The Russian Gambit

A reader writes:

It sounds to me like maybe Makhmalbaf or Mousavi maneuvering. It's akin to Ahmadinejad being able (or not) to pin US support on Mousavi, to be able to accuse Mousavi of being a stooge of the Great Satan. If they can accuse Ahmadinejad of being a stooge of Moscow, then they can oppose him without betraying Iranian nationalism or the Revolution.

I've been thinking a lot about 1989, trying to figure out if Tehran 2009 is more like Berlin 1989 or Beijing 1989. The similarity to me is more like Beijing, in that there's no foreign power to shrug off, like the East Germans did to the Soviets in 1989. Or the rest of Central Europe did as well. So far it's all internal to Iran, like Tianamen Square was to China. But if either side can connect their opposition to outside forces, then maybe the game changes. So for Ahmadinejad, it's connecting the opposition to the US. For Mousavi, it would be connecting Ahmadinejad to Moscow. That Ahmadinejad just went to Moscow, immediately after 'winning' the election, is very helpful to doing that.

So Medvedev yuks it up with Ahmadi in Moscow; and Obama plays it cool in Washington. Advantage: Obama and Mousavi.