For years, elections in Iran have been likened to a furnace that everyone must feed to fire up public participation. But the temperature is not always controllable. By Ali Reza Eshraghi Iran’s presidential elections have never been without drama. This year, the Guardian Council—a group tasked to approve candidates—set a new record for the number of disqualifications. Of the 1,636 individuals who registered, it approved only six. However, instead of being outraged over the Guardian Council’s nebulous and undemocratic process, everyone, including the Reformists, is frustrated about the ease with which anyone in Iran can register to run for president.…Read More... | 1 Comment
Donald Trump and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have plenty in common — including a propensity for outlandish claims and bombastic speeches that veer into messianism. By Jim Lobe It was almost a year ago that Shervin Malekzadeh published a brief but incisive essay — which we republished immediately after the November 8 election — on the striking parallels between then-candidate Donald Trump and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Among other similarities, he noted: As populists gifted with a preternatural ability to understand their country’s low mood, Trump and Ahmadinejad possess the authenticity of the non-politician and newcomer who says what he…Read More...
Should Iran and the West fail to come to an agreement, the battle will no longer be between the right and left, but rather between democratic forces and totalitarian ones. By Ahmad Rafat There is no doubt that the negotiators, whom these days are working to achieve a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear plan, do not want to drive a stake through these talks. Even France, which has been playing "bad cop" to the U.S.'s "good cop" in these meetings, is interested in reaching an agreement. It seems that the only country that stands nothing to gain is Russia (which…Read More... | 6 Comments
The controversial Venezuelan leader, who died Tuesday, did more good than bad - and the good he did was extraordinary. Any political leader who buddies up conspicuously with Ahmadinejad and Assad, showing indifference to their victims and freedom-seeking opponents at home, loses his shot at dying a hero, at least with me. So, like most left-liberals, I have mixed feelings about the legacy of Hugo Chavez. His alliance with the Iranian and Syrian regimes were the worst things that could be said against him, so I'll deal with them first: They are black marks on his record, but…Read More... | 14 Comments
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