Iranian polls & American noise

Before going into the allegations it’s important that the two contestants are discussed so that the reader knows if the results went either way would it really have made any difference to the American led West. It’s only America and her allies that are really making the noise rest all have left it as the internal matter of Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, born 28 October 1956 is now the seventh and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He became president after winning the 2005 presidential election and re-elected to a second term in June 2009. Many Iranians and members of the international community have considered Ahmadinejad’s most recent electoral victory to be fraudulent. Despite his title, he does not hold the highest constitutional office in Iran, Article 113 of the Constitution of Iran empowers the Supreme Leader of Iran (Ali Khamenei). Prior to becoming president, Ahmadinejad was mayor of Tehran and governor general of Iran’s Ardabil Province.

Ahmadinejad has been a strong and vocal critic of the United States and Israel; he backs strengthening Iran’s relations with Russia, China, Venezuela, Syria, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. He is a strong supporter of Shanghai Conference Organisation, apparently an economic block but with clear tone of American sentiment. Ahmadinejad has always maintained that Iran’s nuclear program is for energy needs and not for nuclear weapons development. With him as the President, Iran has refused to end nuclear enrichment despite United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for it to do so. Ahmadinejad argues that the sanctions imposed by the West over Iran’s nuclear enrichment are illegal and that Iran will continue to abide by International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring of its nuclear program. Now after Obama’s speech in Cairo, where he conceded that if one country has the nuclear technology so can the other countries, thus the nuclear issues ceases to be an issue. In spite of the repeated assurances by the Iranian government that Iran was not on the path to acquire nuclear weapons had the IAEA carry out an inspection. During three years of the most intrusive inspections in the history of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA’s Director-General Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei has repeatedly reported that he can find no “indication” of diversion of “source or special nuclear materials” to a military purpose. Despite this, the Bush Administration finally succeeded in forcing the Governing Board of the IAEA to send the dossier on Iran’s nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council.

According to a speech translation disputed by the Iranian government, Ahmadinejad has called for the dissolution of the state of Israel. He also calls for free elections in the region. He believes that the Palestinians need a stronger voice in the region’s future. One of Ahmadinejad’s most controversial statements was in which, according to the initial Islamic Republic News Agency translation, he called for the “occupying regime” to be “wiped off the map,” though the translation and interpretation of the comment is disputed. He has also been condemned for describing the Holocaust as a myth, which has led to accusations of anti-Semitism; the interpretation of this quote is also disputed. In response to these criticisms, Ahmadinejad said “No, I am not against Jews, I respect them very much.” Ahmadinejad also clarified, “I’m not saying that [the Holocaust] didn’t happen at all. This is not the judgment that I’m passing here.”

During his presidency, Ahmadinejad launched a gas rationing plan to reduce the country’s fuel consumption. He also instituted cuts in the interest rates that private and public banking facilities could charge. He issued a directive, according to which the Management and Planning Organization should be affiliated to the government. Now coming to Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh, is painted as a reformist politician. He is a painter and architect who from 1981 to 1989, served as the fifth and last Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran; thereafter, the constitution was changed and the post of the Prime Minister was removed. Mousavi is currently the president of the Iranian Academy of Arts and was a candidate for the 2009 presidential election.

Before that, Mousavi was the Minister of Foreign Affairs; currently he is also a member of the Expediency Discernment Council and the High Council of Cultural Revolution. However, as of 2009, he has not participated in their meetings for a long time which is interpreted by political analysts and commentators as a sign of his disapproval. Mousavi holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Shahid Beheshti University. In the early years of the revolution, Mousavi was the Editor-in-Chief of the official newspaper of the Islamic Republic Party, the Jomhouri-e Eslami (Islamic Republic) newspaper.

Here it may also be mentioned that no one can contest the elections for the top offices of the President and the parliament before the candidates are cleared by a body of clergy who really direct and control the political shape of the country. Thus no matter who wins and takes the office; there would be no major shift in the announced policies except for the cosmetics. Therefore reading between the lines, either of the two would mean the same to America and her allies, so why all this noise? America has had a declared policy to bring about a regime change in Iran for which purpose; for this purpose, The U.S. opened an office of Iranian affairs in the State Department — overseen by Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the then Vice President Dick Cheney — and tasked the unit with drawing up plans to overthrow the Iranian government. The U.S. Congress has reportedly appropriated more than $120 million to fund the project.

In February 2006 to the delight of LA’s Iranian community, the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, announced plans to spend $85m on boosting “democracy programmes” (compared with $3.5m in 2005). Now some question that may be that moment of change has arrived therefore America is making all the noise. On the other hand, there are countries that want to replace the uni-polar world with a multi-polar one. Leaders of emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) underlined on Tuesday support for a democratic and just multi-polar world order based on the rule of international law, equality, mutual respect, cooperation and coordinated action of all states. Traditionally, the post-revolution Iran is a staunch supporter of such moves that hurts the USA.

The current situation in Iran has echoes of an earlier revolutionary period. What Ahmadinejad ridiculed as “passions after a soccer match” during his carefully orchestrated press conference on Sunday in fact resembles 1979 when he himself took to the streets to overthrow the Shah and establish the Islamic Republic of Iran. What used to be the revolutionary mantra “Margh-bar shah” (death to the shah) in 1979 turned into “Margh-bar dictator” (death to the dictator) in 2009. In his boldest and most historically symbolic move yet, Mousavi urged his supporters to channel their anger into civil disobedience and called on them to gather on their rooftops after sunset to call “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great). The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini used the same tactic to unite the country in protest against the monarchy. Since Saturday, nights in Tehran echo these chants, sending a powerful message to those who were revolutionaries themselves 30 years ago. Has Mousavi been cultivated, a very remote possibility that he is forcing to launch such a vigorous civil disobedience that may shatter Iran or has he become so egoistic that he has put the future of Iran at stake. It would have been in the larger interest of Iran had Mousavi accepted the results like Richard Nixon did when he first lost the presidential elections knowingly that it had been rigged. Nixon did so for the people to retain faith in the system. If not, then Mousavi should have initiated the legal process to establish the rule of law.

It remains to be seen to what extent history will repeat itself. The relatively bloodless revolution of 1979 was a general strike of unprecedented popular determination, which lasted over 5 months and put an end to 25 centuries of monarchy. In the end, the shah did not take his autocratic rule to its logical conclusion and fire on the demonstrators. Having sensed the gravity of the movement, the Shah preferred to depart and leave Iran in the hands of Ayatollah Khomeini. In 2009, the sociopolitical and international realities are vastly different. Whether popular sovereignty or authoritarian tenacity prevails in the end, Ahmadinejad the revolutionary of 1979 may have developed the taste for power and finding it difficult to relinquish it. If that be the case he should show grace and offer for a more acceptable solution.

But for America, no matter who takes the office would not bring about any change unless either America accepts to talk to the present political leadership or have the system dismantled and a chaos is created to break up Iran; the Greater Middle East Initiative. Here it would not be out of context to suggest that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia must play its role to defuse the situation in Iran; failing which if Iran is destabilized, the entire region can be on fire. The evil would have won at the cost of the humanity.Raja G Mujtaba

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