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Dissecting the Iranian Election

June 28, 2005

Re "Iran's Victor Urges Unity in Wake of Vote," June 26: Superficially, the win by hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may sound bad, but it makes dealing with the Iranian government easier. No more of its shenanigans playing the reformist-versus-conservative card. We will see a more evenhanded response, although it's nearly impossible to get a straight answer all the time.

Also, there is no such thing as the Iranians now taking a more hard-line approach in nuclear talks. All dealings and concessions in that area come directly from the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The elections have definitely polarized Iranian society, and it's not just the so-called class differences. It's the forces wishing to bury Iran in the morass of strict Islamic codes versus those looking for a just and democratic society.

Iran's tremendous windfall in oil revenues will need to be directed at the high unemployment. Otherwise, with a uniform government, there will no longer be any excuses for stalemates in legislation.

So, the Iranian government now has been given enough rope to hang itself and it's up to its leaders to decide what to do.

Ramin Zarnegar

Los Angeles


Recent criticisms aimed toward Iran's elections are flawed. Certain remarks made by several Western nations that questioned the legitimacy of the Iranian elections can be similar to their own democratic elections. How many times in our own history has an opposition candidate to either the Democratic or Republican party actually stood a chance? It might be true that in Iran government leaders are responsible for selecting presidential candidates and rejecting others, but similarly in the United States it is bigoted ideology that ensures many individuals will never reach the presidential office.

Also, the victory of once underdog Ahmadinejad in the preliminary and runoff elections indicates how unlikely it is that this outcome was predetermined. Even if corruption is or becomes an issue, it probably won't be worse than the gerrymandering that goes on right here at home.

The citizens of Iran ought to be congratulated not criticized by Western nations for their step (no matter its magnitude) toward the democratic process. Hopefully, the more this country claims progress toward a legitimate democracy, the more it will strive to make this goal an actuality.

Robert Carr


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