The Guardian Council of the Iranian Islamic theocracy has just started screening of 475 electoral hopefuls who have signed-up for the June 12 presidential election. The winner is already known, the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is no other choice for the Iranian people. Despite considerable domestic criticism which I have noticed during my recent visit of Iran from mainly upper-class Iranians, in particular of his amateurish economic policies (but the global economic crisis has not only hit Iran), support from those who won’t have anything to loose is unbowed. And they are the majority in the country anyway.
Ahmadinejad, whose adversary G. W. Bush has vanished in the meantime from the scene, has effectively used these four years of confrontation to establish the country as a middle power not only in the Middle East. His dauntless, provocative demeanor has made him the new hero among the mainly uneducated, unemployed, young and disunsatisfied, predominantly male, Muslims. A sudden defeat would fall short of his unquestionable achievements for the country. Iran has not (yet) been attacked either by Israel or the U.S. for its ambitious uranium enrichment program, which anybody considers as being designed for the development of nuclear weapons. President Obama, ensnared in the flagrant torture scandal of the former U.S. administration, has even stretched a hand toward the country provided it unclenches its fist. Israel, after the recent Gaza War and with its hardliners in its new cabinet, seems to be internationally more isolated than ever.
No, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can’t help but only endorse “his” president Ahmadinejad. And when he is going to do that, he will be elected. Such are things in dictatorships. Sorry, but there seems to be no hope for the Iranian people.