Saturday, April 11, 2009

Musings on Iran

Iranian Electoral Poll Wars.
As in the U.S., during elections, the various sides not only fight over policy but also over polls.

A poll showing Ahmadinejad in trouble was attacked by pro-Ahmadijehad websites:

Iran’s ILNA labor news agency published a poll which speaks of presidential hopeful Mir ‎Hossein Mousavi’s lead among workers. The polls of the news agency, which is linked to ‎Khane Kargar (literally the House of Workers, the largest workers organization in the ‎country), show a 16 point lead for Mousavi vs. Ahmadinejad and an 8 point leaf for ‎Karubi vs. Ahmadinejad.

This report seems surprising. If an IRGC poll finds Ahmadinejad this far behind, then perhaps he is really in trouble.

Peaceful Iran vs. Militarist Israel?

What would happen if someone other than Ahmadinejad won the election and pursued compromise? The world would have warmonger Netanyahu in office at the same time as a moderate in Tehran. How might that reorient regional affairs?
Another conservative website, Tabnak which is close to former Passdaran (IRGC) ‎commander Mohsen Rezai, also published the results of its Internet poll at the end of the ‎Iranian New Year according to which Khatami received 51.7 percent of the votes, Mir ‎Hossein Mousavi 23.8 percent and Ahmadinejad 15.1 percent of those polled.

Western hostility helps opponents of West.
I have repeatedly pointed out that American and Israeli hostility toward Iran empower Ahmadinejad whenever politicians threaten to attack Iran, but here is an explanation of a second way in which Western opponents of Ahmadinejad are keeping him in power:

Fact is that the Western economic sanctions are pulling the rug from the criticisms of Ahmadinejad’s internal failures. So challenging him on this issue is a spit in the wind that will haunt them more than him. Who in Iran will blame Ahmadinejad for rising prices, when the US is forcing economic sanctions on the whole country? Furthermore, Ahmadinejad is cleverly using the issue to show the Reformists as weak, ineffective, un-principled and Western stooges. And, unfortunately, he seems to be right.

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