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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Iran’s Unrest and Romney’s Narrative

by Newsteam Staff
October 4, 2012

Photo of the Day: GOP nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama during the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate in Denver October 3, 2012. (Michael Reynolds/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: GOP nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in Denver October 3, 2012. (Michael Reynolds/Courtesy Reuters)

Protests in Tehran over the sharp decline in value of the rial, caused in part by U.S. sanctions, potentially upsets “GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s efforts to paint President Barack Obama’s Iran policy as ineffectual,” reports Politico.

“The new unrest doesn’t indicate that the sanctions are achieving their goal of persuading the Iranians to abandon the nuclear weapons program they insist they’re not pursuing. And barring some dramatic change in the coming days, Romney can continue to argue that the administration was slow to embrace tougher sanctions and spent too much time pursuing a rapprochement with Tehran,” writes Politico’s Josh Gerstein. “That said, the current clashes and tear gas in the streets are disarming to Romney because they allow Obama to respond to any Iran-related criticism by observing that the sanctions are causing a level of tumult in Iran that could plausibly lead to a change in the nuclear policy.”

The turmoil has resulted in Iran censoring the value of the rial (AFP) against other currencies from exchange websites in the country.

This CFR Issue Tracker looks at both candidates’ stances on U.S.-Iran Policy.


President Obama and Mitt Romney went toe-to-toe Wednesday in the first of three debates, delving into detailed discussions of tax reform and ways to  improve the country’s dire debt circumstances.

CFR’s Edward Alden looks at how well the candidates made their economic arguments, noting that whoever is elected “will confront an economic and fiscal situation in which any of the plausible choices are difficult ones.”

Read the debate transcript here. Read more about the candidates’ positions on the economy in this CFR Issue Tracker.


In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, registered voters indicate that Romney would do a better job than Obama–45 percent to 37 percent–“dealing with the economic challenges we face from China”.

China has served as a backdrop for numerous campaign battles on the economy, with Romney repeatedly saying that he would be tougher on China and label the nation a currency manipulator on his first day in office and Obama filing a new World Trade Organization claim over unfair trade practices and blocking the purchase of wind farms near a Navy drone testing site.

This CFR Issue Tracker details both candidates’ stances on U.S.-China policy.

–Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri

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