Monday, December 18, 2006


...voted on Saturday. The Iranians voted overwhelmingly for a list of candidates composed of a coalition of reformists and the former president Rafsanjani. They voted to fill the slots of municipal councils (including that of Tehran). They also voted for the country's Council of Experts.

After snooping around a bit, I have to come to the realization that Iran's Council of Experts actually oversees the Velayat e Faqih - i.e. Khamanei. Therefore, if theory actually applies in the real world, who knows? Maybe this new election may yield some positive results after all!

Another very intriguing aspect of this election is what may be construed as a dialogue between the Iranian and American peoples. I know that I may be stretching it a bit with this thought, but I wonder if the Iranians would have voted the same way if the American electorate voted overwhelmingly for the Republicans - as opposed to the Democrats.

Finally, I have to insert a comment related to these developments. Whether or not you are supportive of Iranian foreign policy (I'm definitely dead-set against it), you have to give them credit for holding these elections. Frankly, I consider that country to be one of only three real states in the region - the other two being Turkey and Israel. All the rest are mere mirages.

Saudi Arabia, for example, (the most influential Arab state) is nothing but Saudi Aramco - the largest company in the world, by the way - with a country and two holy sites attached to it. The closest parrallell to Saudi Arabia would be Harvard University - which, of course, is a massive $29 billion endowment with a university attached to it. As for the "Saudis," I am quite certain that if they were to hold elections tomorrow, the country would probably disintegrate.

Anyways, I should shut up now, because I'm betraying my foreign policy preferences. Go Saudis! Kick Ahmadenijad's Ass!!! Wohoow!

I think our salvation lies in the decisions made by the Iranian people. The "Arabs" won't step up to the plate because they don't have the legs for it. The West... well, what can I say? They had better deal with this new development wisely.


Anonymous said...

Raja, there has been a concerted effort to portray Rafsanjani as a moderate compared to Ahmadinejad but I assure he's not. At the time when Khatami (a noted reformer) was president of Iran Rafsanjani moved to block many of the moderate reforms he sought to implement.

Near the end of Khatami's first term, parliamentary elections were due to take place in Iran, and the clerical council to which Rafsanjani is very close blocked no less than 3000 reform-minded candidates from running.

As Khatami's second term expired, and it was time to elect a new president, Iran's Guardian Council blocked the candidacy of several reformers that could have continued Khatami's drive at modernizing (and moderating) Iran. As a result, Rafsanjani, a long time hardliner, looked like a moderate compared to someone even more to the right of him - Ahmadinejad.

Thats all to say, don't trust Rafsanjani and don't take elections in which the people are denied the right to choose refomers and moderates, as an indication the people's will. Its all a sham.

Raja said...

Jade, I agree with you to a certain degree. These elections are a somewhat of a sham. I have even read analysis that suggests we're all better off with Ahmadenijad because Rafsanjani would basically pursue the same policies, but do so without the bombast and rhetoric of Ahmadenijad. In other words, we'd be lulled into a false sense of security.

However, I think the important thing about this election is that the Iranian people signaled their disapproval of the course that their current president appears to be taking the country. At the very least, the stamp of popular legitimacy can be taken away from Ahmedenijad and his apologists. Finally, who knows? maybe this coalition with the reformists will temper rafsanjani a little bit.

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