Monday, June 22, 2009

No Winners in Iran

As Iranian government forces arrest more protesters leaders, Iran's internal crisis looks to be winding down. However I have to wonder how incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can govern the country after the bitterly disputed election. This despite clearly winning it!

Despite fraud and vote-rigging, most Western intelligence agencies (who are no friends of the Iranian president) believe that even without the fraud, his rural supporters would have gave Ahmadinejad a comfortable victory. This is probably why U.S President Barack Obama had been so careful in his response to Iran's internal crisis. Despite pressure from critics to speak up against Iran's leaders, Obama has been very measured in his statements so far and the reason is probably twofold.

1) The question seems more to be on the margin of victory than whether Ahmadinejad had actually won the election
2) Obama does not want to fall into the same trap Bush did with Hamas

When Hamas won the Palestinian election a few years ago, Bush along with the rest of the world rejected the results despite the fact that Hamas won the election fair and square. The rejection of the result hurt the U.S as it seems that the U.S will only accept a result (and a winner) they are happy with. This made the U.S look like a hypocrite and Obama clearly want to avoid that again.

However Ahmadinejad is not a victor either as his tainted victory has caused him more harm than good. In the end, Iran's internal crisis looks to have no winners.

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