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« Publius (Joe) | Main | Hand - Eye Coordination »

June 14, 2009


The outcome of the Iranian election is hugely disappointing, for Iranians more than anyone else, I should add.

The "supreme leaders" have endorsed the results and Ahmadinejad has ominously declared that he cannot guarantee Moussavi's safety! An Iranian human rights organization is pleading with the world to not recognize the election results. But as you point out, there is little the rest of the world (including the CIA) can do. The change will be forced by the Iranians themselves, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Watching one of the Ahmadinejad supporters being interviewed on CNN last night, he seemed
particularly insistent on the point that Moussavi isn't following due process by filing a complaint regarding election irregularities with documented incidents in a dossier. The very insistence and repetition of that allegation itself makes me go hmmm. Maybe there is something to the rumor about the numbers being made up, without interference with the actual election process and voters.
The Green revolution will likely bring positive results only if it forces Khamenei out of his 'supreme leadership'. I wonder if internal dissent among the ayatollahs will cause a scenario of that sort, I've read that there are already rumblings among the clerics over the results of the elections, but don't know if there is any substance to those articles.

It is being widely reported that a group of moderate clerics is questioning the legitimacy of the elections. That may pose more problems for Ahmadinejad and Khameini than protests by ordinary citizens.

Good stuff Sujatha and Ruchira. Thanks! AB readers who Twitter may want to consider following Change_for_Iran.

Thanks for the round-up -- maybe Ahmadinejad will start denying that the election ever happened.

The power play behind the 'Green Revolution'. The Ayatollahs have their own version of a chess game in full swing.

very nice posts ! and people are really interested in the Iranian election. I have a humble comment. In my twenty years association with the diplomatic service, I have learnt to see a country's policies and actions from its own point of view. Ahmadinejad may have manipulated a thing or two, here and there, but my personal view is that as of today, there is no other leader in Iran who is more able than him to lead the country. We all know Iran's foremost concern today is to counter the most powerful nation on earth- which can be done only with some smart strategies. Another aspect needs to be flagged here - have we all not overlooked the fact that the 'strong opposition' to Ahmadinejad gained momentum rather suspiciously only a few days before the election, while Iran is actively fighting the west under Ahmadinejad's leadership for over two years now. Does anyone smell anything? The big brother trying to install a puppet regime in Iran like its neighbor in the east?

The question arises as to who is the 'Big Brother' that you claim is trying to install a puppet regime. You insinuate that it's the US, but in my opinion, it's more likely Khameini and his cohorts. Why do you think they are now backtracking somewhat ( investigations into allegations of rigging, recounting ballot boxes, etc.) from their earlier anointment of Ahmadinejad? Have the protests convinced them that maybe they should have 'picked' Mousavi instead of Ahmadinejad (despite his usefulness, as you point out in your comment), in order to prevent the exuberance of the youthful protestors to change into a raging river that sweeps away the supreme leadership's power structure?

I think AB has its very own Andrew Sullivan (that's meant as praise at the moment)! Thanks for the many links. I think this is a useful voice, and will note my amusement at just how quickly Iranians have once again become American under the skin...

If nothing else, all this coverage of Iranian protests will have demolished the general Western media perception of Iran as the 'Axis of Evil' and therefore to be 'bomb, bomb, bomb Iran'ed into oblivion (echoes of McCain from the 2008 campaign still linger, don't they?) Thousands of people swarming the streets to protest against stolen elections is vastly more than the American people ever attempted since what happened in 2000 and 2004. The question is whether it will cause a signal shift in the politics there, or end up dying down as it did in the 90's.

“It’s important to understand that although there is some ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Moussavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised,” Mr. Obama said. “Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons.” (NYT)

Is it just me or does this put Obama in the position of defending the status quo (axis of evil) perception?

I think it puts Obama in the position of being able to reassure Congress that he isn't quite 'caving' in to removing Iran too quickly from the 'Axis of Evil' list, despite his fantastic speech in Egypt which might hint otherwise. Politics, politics. You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out.....

Joe and Sujatha,

Obama doesn't just have to reassure the US Congress; he also has to reassure Israel. I guess when it comes to the mideast and the Islamic world, that is one and the same thing!

Of course, Israel and AIPAC, how could I forget them :) I was going to type Israel, but my fingers morphed it into Congress, which is only one of the lesser intended audience members.

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