Saturday, May 06, 2006

The unwashed taxi driver

Christopher Hitchens may be right in his assessment of Juan Cole, but he is wrong about Iran.
Well, I was in Iran in the run up to those elections, and they went through the usual procedure. First, they eliminate all the candidates they don't like, even anyone who's vaguely tainted with the brush of so-called reformism. So they comb out the list of possible candidates. Then they present a final list, very, very near the election, by the way. And it looked to most people as if, disliked though he is, that Mr. Rafsanjani would get another term in office. Not be reelected, but elected again. I mean, he'd been out, but might be returned, because the others were so pathetic or so nasty. This was a bit of a crisis, you know, for the regime, and suddenly, at the very last minute, they find a new candidate and shot him in, some unwashed taxi driver figure who once was a Mayor of Tehran, and who is a complete religious loyalist. Well, I think that shows that he's a puppet all right, and we know who pulls the strings, the supreme council of mullahs, pulls these strings. I think that he can't have advanced any more in power...And then of course, I might add, it really annoys me when the New York Times reports the landslide victory of this puppet. (Radioblogger, via Norm.)


This is a travesty of the truth. See here, here and here. Also, how come then that Khatami was elected in 1997 and 2001? I just don't see that if Rafsanjani had been elected, it would have been a 'crisis for the regime'. 

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