Analyzing the Iranian Election (Updated)
My advice: don’t. Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been pronounced the winner in Iran’s presidential election:
TEHRAN —President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran’s presidential election in a landslide, officials of Iran’s election commission said Saturday morning. But his main rival, Mir Hussein Moussavi, had already announced defiantly just two hours after the polls closed on Friday night that he had won and charged that there had been voting “irregularities.”
The Times reporter devotes most of the rest of the article to challenging the legitimacy of the election without a great deal of concrete evidence other than the claims of the loser and that the Times has been pitching the possibility of an upset. When the election has been portrayed, bafflingly, as a referendum on Iran’s foreign policy what other choice did the reporter have? Remember: all politics is local.
The election was illegitimate from the get-go. The irregularities didn’t begin yesterday. The Iranian system is one in which the elected officials have little or no real power, only candidates that have been approved by Iran’s actual rulers appear on ballots, and the mullahs, Iran’s real rulers, control the election process and the media from stem to stern.
All we can say now is than in Iran the people have spoken. The people that matter, anyway.
The Washington Post quotes a few Ahmadinejad voters which may cast more light on the results:
In Shahr-e Rey, south of Tehran, voter Ali Badiri said that young women without head scarves had been dancing in the streets over Mousavi’s candidacy. “I’ll vote for Ahmadinejad, because if Mousavi wins, they will be dancing naked next week,” he said.
“We don’t want to change Iran,” said Abdollah Khalili, another Ahmadinejad voter. “We want this system to remain the way it is.”