No recent election has received as much attention in the Western media as has Iran’s. The leaders of the U.S., France, U.K, Germany. and Italy have made no secret of their dislike of the declared results: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was given another four-year term.
Why the fuss, given that the U.S. did not comment on the results of the recent Lebanese parliamentary elections, in which over a billion dollars was spent to pay for charter flights and free trips for Lebanese in Canada and other countries to go home and vote? Besides, irregularities and election security in every election are common.
We all remember, as should President Barak Obama, the electoral fraud of the 2000 U.S. presidential election. George W. Bush stole the highest position in the nation, and that led millions of Americans to call for taking back control of the democratic process, exposing the corruption in election security, and real election reform. I don’t remember Mr. Obama saying a word at that time.
Let us first state some facts about Iran:
- A cold war against Iran has been going on for some years now, led by the U.S. and Israel. Helping in that war is a big media propaganda machine fed and managed by the pro-Israeli lobby in the U.S.
- Iran has followed the U.S.’s wishes some 80% of the time for the last 10 years-especially in matters related to Iraq, Afghanistan and al-Qa’ida-but this does not satisfy Washington.
- This presidential election is the 11th in the last 30 years.
- There have been some 30 elections at different levels in the last 30 years.
- In all elections, over 70% of eligible Iranian voters cast ballots. The ratio is about the same among the young and women. The ratio in the West is less than 60%.
- Iran follows a political system according to a constitution that was approved by the vast majority in 1979.
- A pre-election poll conducted by The Washington Post showed Ahmadinejad having a 2:1 lead over his nearest rival. Iranian polls indicated the same.
- The U.S. was hoping for someone other than Ahmadinejad to deal with over the next four years, figuring anyone else would be new to the job and therefore a weaker negotiator.
- Ahmadinejad is the first Iranian president who could identify closely with the poor.
- Ahmadinejad managed to maintain the Iranian economy to be ranked the third in the region after that of Israel and Turkey, despite U.S.-imposed sanctions.
- In the last four years, Ahmadinejad capably managed policies concerning nuclear energy, satellite technology, relations with China and Russia, infrastructure projects and defense.
Now we ask: who among the Iranians is not happy with the declared results and is demonstrating inside and outside Iran? They belong to one of these groups:
- Iranians who hate the idea of an Islamic republic, Iranian-style or any other style.
- Iranians who imagine that the U.S. would be kinder to their country if Ahmadinejad were not president.
- Rich Iranians affected by the social justice policies of Ahmadinejad.
- Young Iranians who are emulating the West by using modern communication technology.
- Political supporters of other Iranian leaders whom Ahmadinejad harshly criticized during the recent presidential TV debates, such as former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whom Ahmadinejad defeated four years ago.
"The election was free and there is no document proving these charges," said Ahmadinejad in his first press conference following his re-election. "It is really ridiculous that the loser of the election claims that majority of the votes belong to him. This is really absurd."
Ahmadinejad said there was no crisis in the country, and he compared the protestors to football fans whose team has lost and could not tolerate defeat. "That is natural; these are short-term emotional reflections," he said, claiming that freedom in Iran was "almost at a maximum level" and therefore opponents still have the right to express their standpoints.
Helene Cooper of The New York Times reported that the continuing street protests in Tehran are emboldening a corpus of conservatives-read pro-Israel lobby-in Washington to demand that Mr. Obama take "a more visible stance" in support of the protesters.
Ahmadinejad’s re-election was a test of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. He got an F.