Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Would You Bet?

If I had to bet on who won the presidential election a year ago in Iran, I would bet on Ahmadinejad. Am I a supporter of him? Obviously not but with the lack of hard evidence, that is a full investigation of the electoral process, my wager is my summary of what happened a year ago.

A friend of mine who has a lot more contact with Iran is of the opposite opinion. He believes that Ahmadinejad lost the election and he could not have received more than 20 or 25% of the vote. The massive fraud and its cover up by the Khamenei’s regime is a good indicator. There is ample evidence for the fraud but I believe even if Ahmadinejad had won with 51% of the vote they had to resort to fraud to bump up his numbers. The survival of this regime hinges on the façade of popular approval and the depiction of the opposition as a very small minority. This regime is not popular and does not have any resources, material or morals, to gain popularity. It will continue to teeter on the crisis of legitimacy.

My friend has some very good arguments but I stick to my bet. Am I aiding and abetting Khamenei’s regime? For one thing I believe that was the reality of a year ago. Whether Ahmadinejad received 51% or 49% is really immaterial, the regime is no longer popular and is continuing to lose ground and no bet is going to help them overcome their crisis. But the problem today is that the opposition has political crisis and it will take time to rise above it. Another round of “reformist” victory would not have resolved this political crisis.

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