In the Arena

Push and Shove in Iran

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While the rest of us are wondering what on earth happened to Barack Obama last night, the President’s Iran policy seems to be moving toward success. The international sanctions that he so laboriously put together are having a devastating effect on Iran’s economy. The currency is collapsing. And now, the bazaaris–Iran’s mythic and powerful middle-class business community–are on strike and marching   in the streets. A few weeks ago in New York, the Iranian delegation to the UN General Assembly were hinting that a nuclear deal might be possible after the election–I took it with a grain of salt, since that delegation was led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who (a) is powerless and (b) has taken more “liberal” positions on nuclear talks than the Supreme Leader (and, indeed, the Green Party reformers) in the past. But this thing seems to be reaching critical mass, so to speak. The Iranian public is going nuclear before the government does.