May 20, 2005

FIRST STEP:

Too early for a Tehran spring (Sami Moubayed, 5/20/05, Asia Times)

On May 15, the Iranian Ministry of Interior announced that 1,014 candidates had registered for the presidential elections in Iran scheduled for June 17. This has been hailed by the Western media as a great leap forward, directly resulting from the winds of American democracy sweeping through the Third World. A closer look, however, shows that the polls in Iran, although carrying some positive indicators of pluralism, are not a fully fledged Tehran spring.

Of the 1,014 nominated for presidential office, only 14 are likely to remain after the Guardians Council (GC) filters the applications. If democracy were to prevail in Iran, then the power of the GC should be significantly curbed, because it is not elected by the people but rather appointed by conservative Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

This has been echoed by Iranian democracy activists such as the reformist cleric Grand Ayatollah Yusef Sanei, who said: "There should not be guardianship. In an election, guardians are not needed; it is contrary to human liberty."


This is the initial reform that the United States and its allies should call for in Iran. It's discrete and seems measured, but is ultimately the whole ball of wax.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2005 2:39 PM
Comments

You are wholly correct, Mr. Judd. The Islamic Republic of Iran has enough of the structures of a democracy that by simply removing the Guardians' Council, it could achieve liberty swiftly.

Posted by: John Thacker at May 20, 2005 2:41 PM

I've been reading too many political blogs lately. As I was reading this excerpt, especially the 2nd paragraph, I was 100% certain the author was heading towards some comment on the filibuster--"If democracy were to prevail in [America], then the power of the [Supreme Court] should be significantly curbed, because it is not elected by the people but rather appointed by conservative Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah [George Bush]."

Posted by: b at May 20, 2005 3:09 PM

So, a candidate who wanted to win, say, 80% or more in the next election just has to kill all the Guardians? Seems pretty straightforward to me.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 21, 2005 12:05 AM
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