Sunday, June 26, 2005

Iranian non-spring 

I do not intend to take my complaint about the elections to those arbitrators who have proved that they do not want, or can not, do anything. As in the previous case, I only seek my right in the court of divine justice and the God whose help I beseeched, and for whose satisfaction I entered the scene, and with whom I made a deal. I am certain that if anyone is going to be punished in divine vengeance it will not be the people, the Islamic Revolution or Iran, but only the real culprits.

They tried to weaken their rival by weakening the revolution because they knew that their rival would defend the revolution at all times and is not afraid of responsibilities. They have ruthlessly destroyed the reputation of my family and that of mine by spending tens of billions from the public purse in an unprecedented manner. They have interfered in the elections by utilizing the facilities of the [Islamic] system in an organized and illegitimate manner. I am sure that the punishment for their injustice to the country, people and I will only result in their loss in this world and the hereafter.
You have to be concerned about the integrity of the electoral process when even Hashemi Rafsanjani doesn't have any faith in it. "What will the mainstream media do with this?" asks Regime Change Iran. Not much aside from just mentioning it; pretty much everyone seems to be happy with the official line that the turnout was high and there was no fraud.

So what's next for Iran? Trouble. The chasm between the moderate, reformist electorate, which largely stayed away from the polls, and the conservative, theocratic electorate is, if anything, getting wider, despite meaningless statements from the winner like "Today is a day when we have to forget all our rivalries and turn them into friendships." Particularly if he starts rolling back some of the recent little freedoms that many Iranians have come to enjoy (and by little, I mean really little, like wearing colorful head-scarves).

"It's the economy, in Iran too"
, notes Al Jazeera, pointing to the fact that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to have received most of his support from the country's poor, of which there is surprisingly a lot for an oil-rich state. Idiotic statist policies, cronyism and corruption have so far managed to waste away Iran's considerable economic potential. Interestingly, in the last week of the campaign, Rafsanjani proposed to solve Iran's economic ills by privatizing the state-owned industries and distributing the wealth in shares of stock to all Iranians (a proposal very similar for the Freedom Trust for Iraqi people discussed on this blog a few days ago).

Rafsanjani's ambitious plan could not compete, however, with Ahmadinejad's cure-all: increase pensions, raise health insurance, offer farmers interest-free loans, and push up minimum wages - that is, handouts for all. Now watch the mullah-approved brave economic program raise millions out of poverty and revive Iran's stagnating economy.

Iran's economy, already in bad shape, is heading for a meltdown under Ahmadinejad's theo-socialism. The poor might have given him the edge this time, but how happy are they going to be when the promised economic sunshine proves to be a mirage?


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