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Times: Iran Votes Again

Author: Rosemary Righter
July 1, 2009

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In reviewing three books about Iran, Rosemary Righter provides a thorough and comprehensive analysis of both the country's current political situation, and the historical events leading up to its recent controversial elections.

Whether or not "revolutionary" enforcers at the command of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei bludgeon to a halt the protests against a blatantly falsified election "result", there is no way that the extraordinary Iranian presidential election campaign of 2009, or its still more extraordinary aftermath, can be made unreal by mere fascists. Thirty years after the Shah's overthrow, the revolutionary fašade has cracked, exposing chasms within the establishment between those who, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insist that Iran is still not Islamic enough and those who, while not questioning the system of rule by divine law, unwittingly put the revolution in question by seeking to move on to something more closely resembling a "normal" state.

As in previous elections, Khamenei, wali e faqih of the Islamic Republic since Khomeini's death twenty years ago and thus theoretically above politics, had taken due precautions to secure the right result before a single vote was cast. Before campaigning could begin, the twelve handpicked revolutionary zealots who form the Council of Guardians, currently dominated by radical supporters of Ahmadinejad, had disqualified all but four of 475 would-be candidates. As in previous elections, only trusted male stalwarts of the regime survived the cull.

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