Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran’s June 12 election with a whopping 62.6 per cent of the vote. His main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi called the result a “charade” and has demanded a re-run.
“I personally strongly protest the many obvious violations and I’m warning I will not surrender to this dangerous charade,” said Mousavi, according to Reuters.
The possibility of a re-run is very slim so Iranians, unfortunately, must come to terms with the reality of four more years under Ahmadinejad, a man whom many have called a “dictator.”
But the people just wont have it. To many of Mousavi’s supporters 62.6 per cent is suspiciously high. After all, before the election the two candidates were apparently locked in a head-to-head battle.
Mousavi’s supporters and supporters of free vote and democracy have taken to the streets in anger. Yelling “down with the dictator” and “freedom freedom freedom” they are vocally expressing their extreme distaste at the prospect of four more years under the tyrannical Ahmadinejad.
The protest has turned violent now, with many angry voters breaking windows, breaking into shops and setting fire to various objects across the crowded city. Police isn’t responding well, they’re using tear gas and batons in an attempt to discourage and stop protesting, which is, despite these attempts, still going strong. Reports of deaths are now coming in.
Many of the protesters are urbanites who voted for Mousavi or Karoubi and feel betrayed by their government. A government who they say, perhaps frightened by the prospect of losing power, rigged the election to guarantee victory.
Mousavi said it. The citizens have said it. It’s popular belief among westerners, too.
If the election results are correct, Ahmadinejad apparently won handily in Mousavi’s heartland. That’s hard to believe.
What it means for society
Speculating about a possible election rigging won’t solve the problem however, because Ahmadinejad is now president and is unlikely to relinquish power or allow any sort of re-run. He’s never been one to give into public demands, and this isn’t an exception.
So what does Ahmadinejad’s election mean for Iran? Well, any hope for peaceful social reform is now defunct. The state-owned media will continue to dominate, private and liberal media companies will still be outlawed, and the government will still own the communications system.
The young will continue to be oppressed; freedom of expression will not become a real right for citizens.
Unemployment will stay around 30 per cent, yea, 30 per cent. No joke. Inflation will remain in double digits and the economic problems of the nation will go ignored, just as they have been for a while now.
For the U.S.? This term will serve to increase tensions between the two nations, largely at odds because of Ahmadinejad’s thirst for advancing his country’s nuclear program and his hate for Israel.
Mousavi has the same view on Iran’s nuclear program and Israel, though he claims he wants to advance the program for peaceful purposes.
No one really believes that, though the moderate reformist did say he wanted to increase positive relations between his country and the U.S. and middle-east. However, while he was prime minister in the 1980s, many horrible human rights violations did take place.
Still, he would have been easier to deal with, and most likely better for Iran. But that dream is dead. And for Iran, it’s worse. Their people will continue to be oppressed, humiliated on an international stage and controlled by their government.