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Words in the News
Monday 29 April 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Iran map
Iran's reformists and conservatives
Summary: Iran's political scene is sharply divided between reformists and hardline conservatives within the Islamic regime. In recent months the country has faced a number of major challenges from outside its borders and was named as part of President Bush's axis of evil. This report from Jim Muir:
The News Listen  
  First there was the American-led attack on neighbouring Afghanistan, and the subsequent stationing of western forces there in Iran's backyard. Then Tehran was bracketed, along with its old enemy Iraq, and North Korea, in President Bush's axis of evil.

The climactic escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians further focussed hostile American attentions on Iran, which is associated with Islamic militants.

All of this naturally produced numerous calls here for national accord between the rival factions. But until recently, there was little by way of real action in that direction. In fact, if anything, all these outside issues seemed until recently only to exacerbate the bitter divisions, with blame and recriminations flying around as the pressures built up.

It's certainly early days, but it does seem that the climate is being prepared for a domestic détente which would allow the country's leaders to formulate and pursue truly national policies on such vital issues as how to respond to the Palestinian crisis, and whether or not some kind of dialogue should be opened with Washington in order to defuse the perceived American threat to Iran.

Jim Muir, BBC, Tehran


The Words Listen
something that happens or exists at a later time than something else

grouped together with

a climactic moment in a situation is one in which an important event occurs

  national accord
national agreement

make worse

accusations made by people or groups about each other’s behaviour

friendly relations between two countries where previously there had been problems

  to defuse
to make less dangerous

if you perceive someone or something as doing a particular thing, it is your opinion that they are doing this thing

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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