Tag Archives: Iran elections 2013

Foreign Entanglement- On Rouhani, Iran, US and Israel

19 Jun

On Foreign Entanglements, the topic is Iran’s presidential election.

Meir thinks Hassan Rowhani’s victory signals that the Supreme Leader wants better relations with the West.

Matt wonders whether international sanctions had an impact on the election.

Meir argues that nuclear enrichment is not going to stop.

Is this a real chance to reform Iran?

Meir says Israel needs to change its line on Iran.

Plus: Is Iran winning in Syria?

You can watch their discussion here:


Could Ahmadinejad End Up Under House Arrest?

30 Apr

The scenario that after the elections Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be placed under house arrest is one which can not be dismissed. These days he is becoming a bigger danger to regime stability than to the security of the state of Israel.

Why Khatami may be allowed to run – Iran 2013 Presidential Elections

17 Apr

I believe that the chances of Mohammad Khatami being allowed to run as a candidate are increasing. So much so that I would say it is now a viable possibility.

But why would Khamenei allow him to run? He made life very difficult for Khatami when he was president. Khamenei has always had a bad relationship with the reformists, so why would he even consider allowing Khatami to stand as a candidate?

In my opinion, it would be for the following reasons, in descending order:

  1. Reduce support for Esfandiyar Rahim Meshai. Between Meshai and Khatami, the former is far more dangerous as a possible destabilizing factor. Meshai’s slogan in the elections would be nationalistic slogans such as “Iranian – Islam” and calls for improved relations with other countries. After all Meshai did say that people of Israel are not the enemies of the people of Iran, something which Khamenei resented and denied publicly. As reformists also want better relations with the West, Khatami’s participation could dilute the attractiveness of Meshai’s messages to the middle class.
  2. Weaken the voice of those who want Rafsanjani to participate. Between Rafsanjani and Khatami, the former is a bigger threat and challenge to Khamenei’s nuclear and foreign policies. There are increasing number of voices who want Rafsanjani to participate as a “moderating force”. If Khatami is allowed to run, this could dilute the legitimacy of such calls as Khatami is known for wanting better relations with the West, more so than Rafsanjani.
  3. Could boost the legitimacy of the elections. No one is expecting these elections to be fair, especially not after the IRGC said they would be “engineered”. Nevertheless, it is in the interest of Khamenei that people turn out to vote. If Khatami is allowed to run (even though he is unlikely to be allowed to win) he could boost the legitimacy of the elections by increasing the number of genuine voters.
  4. Khatami is too much of an intellectual to challenge Khamenei. It would be easier for Khamenei to arrange cheatings against Khatami as unlike Mousavi, he is unlikely to call for recount or demonstrations once he loses (something which Khamenei is ultimately almost definitely going to ensure).

I would the chances of Khatami standing as a candidate are currently at 30%.

Last week they were 5%.

Khamenei gets dragged in – again. Iran 2013 Elections

16 Apr

Last week the Iranian parliament reject Ahmadinejad’s budget outright. 

Today it suddenly and not so miraculously approved Ahmadinejad’s budget.

So what happened?

Its easy to guess: parliamentarians most probably got orders from the supreme leader’s office to change their stance and they obeyed.

Its understandable why Khamenei did this. Parliamentarians dislike Ahmadinejad, so they decided to make life difficult for him by rejecting his budget. Another day, another cat fight involving Ahmadinejad.  Tell me something new.

But Khamenei can’t run an economy with a budget thats in limbo. With sanctions and Ahmadinejad-nomics ravaging Iran’s economy, he needs things to move forward. The latest fight involving Ahmadinejad simply can’t get in the way of the engine that runs the regime – the economy.

The fact that Khamenei has to micro manage things to this level is not good for the long term legitimacy of his position.

The more he gets involved directly, the more he will be blamed directly for the economy’s shortcomings.  I say “the more” because Khamenei is already starting to carry increasing blame for his choices, especially his previous support for Ahmadinejad.