Mornin’ ducks… In anticipation of the P5+1 talks in Kazakhstan this week, let’s start the week in…
- Yousaf Butt, a nuclear physicist, urges the West to make Iran a serious offer. But Patrick Clawson argues that the Islamic Republic is just too dysfunctional to cut a nuclear deal. Farhang Jahanpour at Juan Cole’s Informed Comment blog argues that talks with Iran might just work this time. Whose argument should we believe?
- In other news… For the first time since Iran and the US cooperated in overthrowing the Taliban, they have joined forces again to save … wrestling. Wait … does this mean the Iron Sheik is coming out of retirement?!? Hulkster, are you hearin’ this? Oh, wait it’s not the kind of wrestling where the Americans always win in the end… it’s the other kind.
- There’s another area where Iran clobbers the US: Iran is apparently much better than the US at providing maternity leave. But to be fair, almost everyone in the world is better than the US on this indicator (Notably, Iran also has obligatory two-week paternity leave). Now on the issue of abortion rights in Iran it’s a rather different story… (h/t Robin Dougherty)
- It is also still not so great to be an opposition leader… Jadaliyya posts the Joint Statement on Iranian Opposition Leaders under House Arrest. PRI’s Carol Hills interviews Iranian blogger and cartoonist, Omid Memarian, on political cartoons in the Persian press.
- If you’re wondering how the economy is faring… The Islamic republic’s poor may soon receive a subsidized food plan to counter the loss in purchasing power due to the sanctions regime and populist economic policies.
- Meanwhile, Iran is moving to set up a $4 billion oil refinery in Gwadar, Pakistan. Iran will exchange the refined oil products for Pakistani food. For its part, Pakistan has also indicated that it will go ahead with a gas pipeline project with Iran despite US threats of sanctions.
- Finally, is the “Harlem Shake” meme revolutionary? Maybe in Tehran says NBC News. <insert double eye roll> (In the Moqattam Hills of Cairo, it’s just another great way to annoy the Brotherhood).
Photo: Hamed Saber