Iranian election roundup, 7 June 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

The big news today is probably the election results in Lebanon, where Hezbollah was unable to win and the results seem to be pretty much identical to the last election. Ahmadinejad of course was hoping for a win for Hezbollah. Even the latest match for the Iranian soccer/football team failed to go his way.

The Mousavi / Karroubi debate: this was the second-last debate, and as expected it was quite friendly. During the last debate between Ahmadinejad and Karroubi, Ahmadinejad had brought a bazillion documents to support his view that the economy had improved under his watch, and as a response to this Mousavi also brought his own charts saying that the inflation rate was higher than Ahmadinejad had claimed. If you speak Persian you can start watching it here.

The last debate should be a very interesting one as it features Ahmadinejad and Rezaei; Rezaei is officially a hardliner but if you take a look at what he's been saying in this election it really isn't all that provocative. The Los Angeles Times has an interview where he makes some pretty interesting comments: Ahmadinejad's constant reference to the Holocaust is ridiculous (agreed); war is a terrible thing and should be avoided if at all possible (agreed). He also references again his solution to the Iranian nuclear issue: make a public stock company where Iran would control the majority of the company but let Western countries buy shares, and this oversight would give the West confidence that Iran isn't pursuing a weapons program on the side. It's a very interesting solution to the current problem.

At the same time Rezaei was the commander of the Revolutionary Guard and thus has been in the military forever, compared to a few months for Ahmadinejad, so it'll be interesting to see who will prevail in the debate. Rezaei really doesn't have anything to lose so he'll probably be on full offensive during the debate.

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