Thursday, July 7, 2011

Empire of the Mind: A History of Iran by Michael Axworthy

Chapter 9: From Khatami to Ahmadinejad, and the Iranian Predicament

  • "Iran gave significant help to the coalition forces against the Taliban later in 2001, helping to persuade the Northern Alliance to accept democratic arrangements for post-Taliban Afghanistan. In 2002 Iranians were rewarded with President George W. Bush's 'Axis of Evil' speech, which lumped Iran with Iraq and North Korea." - 284
  • "One theory of Iranian history, advanced by Homa Katouzian and others, is that Iran lurches from chaos to arbitrary autocracy and back again." - 287
  • "The Iranian regime, as pragmatism would suggest, has always insisted on its desire for stability in both Iraq and Afghanistan." - 289
  • "This is the problem: civil uranium enrichment is a legitimate activity under the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty]. But once the enrichment process has begun, the difference between enrichment to levels consistent with civil use and the levels necessary for weapons is difficult to verify from outside." - 292
  • "the declaration by Iranian religious leaders against ownership of nuclear weapons should be given some credence." - 292

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