Watching the Iran Election 2013…

I am indeed watching and have some questions and opinions on it.

First impressions are that there is perhaps the biggest olive branch offering coming out of Tehran (and Qom as it were) with this election. Although ultimately the Iranian president is easily neutered by the Supreme Leader et al presenting a reformist of sorts who dare speaks of re-establishing direct diplomatic relations with the USA is something to stand up and notice methinks.

There is the possibility that this is smoke and mirrors and part of a bigger story in Iran’s domestic politics. Offer reforms and openness while all along unleashing the Revolutionary Guard and its tag along elements on the home crowd and waging proxy combat in Syria via Hezbollah to stake out ones foreign policy agenda. All along the nuclear question is staying on the table and the day after an election is different from the day of in Iran just as it is the USA.

I am personally going to go the optimist route here. I think Iran wants and deserves a better seat at the table and that if a more open and respectable setting is opened up it ca be beneficial for all parties concerned. We’ll see.



  1. Alfie says:

    Results are in

  2. Rutherford says:

    I voted wait and see. It’s my nature not to trust theocracies.

  3. thorsaurus says:

    I voted yes, if for no other reason than the massive turnout. The people are still willing to buck the will of the supreme leader. I have always felt that our best chance with Iran is the moderates taking over from within, not the enforcement of our will from the outside. Diligent optimism.

    Perhaps this is the new dynamic in the Middle East. Cold War despot overthrown. Fundamentalists move in but blow it just as bad. A more moderate, theo-democracy slowly emerges. Pipe dream? Probably, but a lot of good things have started out as merely dreams.

  4. Rutherford says:

    Thor the only fly I see in your ointment so to speak is that the Ayatollah was always viewed as more moderate and sane than his mouthpiece Ahmadinejad. It’s one reason why antagonistic rhetoric from Mahmoud was never taken too seriously.

    Now I could be mistakenly recalling what I heard in the press but I don’t think this election represents a smack in the Ayatollah’s face. As I heard someone on the news say, “the Ayatollah let the new President win”. This was no free legit election as far as I can tell.

    Alfie do you disagree?

  5. Raji says:

    I tend to agree with Rutherford’s statement as to whether or not this was a so called “free” election. I also agree with Alfie that Iran wants and deserves a better seat at the table. We need to recognize the role these countries play in foreign policy and in the Middle East. We also need to learn their culture and accept the differences from Western culture. We are abject failures when it comes to accepting these premises that all countries are not governed by our standards. Respect goes a long way in establishing diplomacy.

  6. Huck says:

    I don’t think Iran’s election process allows for much in the way of positive change. Candidates are vetted well before the election and anyone who might rock the boat is not allowed to run. Anything positive that comes out of this election will only be in the most relative sense.

    With that said, I am against the policy that we can’t talk to our “enemies.” They are the ones we NEED to talk to.

    I just read a couple good books on US-Iranian relations for a 10-week seminar on the topic. They weren’t perfect, but interesting ideas in them. They were pretty cheap buying used on Amazon, if interested.

    “Going to Tehran” – Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett

    “The ‘Great Satan’ vs The ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the US and Iran Demonize Each Other” – William Beeman

  7. Alfie says:

    Although there is the whole Guardian Council vetting thing the actually voting and spirit of the electorate is something to give at least a golf clap to.
    There was definite tensions between the clerics and Ahmadinejad and I even saw an article thats premise was that we’ll possibly miss him in light of a cleric aligned president. I think the moderate clerics and their supporters gel well with a spirit of some reforms. I think we as westerners need to look at the changes through an Iranian lens. I don’t see them embracing Israel but I think they could ratchet down the rhetoric. This has been potentially porked by Bibi with his post election rant against Tehran.

  8. Rutherford says:

    From my admittedly limited perspective, I don’t think Bibi has any interest in peace at all. The Arab world could wake up one morning and declare their undying love for Israel and Bibi would still be ready for a fight.

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