Journalist Hooman Majd has followed up on our last post on Iran's nuclear revelation with his latest thoughts on how the news will affect Ahmadinejad. He writes that "although the news of the secret nuclear facility may appear to only add to Ahmadinejad's problems, it may in fact help him." This notion may surprise many in the West, but Majd explains how this may be exactly what Ahmadinejad needed in terms of his home country image.
First, Majd explains, "it deflects from questions about the election, the unrest, and his legitimacy" that have been haunting him since the post-election protests.
Westerners also need to realize that :"there is consensus in Iran on the nuclear issue and protecting Iran's rights under international treaties, [and] Ahmadinejad will have support in defending Iran's case. Right now," Majd writes, the Iranian president's "argument that Iran is not in violation of its obligations will play well to many Iranians."
However, Majd does think that extreme unilateral sanctions could undermine any advantages that Ahmadinejad draws from the nuclear news, writing that "if further sanctions become inevitable...it's hard to say at this point whether Ahmadinejad will lose some of the support he has for taking a hard line on the nuclear question."