Confronting the New Nasser in Iran

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies/Bar-Ilan University) Jonathan Paris - Whether or not Ahmadinejad holds ultimate power within Iran, he has been given a platform by the kingmakers in Iran to be the new Nasser. What made the original Nasser so threatening to the West and to the region was his transnational appeal. Ahmadinejad's successful defiance of the international community is beginning to galvanize Muslims throughout the world behind a radical vision of puritanical Islam that rejects the liberal democratic model. If Ahmadinejad can prevent the West from confronting Iran, he will have shown the fence-sitters in the Muslim and non-aligned world, and also among the politically awakening Muslims in Europe, that you can win by defying America and the West. Hamas' extreme position against recognizing Israel only makes sense in this era of the new Nasserism filled with rhetorical illusion.

2006-06-22 00:00:00

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