Memo to Washington: your credibility over Iran would be massively higher if you told client state Israel to stop claiming Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the second coming of Hitler:
WikiLeaks has worked its magic again, illuminating US efforts to promote change in Iran – and explaining recent goings-on at Durham University. Its proposals for exchanges with Iranian media, academic, civil society and clerical sectors are set out in a “confidential” cable from the US embassy in London in April 2008. Ideas include conferences on NGOs and women, with Persian transcripts to be disseminated via podcasts or videoclips posted on YouTube or in VOA Persian TV broadcasts. It would offer “US and USG [US government] observers a useful look inside Iranian politics at a grassroots level”.
The embassy was impressed by the “political cover” among contacts within Iran that Durham was apparently able to generate, even allowing it to invite an academic and cleric associated with the Revolutionary Guard. And there was praise for an “innovative and arguably groundbreaking proposal” (needing £57,000 in funding) for workshops for students from seminaries in Qom and Mashhad with US and UK academics, to emphasise themes of human rights, democracy, accountability and rule of law.