Sunday, June 26, 2005

Will reform rise in the wake of Ahmadinejad's victory? 

Big Pharoah thinks so:
Now, ever since the youth of Iran brought Khatami to power, apathy started to contaminate the political veins of those youth who are the only ones capable of bringing the regime down. The youth were busy enjoying the few freedoms that Khatami brought (nail polish, pop music, lax dress codes, etc) and they were busy searching for jobs and getting stoned on mountains around Tehran. The protests of the late 90s seemed to be something of the past. I am hoping that AJ and his radical way of governing will shake the people up again...

I know that what I am saying sounds cruel and inhumane. In fact, who am I to say that the Iranian people have to endure the rule of a hardliner so that they might rise up and usher in another people revolution? However, I just cannot help but think that way even though I know that I would have voted for Rafsanjani to avoid an AJ term if I were an Iranian. Let us hope that... we'll see this one good thing in Ahmadinejad's Iran.

Far be it from me to argue with the Pharoah on matters of politics in that part of the world, but I think it is unlikely that the silver lining he hopes for will reveal itself quickly. The chances for gradual reform and liberalization have gone down, it seems to me. The options for Iranians now have dwindled to risky confrontations that will be very painful for any Iranian with the courage to challenge the regime, and probably his or her family. Iran's religious authorities are too closed to the world and too combative to loosen the reins peacefully so soon after they feel they have won a great victory at the ballot box.


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