The Iranian taking of American hostages helped solidify the Islamic vice grip on Iranian society. Now that Ahmadinejad is in power, he wants to deal with the significant domestic minority forces opposed to his regime. It is my contention that he is intent on goading either Israel or the US, preferably both, to attack Iran. The trade-off in damage will be more than offset by the rallying effect of Iranian nationalism against foreign ( US and Israeli) aggression.
Ahmadinejad is also facing some significant domestic economic problems relating to declining revenues from Iranian energy exports. A report from The Pakistani Times confirms that this may have started.
Iran suspends supplying natural gas to Turkey
By Laiylla Sherazi 'Pakistan Times' Foreign Correspondent
TEHRAN (Iran): Iran has stopped supplying natural gas to Turkey to meet increasing demand at home this winter, state-run radio reported on Wednesday.
"Unfortunately, we stopped supplying gas to Turkey while having a contract with them to meet domestic demand that was rising due to the cold weather,'' state-run radio quoted Iran's oil minister, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, as saying.
Hamaneh did not give a timeline for when Iran, a major supplier of natural gas to Turkey along with Russia would start resupplying Turkey with natural gas.
But the oil minister encouraged Iranians to take measures to reduce their consumption of natural gas, the radio said.
Of Nuclear Negotiator
Another report says that Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani will arrive in China on Thursday for a two-day visit carrying a message from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an Iranian news agency reported on Wednesday.
Larijani will deliver the message in person to Chinese President Hu Jintao and also meet other top officials, including Luo Gan of the standing committee of the Communist Party's political bureau.
No further details were disclosed.
China supports Iran's right to a nuclear programme but as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council voted for a resolution that imposed sanctions targeting Iran's nuclear industry and ballistic missile programme.
Both Russia and China -- which have strong economic interests in Iran -- worked to water down drafts of the Security Council resolution and Beijing has since called for more talks on the nuclear issue.