Winston Churchill once famously described watching Soviet politics from abroad as “like watching two dogs fighting under a carpet”. It feels slightly similar today, watching Iranian politics from the West. There is clearly a struggle going on, underneath the Persian carpet, but exactly who is doing what to whom remains opaque.
Take last night’s television interview with President Hassan Rouhani. The president’s appearance was delayed, prompting his staff to tweet that he had been “prevented live discussion w/people…which was scheduled for an hour ago.”
Head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Zarghami, prevented live discussion w/ people on #IRIB1 which was scheduled for an hour ago
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) February 5, 2014