Elections in Iran – A time for change?

First of all, shame on me.

I’ve been completely busy with thesis (almost done!) and work and the blog was “abandoned” without any pity. After receiving a lot of emails, I’m back (part-time for a while, I think).
So, today I’m writing about Iran. As some of you may know, last Saturday Hassan Rouhani won the country elections with a little bit more than 50% of the votes. It was a big surprise for everyone: Rouhani favours political openness, as well as re-establishing relations with the west, which may shock with the politics developed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

So, is this election a way to open Iran’s politics? Well, maybe. Rouhani is definitely a good diplomat and he may be able to developed more consistent relations with the west, especially the US. On the other hand, we still have the Ayatollah as the most important and influent man in Iran and he doesn’t like western countries that much.

What do you think will happen?

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18 Comments

Filed under Middle-East

18 responses to “Elections in Iran – A time for change?

  1. The very last thing the US and Israel want is a moderate voice in Iran, that would put a spanner in the works if they didn’t have an excuse to attack Iran, nick their oil and leave Israel as the only power in the region.
    My money’s on the poor man getting assassinated by Mossad trained and funded Iranian “hardliners”.

  2. Dunois

    It’s arguably a victory for everyone.

    The election is a victory for reformists, who hope Rohani can boost the economy (which is being utterly destroyed by Western sanctions) and help ease the regime’s tight police/security presence.

    It’s also a win for Khamenei and the conservative regime: they can point to this election as clear proof that Iran has a legitimate democracy (despite the fact that they removed all liberal candidates from the race beforehand) and can claim political/social stability (which looks very nice when compared to the situation in Turkey and Syria).

    And it’s a victory for the West, since we can now negotiate with someone who desires a sort of agreement and cooling of tensions. Definitely a marked improvement when compared to Ahmadinejad.

    At the same time, we must remember that Rouhani, despite being a (relative) moderate, was allowed to run as a candidate by Iran’s Council of Guardians (all the liberal candidates were disqualified by them ahead of the election). This means that the regime intentionally selected and allowed him to run; he is a regime insider, albiet a possible reformist.

    Rouhani is a proven pragmatist, and his ascension will most likely change domestic politics and improve international negotiations (especially nuclear, given that he was a negotiator). But again: he is an establishment figure. There will be no change regarding the substance of the Iran’s Islamic regime. It is still, and will firmly remain, a theocratic society with popular sovereignty.

  3. I don’t think much will change at all. I read an article where someone speculated that Rhouani’s election may have come at the right time considering that Khamenei is ageing, which might give him more influence, but there really isn’t that much of an age gap between them. He certainly seems better than we had reason to hope for, but I doubt he has either the will or the power to make big changes.

  4. Thanks Tania and welcome back. Your email alert arrived at the same time as one from Tembisa of Joel Rosenberg’s informed insights. As I’ve referred to him previously am also re-blogging.

  5. I hope this ushers in a new age of openness and redevelopment of relations between the US and Iran. Some in this country would remain concerned about the Ayatollah’s, still significant, power. That said, I believe those in the west should see this as an opportunity to pursue a more positive relationship.

  6. I think the West needs to be more respectful of all Eastern countries, including Iran.
    We are not them. We need to offer them peace and love and hands-off their cultural and political choices.

  7. Thanks for liking my blog, adoseofpersonalwhim. I really like reading your stuff and hope that I can develop mine likewise! Also, totally understand about abandoning blogs during stressful work times! Til then, thanks for the support!

  8. this election a way to open Iran’s politics? Well, maybe. Rouhani is definitely a good diplomat and he may be able to developed more consistent relations with the west, especially the US.Iran Politics

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