Iran elections and the role of U.S

6 06 2009

Iranians are going to elections on June 12. This is the 10th time that they will elect a new president. While there are four candidates in the field, only two are considered to give each other some really good biting in the polls, Mir Hossein Mosavi and the incumbent Ahmedinijad. As the elections are less than a week away, there is a growing interest in the international community about the outcome.

These elections, as most of us know, are the defining moment in Iran’s history. If Ahmedinjiad wins, chances of which are higher, then it would prove disastrous for the world. He would have the excuse that people are supporting him and he can do just anything, including nuclear tests or an attack on Israel.

Mosavi is also not an angel when it comes to transparency or modern democracy. He was the prime minster during the very formative years of the so-called Islamic revolution. He remained absent from the politcal scene for 20 years and is now back on the podium. His stance, however, seems a bit flexible as compared to Nijad.

So what should the United States and western powers be doing after these elections? In case Nijad wins, there should be no concessions or extremely diplomatic behavior. They would have to act immediately to secure their interests in the region. Nijad does not enjoy a good standing in the region, especially among the Arab states. Due to Iran’s involvement in Pakistan’s security issue, most Pakistanis do not like him either. If he continues his extremist policies then the U.S and the west has to act in a very decisive manner.

If Mosavi wins then the diplomatic approach should be continued but with strings attached. He would have to prove that he is not against the peace process. Additionally, he should open the nuclear program to greater inspection. It is really a difficult time for the U.S. A detailed analysis will follow after the results are announced.




4 responses

10 06 2009

Good observations on Iran’s elections!

I would like to differ on one of the points mentioned. I feel Nijad is liked by more Pakistanis than Iranians where as you have observed most Pakistanis hate Nijad. I observed online as well in general news that Pakistanis seemed to like the anti-US stance taken by Nijad and hence some of them even said they want Nijad to rule Pakistan instead of Zardari or Mush!!!

10 06 2009

Well there are sectarian differences in Pakistan. Shia overwhelmingly support Nijad but not all Sunnis. Nijad’s anti-American stance has increased his popularity somewhat but still he is not hugely popular.

10 06 2009

I would also disagree on Ahmadinejad’s popularity in the Arab world. From personal experience in Egypt, Jordan and Syria talking with ‘average’ folks, he is extremely popular. They believe he speaks for them when he stands up to Israel and the U.S. The nuke issue is only a problem in the view of elites. I would argue that you are confusing the Arab regimes with the Arab street. The Arab regimes have little power when it comes to countering Iranian rhetorical power.

Secondly, it is a fallacy to suggest that Ahmadinejad will attack Israel. This is falling into the trap of Israeli rhetoric. Ahmadinejad is an extremist and fear mongerer but he does not have the power to attack Israel. Moreover, those with decision making power are not suicidal. Khamenei is not irrational– he will do anything to stay in power. The clerics understand Israel’s second strike capability and understand that such a move would lead to their destruction.

Finally, how would the U.S. “secure its interests in the region”? This is especially vague.

11 06 2009

While it’s true that Nejad is just a fear mongerer and exaggerates Iran’s war capabilities, he can still attack Israel. You forgot the 2006 Lebanon war? We all know that it was actually a war between Iran and Israel. Iran is also making long-range missiles that Nejad can use if need arises. He is basically a fanatic that can do anything to disrupt the peace process. U.S knows how to secure its interests by supporting a Palestinian state and stopping Israeli settlements. The time has arrived to do it as soon as possible.

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