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Jun. 12 2009 - 3:15 pm | 0 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Poll: Should Obama engage Iran’s new president Mousavi if Ahmadinejad loses?

This banner was up at the Business Insider a little while ago:picture-3

Looks like a little irrational exuberance on the part of Henry Blodget and team – the banner is gone now, perhaps because of the misspelling, and because Reuters only offers up this much:

Sadegh Kharazi, a senior backer of former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi, said surveys made by reformers showed that Mousavi was getting about 58-60 percent of the votes.

But an Ahmadinejad representative, Ali Asghar Zarei, said the incumbent was ahead with about the same level of support, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported.

via Iranians vote in droves, rival victory claims | U.S. | Reuters.

One would expect the challenger to claim victory over the incumbent when it’s not clear who won in an election with gigantor turnout, the one thing that everyone can agree upon. And even if Mousavi ‘wins,’ a run-off could still be required where Ahmadinejad could forge a coalition to hold on to power.

But this leads me to my real question: will the election make a real difference in US-Iran relations? Mousavi is cast as a ‘reformer,’ but in a blog post at the Weekly Standard, Michael Goldfarb asked, “Who Is Mir Hossein Mousavi Khameneh?” and then offered up a bunch of nasty rhetoric from the man in earlier eras of his lengthy political career. While it’s up for debate whether or not Mousavi will stand forth in the world under the extremist guise that has been Ahmadinejad’s act, it’s likely that engaging him won’t be any easier for President Obama politically in America.

So complete our poll and explain your thinking in the comments.

[poll id="17"]


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