Thursday, November 24, 2005

Iran Gradually Descending into Uncharted Territory

Two or three days ago, I posted a brief summary of Iranian academic Vali Nasr's interpretation of political developments in Iran along with some of my own analysis. Well, today, I thought I might provide you guys two noticeable updates:

  1. It appears that the Iranian parliament has vetoed president Ahmadinejad's nomination for the oil ministry three times. What is so significant about this development is that it is uncharted constitutional territory. The rejections came about because of Amnadinejad's tendency to take over a ministry and sweep it clean of all its senior employees in order to place his own cronies. Parliament expected him to do the same to the oil ministry, which Ahmadinejad claimed was ruled by an "oil mafia." In fact, "cleaning up the oil industry" was one of the major promises he made in his election campaign. Well, considering that Ahmadinejad's candidate for the post received less than 80 votes compared to around 140 votes against, I'd say this mafia he hoped to eliminate is pretty popular.

  2. The International Stock Market Federation revealed that Iran's stock market has become the biggest loss-maker in the world. Between December of 2004 to November of 2005, the stock market's index declined from 13835 to 9817 - a 39 percent decline. To exacerbate problems, around a week ago, the stock exchange's chief Hossein Abdoh-Tabrizi resigned from his post, leaving it open for one of Ahmadinejad's appointees. The resignation might have had something to do with one of Ahmadinejad's most briliant policy recommendation: In a cabinet meeting, he told ministers that "if he could hang two or three speculators, the stock exchange problem would go away!"

Okay, if news snippets like these continue to come out of Iran, I have to say that I feel sorry for Iranians - particularly those poor Iranians who overwhelmingly voted for Ahmedinejad. Let this be a lesson for those who vote for populists! When some guy promises you heaven, he'll most likely give you hell. History is simply unequivocal on this matter: demagogues are the worst kind of rulers.

1 comment:

JoseyWales said...

I feel sorry for Iranians - particularly those poor Iranians who overwhelmingly voted for Ahmedinejad

Good post Raja and good info.

But you are a softie. ;)

Come on these people voted for the guy, let them live with their decision. That's how people learn (we hope) for next time. (Not that the election was really free)