and Mrs. Leverett. I do, however, agree with Karim Sadjadpour, Mehdi Khalaji, Meir Javendanfar, Gary Sick, Michael Rubin, Ali Alfoneh, Laura Secor, Reza Aslan, Patrick Clawson, Amir Taheri and many, many others who were either born in Iran, have spent considerable time in Iran, or have dedicated years of study and analysis to the country. These analysts reside all over the spectrum of Iranian policy thinking, but on this matter - the rigging of last Friday's election - they are at near unanimity.

But I guess I've been hoodwinked. Who knew?

P.S. - To be fair, I hold a great deal of respect for Ken Pollack and his Iran expertise, but he apparently remains on the fence over the rigging argument. I can't, however, confirm whether or not he intends to mock and insult all of the above-mentioned experts and analysts. But stay tuned!

UPDATE: Add Farideh Farhi's name to the suspicious list of "Iran experts."

UPDATE II: And Bob Baer.

UPDATE III: Scratch that. Baer has a thoughtful piece in Time arguing - more a word of caution - that Ahmadinejad may have won.

I did an interview with Bob back in October, and it should be noted that his more salient point has less to do with a rigged election, and more to do with the supremacy of Khamenei. he frankly doesn't care about the Iranian presidency. He makes a fair argument.

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