Not everyone, unfortunately. For instance, take this analysis in Foreign Affairs depicting Khamenei as a sophisticated, well-read man – getting really worked up about his familiarity with such Western classics as Les Misérables. Farreed Zakaria’s GPS site reiterated the anecdote – apparently concerned Iran watchers might miss this gem – and opining that the profile demonstrates “Khamenei has softened somewhat in recent years.”
So not only are Rouhani and Zarif style moderates – Khamanei is, too?
Apparently not when it comes to the Syria issue…
All the tweeting has apparently caused the New York Times editorial page to also lose its sense of balance. Highlighting Rouhani’s Twitter feed, a recent editorial states that
“Rouhani has given reason to hope that he is serious about resolving disputes with the United States and other major powers, most urgently about Iran’s nuclear program.”
Then the paper seems to contradict itself by adding that the Iranian president will remain “unyielding in Iran’s core demand to retain significant nuclear capability.”
So what will they negotiate about? Now we’re really confused…
The media excitement over Iranian officials using social media has not been lost on nuclear crisis veterans such as former senior EU official Javier Solana. True to form, he recently blamed the West (again) for not seizing an alleged window for engagement with Iran’s moderates.
Solana’s entitled to his own opinion, of course, but not to a distortion of reality. Apropos, why does the media insist on viewing him as an oracle – when the historical record clearly shows he botched things up when he had the chance.