Wishful Thinking

Cape Times (South Africa), June 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

Wishful Thinking


Has Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election by an overwhelming majority of Iran's 40 million-odd voters jeopardised the Islamic Revolution?

This seems to be the assessment of sectors of the Western media intent on sowing confusion on the legitimacy of the recent presidential elections.

For instance, Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst, went as far as questioning the legitimacy of the entire Iranian government. It appears that the shameful conduct of the European Union and the US in rejecting Hamas's legitimacy after its victory at the 2006 polls in the Occupied Territories is likely to be repeated in Iran.

A superficial media focus on Iran will not only detract from the complexities of its political makeup; more particularly it will result in faulty analysis. Shallow reports on the election results with images of tyres and garbage being burnt on Tehran's streets by followers of the "reformist" candidate would have the world believe that electoral fraud has been committed by Ahmadinejad.

Failure to probe Mir Hossein Mousavi's "reformist" credentials is an indicator of the wishful ideologues of change from outside desiring to see the back of Israel's nemesis, Ahmadinejad.

Having met Mousavi during his tenure as prime minister in the 1980s, I am aware that his revolutionary credentials are solid and intact. His so-called "reformist" agenda thus does not imply that under his watch Iran would abandon its nuclear programme or establish ties with Israel.

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