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Hardliner wins presidency in Iran thanks to boycott, irregularities

Posted By Jerome R. Corsi On 06/27/2005 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Hardliner wins presidency in Iran
Exclusive: Jerome Corsi attributes election to boycott and irregularities

The hard-line Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday won the Iranian run-off presidential election, defeating the favored former-president Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The result is largely due to a planned boycott of the election in protest of the oppressive regime of the mullahs. An estimated 25 million people voted yesterday, of some 52 million Iranians who should have the right to vote. Moreover, a score of irregularities distinguished election day, ranging from using the identification cards of the mentally ill and deceased to vote, as well as multiple voting under the same name utilizing various forms of ID including driving permits, birth certificates, and national or service IDs. Aggressive state intelligence agents and harassing local Bassij militia threatened or otherwise coerced many to vote who otherwise would have stayed away.

The election will be touted internationally as a defeat for the “reformists” and “pragmatists,” who supposedly would have favored a victory for Rafsanjani. The former pistachio farmer had campaigned on his prior experience as president and his ability to engage the United States in “constructive negotiations.”

The reality is that both candidates were mullah puppets, both hardliners regardless of the rhetoric to the contrary. In 1989, when Rafsanjani was president before, he brutally put down the student revolt by hiring thugs who entered the university with clubs and chains to break up the dormitories and brutally beat the students into submission.

Rafsanjani is still under international indictment for the murder of Iranian dissidents in Europe – he cannot even leave Iran without risk of international arrest and prosecution. Rafsanjani was simply being repackaged as a constructive force, a public-relations job which fooled only the most pro-mullah supporters in Iran or around the world.

The vast majority of those wanting progressive change in Iran largely stayed away, abandoning the polls to the ultra-conservative forces within the society dominated by the theocracy. A movement to boycott elections in Iran has grown in force since 1997 when Khatami, the current president, was elected on a promise to reform Iran. When Khatami’s promises proved empty because he, too, was completely dominated by the mullahs, millions of Iranians decided there was no point in voting in the sham elections conducted by the theocracy.

The reaction of the U.S. State Department was surprisingly appropriate. According to spokesperson Joanne Moore, the result of the Iranian presidential election would not change U.S. policy toward Iran. “With the conclusion of the elections in Iran, we have seen nothing that sways us from our view that Iran is out of step with the rest of the region in the currents of freedom and liberty that have been so apparent in Iraq, Afganistan and Lebanon,” Moore stated, continuing the administration’s theme of rejecting the mullahs and their fraudulent election practices.

Judging from Ahmadinejad’s past as mayor of Tehran, the people of Iran are in for even more repression of political, economic and religious freedoms in the days ahead. The most conservative mullahs now have control over both Iran’s parliament and the presidency. We can expect Iran to move even further away from any thought of internal change or serious engagement with the United States.

Possibly the regime will resume the charade of negotiating with the Europeans on Iran’s nuclear program for a while longer. Yet, the internal pressure to resume enriching uranium can be expected to grow, fueled by the extreme clerics who believe in their hearts that Iran’s only path ahead is to possess nuclear weapons as soon as possible, regardless of what the rest of the world says. Forget rapprochement with the United States – that was unlikely to happen regardless of who won this farce of an election.


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