How Moderate Can They Get?

I take it as a given that Iran’s kidnapping of fifteen Britons was a propaganda coup for that country’s rulers, but the Associated Press goes out of its way to run interference for the mullahs in this piece, titled “Analysis: Hope for more Iran compromises”:

Iran’s abrupt release of 15 British sailors and marines is raising hopes the country might compromise on other disputes, most notably its nuclear program.

Well, sure: a naked act of piracy in a neighboring country’s waters is a traditional sign of impending “compromise.” The AP’s analysis is based on the hoary tradition of describing Iranian politics in terms of a conflict between “hard-liners” and “pragmatists”:

The move points to the growing influence of pragmatic conservatives, a faction that backs Iran’s Islamic clerical leadership but is still willing to deal with the West

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