An Iranian Voice

June 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Foreign Affairs, politics straight up | Leave a comment
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Shah of Persia, Mohammed Ali Mirzi,  the first Persian monarch to rule under a constitution, deposed in July 1909.  Photo by G. Grantham/Bain News Service, c. December 19, 1907 (Library of Congress)

Shah of Persia, Mohammed Ali Mirzi, the first Persian monarch to rule under a constitution, deposed July 1909. Photo by G. Grantham/Bain News Service, c. December 19, 1907 (Library of Congress)

There is a lot of concern being expressed in the blogosphere about the outcome of the Iranian presidential election. While I certainly agree that a weaponized Iran is not in anyone’s interest, it seems to me that the certainty with which Americans are declaring the election a fraud is based more in wishful thinking than in fact.

Abbas Barzegar
, an Iranian PhD candidate in religious studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, spent the last week in Iran covering, as he put it, “the election carnival.”

His opinion is that Mousavi’s chances of winning were very slim. He has a thoughtful opinion piece in the Guardian explaining his view, which ends with the following:

In the future, observers would do us a favour by taking a deeper look into Iranian society, giving us a more accurate picture of the very organic religious structures of the country, and dispensing with the narrative of liberal inevitability. It is the religious aspects of enigmatic Persia that helped put an 80-year-old exiled ascetic at the head of state 30 years ago, then the charismatic cleric Khatami in office 12 years ago, the honest son of a blacksmith – Ahmedinejad – four years ago, and the same yesterday.

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