The United States and Mexico have a special relationship—one that goes beyond administrations and institutional arrangements. Americans and Mexicans are joined by both societal bonds and blood relationships.
The percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. population is approaching 20 percent, and Hispanics are among the fastest-growing minorities in the United States. Two thirds of them are of Mexican origin.
Mexico is a vital trading partner for the United States: for around twenty U.S. states, Mexico is the number-one trading partner. The U.S.-Mexican border, although now deeply affected by violent crime on the Mexican side, has always been not just a line of separation but also a membrane of connection. Violent crime and domestic politics in either country can disrupt established relationships and increase or minimize movement across the border, but they are unlikely to sever the deep family bonds that span the border deep into each country’s territory. The more U.S. citizens of Mexican origin have a voice in the U.S. political system, the more the bonds and connections will become institutionalized as well.
The 2012 elections in both countries present an opportunity to deepen U.S.-Mexican institutional relationships beyond the societal ties. The United States can encourage the rule of law by helping Mexico improve its justice system and law enforcement capacities. It would be unfortunate if domestic politics in either country resulted in the curtailment of security cooperation, which has increased over the past several years. The post-election period should also be seized in the United States to move forward with immigration reform, especially since the numbers of Mexicans crossing illegally are at historic lows. Many of those who continue to cross are driven precisely by the family ties that bond the two countries together.
[Targeting Rouhani’s brother] is a very convenient way to cause pain to the family without necessarily provoking a crisis of office. The general message that the rest of the system is trying to send to Rouhani is not to get too far ahead of himself, to not allow his decisive election victory to give him illusions of greater autonomy and authority than his position actually has.
There's often a temptation to look for some kind of logic [in the arrests of students and dual nationals in Iran]... I think that this particular case [of Xiyue Wang] highlights the fact that the logic is simply the paranoia of the Islamic Republic—its judiciary and its security services in particular.