Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iranian Elections: Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

Twiddle Dum or Twiddle Dee?

In one corner we have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, denier of the Holocaust and staunch believer that Israel should cease to exist. Also is seemingly mentally unstable and wants to acquire nuclear weapons if he has not already accomplished that to use as he sees fit. That does not bode well for any of us.

ahmadinejad-احمدی نژاد -درقلب همه   (34)

In the other corner is the challenger, although certainly no stranger to Iranian politics having served as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, is Mir-Hossein Mousavi. He is being billed as the reformist candidate in this contested election, but is he really?

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Before getting to his "accomplishments", whatever the eventual outcome, the uprising and protests of the ordinary citizens can only be called a good thing (although deaths have occurred) as many experts have always felt that serious governmental change had to start there.

Just How Moderate Is This Guy?

When Prime Minister in the 1980's, many considered him to be as hard line as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is today. That said, here are some of his thoughts:

  • Does not believe in the existence of Israel although he does seem to acknowledge the reality of the Holocaust
  • Wants to continue Iran's uranium enrichment program, but not for weapons. Hmmmm
  • Was part of a regime that executed dissidents
  • A defender of the Iranian hostage crisis
  • Attempted to carry out the execution of Salman Rushdie
  • States a belief in improving women's rights

Bottom line is that to many of the younger citizens who were not even alive when he was originally in power, Mousavi represents change, and change is what they want!

The government has promised limited recounts from contested areas, and the rhetoric, as well as actions indicates a certain level of fear that this grass roots uprising may have traction:

"Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for a meeting with the envoys of four presidential candidates, state TV reported, as the government proceeds with an investigation into the election to calm unrest.

Khamenei urged Iranians to unite behind the cleric-led ruling system despite the demonstrations and street clashes, saying that, "In the elections, voters had different tendencies, but they equally believe in the ruling system and support the Islamic Republic."

Khamenei, Iran's ultimate authority, says that representatives of all four candidates should be present for any limited recount of disputed ballots, which the country's cleric-led Guardian Council said Tuesday that it would be willing to conduct.

The clerical government appeared to be trying to defuse popular anger and quash unrest by announcing the limited recount even as it cracks down on foreign media and shows its strength by calling supporters to the streets. " (Fox)

1 comment :

  1. Actually, I see little difference in Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, I do think however that this could be a pivotal moment in Iranian politics in that the reformist move will get its foot in door. Mousavi could just be a transitional figure in a changing Iran.

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