A few notes on the results of the Iranian presidential election. It’s not surprising. It would have been quite a sensation if the incumbent populist hardliner president wouldn’t have been re-elected. Definitely sort of a political earthquake with imponderable consequences, i.e., risks, for the Islamic establishment. The widely spread, in western media, impression of low support of the Iranians for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after four years of disastrous domestic and foreign policies with exploding prices, unemployment and general hopelessness among the youths may in fact have been heavily biased. Mr. Ahmadinejad is an exceptionally gifted, therefore immense dangerous, populist. In split countries like Iran with a voiceless, even silent, majority of underprivileged have-nots in the huge rural areas of the country liberal attitudes of well-off city dwellers, well-educated intellectuals heavily fearing loosing everything what they had achieved in years of oppression after the Islamic Revolution (don’t forget that Iran had been celebrating earlier this year its 30th anniversary) do not really count although they might find their way easier into western media.
The presidential hopefuls who had been competing with Mr. Ahmadinejad didn’t have a chance. In particular former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi was too colorless, not well-known among the mainly young voters, too intellectual. The 30-something per cent he gained was what some observers had actually expected. That the former speaker of the majlis, Mehdi Karrouby, and former Commander of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai were so weak might be considered the real sensation of this election, whose campaign had got a lot of momentum especially in the past few days. It was nice to see engagement of young people in the politics of their country. Sad to say, but another piece of hope for the future of this gorgeous country had been destroyed today.