June 16 - An Update on Iran's Elections from Tehran; How Moderate is the New Government of Hassan Rouhani?; A Spokesperson for the Syrian Opposition on Obama's Decision to Arm the Rebels

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin and go to Tehran to speak with one of the few Western journalists in Iran, Ali Arouzi, NBC’s Bureau Chief in Tehran. We discuss the outcome of Friday’s presidential election that surprised American analysts who predicted that a hard-line hand-picked successor to Ahmadinejad would win. We look into whether this is a victory for wisdom and moderation over extremism and ill-temper as the winner Hassan Rouhani has described it.


ali arouzi


Part 2

Then we get a further analysis on whether the surprise win in Iran is a change in atmospherics or substance from Rasool Nafisi, a Middle East expert who has written about the Pasdaran, the guardians of the revolution. Today the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps said on their website that “we announce our comprehensive readiness for interaction and cooperation with the next administration.”  We discuss what changes in Iran’s foreign and domestic policies are likely, given that the new president does not control foreign policy but instead presides over a troubled economy.

rasool nafisi


Part 3

Then finally, following Bill Clinton’s remark that Obama could look like “a total wuss” if he does not intervene in Syria, we assess the impact of the White House’s decision to arm the Syrian opposition after acknowledging that the Assad regime had crossed its “red line” over the use of chemical weapons. Rafif Jouejati, the English language spokesperson for the Syrian Local Coordinating Committees, the umbrella group of the Syrian opposition, joins us to discuss what this change in U.S. policy might mean on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.

rafif jouejati