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Monday, June 27, 2005

US, EU sweat over Iran- The Times of India

The Times of India:

Iran’s newly-elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said on Saturday that he wanted to create a strong Islamic nation and issued a call for unity in his first comments after a landslide victory that left the country’s reformist movement virtually powerless and threatened to further complicate relations with the US. In an address on state radio, Ahmadinejad, a religious conservative, said he would work toward building 'an Islamic, exemplary, advanced and powerful nation,'and urged Iranians to 'forget all our rivalries and turn them into friendships.' Ahmadinejad’s rise to the presidency - the most important elected post in the country - reflected a desire by Iranian voters to change the economy and rid the nation of corruption. In his campaign, Ahmadinejad, who came from humble origins as a blacksmith’s son to become an engineer and in 2003 the mayor of Tehran, outlined a domestic agenda that can be described as Islamic socialism - protecting the core values of the Islamic revolution while using state resources to provide a financial safety net for all Iranian families, especially the poor. But the consolidation of power in the hands of conservatives could prove troublesome for US and the EU, which is scheduled to resume talks with Iran in July over its nuclear programme. While the election might not fundamentally change the country’s foreign policy positions, which are controlled by the clerics who have final say over all government actions, Ahmadinejad’s fierce nationalism could undermine any chance of a reconciliation with the US, as well as complicate the nuclear talks.
I was not expecting Ahmadinejad to win the Iranian election and it is difficult to say what this means. I certainly do not discount the possibilitity (likelihood in fact) that this election was rigged, but I am surprised that the Governing Council would want such a threatening figure in that office at this time. It is a setback for those of us who are hoping for peaceful reform in Iran. It will be interesting to watch how the Iranian reforms and the general populace of Iran decide to handle these events. It strikes me as being quite possible that the Governing Council may have overplayed their hand.


Blogger Greg said...

The Governing Council in Iran, like the Soviet regime, like the Nazi regime, like the "Palestinian" regime, is a bunch of thugs who've grabbed power at the expense of every civilized citizen of Iran(how many such citizens there are in Iran is to be questioned). We must understand who our enemies are before dealing with them. By dealing with them, I'm implying destroying them and everything that comes along.

6/28/2005 09:52:00 AM  

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