Interesting Times in Persia

Just been reading up a little on the political strife in Iran.  However, I still feel as though I don’t really know what is going on there.  Slate has an interesting piece proclaiming the Obama administration will need to change their stance in response to the rigged election and the brutal reaction to protesters.  The author, Fred Kaplan, writes:

Given the near-certainty that Iran’s election was fixed and the documented fact that protesters are being brutalized, there is no way that Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could go to Tehran and shake hands with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, much less to expect that any talks would be worthwhile.

The author goes on to discuss the potential outcome of the current unrest. Kamal states that it is likely that the protest will peter out as the government continues to respond with brutality. An interesting point he brings up is that no one really knows who is really controlling Iran. We know there are a group of Clerics who control the country but there has been rumor that there may be disagreement within this core elite. Another point made in the piece is that the country cannot afford to have blatantly corrupt elections and still claim to be a democracy.

One point I still believe there is missing information is the point that the election was rigged. How do we know that a minority of urban youth are not rebelling just because they did not win? The Slate article states that Ahmadinejad’s primary constituents are the rural populations. Maybe these outnumber the urban?

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2 Responses to “Interesting Times in Persia”

  1. Ben Says:

    I haven’t been following things too carefully, I thought it was pretty clear the election was rigged from the info I heard. From what I heard, the key indications of a rigged election were: a) the speed at which the votes were counted, and b) the details in the breakdown from region to region.
    I believe voter turnout was pretty high, and many areas were using handwritten ballots, and yet the vote was counted within a 24 hour period. I also remember hearing that the breakdown of the votes was approximately even all the districts. In other words, Ahmadenajad won by about a 2-1 margin, and we won by that margin in both places that were his supposed strongholds as well as places where he supposedly had less support. There does not seem to be enough variance, which is suspicious.
    The irony is that it is quite possible that Ahmadenajad could have won the election legitimately. It might have been much closer, but I don’t think a close victory under less suspicious circumstances would have been questioned. If the election was rigged, (which evidence seems to indicate) then it was done poorly.

    • shankarwolf Says:

      Thanks for more info as to the rigged election, I hadn’t read so much regarding how every one knew it was rigged. Seems very stupid of the government to rig it, let alone make it so obvious.

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