June 15, 2013

"Reformist" Winning in Iran?

The official results aren't in, but word out of Tehran is that the "reformist" candidate has enough of a lead that there might not be a runoff election. But what is glaringly missing from the WSJ article on the Iranian presidential election is the fact that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gets to personally approve each candidate on the ballot. And this isn't just some formality, a lot of opposition candidates were "disqualified" from the ballot this year, and each and every candidate must swear loyalty to the Islamic Revolution.

So, rather than being a true reformist, Hassan Rohani is just another Islamist with slightly different views than the current Islamists in power. He doesn't want to separate mosque from state. He doesn't want secular government. He does not believe in freedom of religion, speech, or of the press.

Think of the differences between the "conservative" and "reformist" candidates as the difference between Marxists and Maoists, or between Stalin and Trotsky.

So, no, I'm not hopeful that if this guy's elected things change in a big way. If the guy truly was a reformist, as the media keeps insisting, he simply wouldn't have been on the ballot. The fact that he's on the ballot at all suggests that the the Mullahs in power give him the stamp of approval.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:51 AM | Comments |