Iran elects new President

Reformists celebrate in Iran after Rowhani election.

Iran elected a new President this weekend, a relative moderate by most accounts. One can almost hear the neo-conservative wing of the GOP sighing in disappointment as the prospect of a lucrative war with an oil rich Islamic nation scuttles further out of reach:

NBC — Rowhani was the closest thing to a reform candidate in the election to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after Mohammad Reza Aref dropped out of the race on Tuesday. Some Iranians showed their support for Rowhani on the streets by wearing purple bracelets. Aref’s withdrawal was seen as likely to help Rowhani, who drew substantial crowds at his campaign rallies.

Rowhani also won the support of an advisory council aligned with reformist former President Mohammad Khatami. A former nuclear negotiator, it is not considered likely that Rowhani will bring about any major policy shift regarding the country’s disputed nuclear program. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini is responsible for all major national security policy decisions in the country.

Rowhani is a moderate in comparison to the hard-line fundamentalists that have ruled Iran since the revolution in 1979 deposed the preferred genocidal maniac installed by the CIA and British Petroleum. Mohammad Reza, better known as the Shah of Iran, was a Shiite version of Saddam Hussein, a bloodthirsty monster who preyed upon his own people but kept those corporate earnings and barrels of black gold flowing to the west like a good little toady. The Shah was put on the throne in 1953 thanks to a pile US money and weapons, after his predecessor was democratically elected and threatened to limit the exploitation of Iran’s oil by the west.

The blowback from that asinine decision, code named Operation Ajax (Eyeroll), eventually resulted in the Iranian Hostage Crisis, helped put Ronald Reagan into power, and continues to cost the US dearly to this day. Which on Bullshit Mountain under old man McCain and Huckleberry Graham means we better go in there and meddle with Iran some more and maybe invade them …


  1. atheist says

    It would be useful to note that the President of Iran is not considered the top leader in that nation. In their byzantine system, he’s the head of an executive branch, but the executive branch is itself under the authority of the clerical regime, headed by the Supreme Leader, who is considered the earthly representative of the Shiite Muslim Messiah. Currently the Supreme Leader is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This is quite different from a US President who is constitutionally the top executive of the nation. (Though, of course, in practice every decision a US President makes has to account for powerful corporate and institutional interests.)

  2. says

    I’ve heard it compared to being Sec of State in the US. Which is not a lot of power compared to our president, but the office does have some influence over foreign policy and that’s the biggie.

  3. says

    Iran operates under a system where the head of government and head of state are separate entities. In the US, both functions are under the office of the president. In many other (if not most )countries, these are different offices. In the UK, for example, the Queen is still technically the head of state, though she has very little beyond ceremonial powers these days. The actual head of the government is the prime minister.

    In Iran, the president more like the queen of England than a US president. He has certain ceremonial duties and hosts foreign dignitaries, but has almost no say over the internal workings of the government. The real power is held by the clerical council and the Supreme Ayatollah. The main effect of the election of a moderate president is that we’ll see a lot less crazy rhetoric coming out of Tehran than under I’m-a-dinner-jacket.

  4. says

    Granted the President of Iran has little real power; but a “moderate” in that position could provide a bit of organizational advantage and bully-pulpit for the moderates that they would not otherwise have. Also, the election of a “moderate” would signal the mullocrats that not everyone in their country supports their narrow agenda. None of that guarantees substantial improvement on any front, but it is a hopeful sign.

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