Iran’s popular choice not favoured in the West


Has Ahmadinejad’s re-election by an overwhelming majority of Iran’s 40-odd million voters jeopardized the Islamic Revolution?

This seems to be the assessment of sectors of the western media intent on sowing confusion and doubt on the legitimacy of the recent presidential elections. For instance, Bill Schneider, CNN’s senior political analyst didn’t even stop there. He went as far as questioning the legitimacy of the entire Iranian government!

It appears that the collective shameful conduct by the European Union and the United States to reject Hamas’ legitimacy following its victory at the 2006 polls in the Occupied Territories is likely to be repeated in Iran.

A superficial media focus on Iran without any substantial insight into it’s history, culture and religious philosophy will not only distort and detract from the complexities of its political makeup; more particularly it will result in faulty analysis.

Shallow reports on the election results and a sense of déjà vu with images of tyres and garbage being burnt on Teheran’s streets by followers of the “reformist” candidate would have the world believe that an electoral fraud of gigantic proportion has been committed by Ahmadinejad to “steal” victory.

Failure to probe Mir Hussein Mousavi’s “reformist” credentials is an important indicator of the wishful ideologues of change from outside desiring to see the back of Israel’s nemesis: Ahmadinejad.

Having met Mousavi during his tenure as Prime Minister in the eighties, I am aware that his revolutionary credentials are solid and intact. His so-called “reformist” agenda thus does not imply that under his watch, Iran would abandon its nuclear programme or establish ties with Israel. It’s more to do with internal dynamics related to the economy rather than a reversal of the huge gains made following the ouster of the US-backed Shah during Iran’s Islamic Revolution thirty years ago.

In the politics of language, terms such as “reformer” give rise to romantic notions of change for a state regularly demonised as “medieval” or “conservative”. In Iran’s case especially since it is targeted by the Zionist regime as posing an “existential” threat and against the backdrop of hostility generated against it by former president George Bush as an “axis of evil” it is clear that people’s imagination in the west may run riot.

Iran’s democratic credentials have been tested many times over during the last three decades. Presidential and parliamentary elections are regularly held with huge turnouts and the expected disgruntlement of supporters of losing candidates. What is disconcerting this time around is the fact that pro-Mousavi supporters have embarked on a rampage and in doing so as acts of dissatisfaction with the electoral result have ignored Mousavi’s call for calm.

President Ahmadinejad has an inspiring corruption-free record in his first term and before when he was an effective mayor of Teheran. In addition, his modest lifestyle has endeared him to the ordinary people who in large numbers have given him an additional four years to build on his first term.

Iran’s traditional antagonists in the West cannot be so dumb as not to realize that the more they seek to undermine Ahmadinejad, they unfortunately, sabotage Mousavi’s reputation by unfairly casting him as their favoured puppet.