Positive development in Iran:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opponents were poised to secure a majority on Tehran’s City Council, in the first political setback suffered by Iran’s president since he won the office in June 2005.
…The results show that Ahmadinejad’s “populist” rhetoric hasn’t impressed Iranians as much as he may have expected, said Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, a vice-president under Khatami. After a year-and-a-half in office, Ahmadinejad’s “lack of delivery” on promises to raise living standards and improve economic conditions had registered with voters, Abtahi said in a phone interview in Tehran.
…A failure by his supporters to win Tehran would represent a “big blow” to Ahmadinejad and a “strong endorsement for the centralists,” Ali Ansari, reader in Middle Eastern politics at St. Andrews University, Scotland, said in a phone interview Dec. 18. Ansari was referring to Iranian politicians seeking economic liberalization and a more conciliatory approach to the U.S….