8 Mar '16    home | previous

More on Politics in Iran

Here are more comments in Iran's elections a few days ago and news of Iran having launched today several ballistic missiles from silos across the country. Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards describe missile launches as demonstrating the country's "deterrent power" and Iran's "ability to confront any threat." The UN describes the tests as violation of a Security Council resolution.

The hardliner boosting follows what was described on US television this last Sunday as a humiliating defeat for Iran's "conservatives." Key conservative figures lost their seats in parliament and lost in the Assembly of Experts (which among other things chooses the country's Supreme Leader.) The winners were described as the centrists – people who support the nuclear deal and engagement with the outside world. Those described as liberals were not allowed to run.

Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times Bureau Chief in Iran, on CNN's program Global Public Square (GPS) reminded us that there are no political parties in Iran, but he claimed that the elections gave a big win "for the reformist, moderate, centrist camp ... over the hard-liners who have been in power here at least for the past decade."

On GPS, US scholar on Iran, Vali Nasr, added that he thought "President Obama and Secretary Kerry are -- big winners in this election because it proves that the assumptions that they had, about the fact that you could make a deal with Iran and that that would probably open the door for greater engagement has now proven right."

The moderator, Fareed Zakaria, described the election as "a vindication, I suppose, of evolutionary change over revolutionary change."

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump can't agree. Both have been repeating their promise that after being elected president they will rip up the US nuclear arms deal with Iran, without speaking to the fact that the deal with Iran is with five other world powers.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.