Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Is not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran. Rather, it is the holder of the post Supreme Leader, who, according to the constitution, "has the last say in internal and foreign policies, control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and control of state broadcasts." That man is Ali Khamenei, who took over for Ayatollah Khomeini. The very impressive Bueno de Mesquita rates Ahmadinejad only the 18th most powerful person in Iran.
This all comes from a podcast interview with de
Mesquita. If you are concerned about
In a nutshell, de Mesquita argues that Iran is rational -- especially the real rulers, such as Ali Khamenei, and that the rhetoric of Admadinejad is useful as a threat, but not to be taken too seriously. He also says Iran would like to have the capacity to build a bomb, but would probably not build it to completion, because that intermediate state would maximize their power.