Iran's Rouhani defeats hardliner Raisi with 57% of vote

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LizKat, May 21, 2017.

  1. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #1
    At least the Tehran police seemed to be letting the parties roll on without busting people on election night, although as in case of the previous election, the hardliners likely to try to set some examples by cracking down almost immediately in the wake of the vote. Still, Rouhani's having won makes it less likely Iran will try to revert to policies that were rejected via his earlier election. If he can keep the economy improving bit by bit then there may be less negative attention from the ayatollahs to other reforms going forward. Hard to say, but the photos look like a lot of people were partying over Raisi's defeat and the prospect of more reforms.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/21/world/middleeast/iran-celebrate-elections-hassan-rouhani.html

    “He faces a difficult task,” said Fazel Meybodi, a Shiite Muslim cleric from the city of Qom who supports reforms. He suggested that there were many more demands than Mr. Rouhani could handle.

    But people in the capital wanted to celebrate the victory — and voice a call for action.

    The middle-class Iranians in the Tehran neighborhoods who brought Mr. Rouhani his victory, often by waiting for hours in long lines at polling stations, drove their cars and played loud music in jubilation, often stopping to get out and dance, ignoring a ban on such gatherings.

    Police officers simply stood by, often smiling. One officer, stationed in the northwestern Saadat Abad neighborhood, told people in a passing car that this evening, everything was allowed.

    Pumping their fists in the air, the group — including middle-class families pushing baby strollers, hipster youths wearing John Lennon-style glasses and unemployed men with holes in their shoes — snaked through the streets in long lines. Here, too, the police stood by and did not interfere.
     
  2. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #2
    certainly a bit of a setback for the hardliners
     
  3. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #3
    You know, I never even thought about the optics of this, but here we have Iran holding a democratic election where the people choose a moderate president, while Trump heads over to Saudi Arabia to put his full support behind a non-democratic monarchy.

    What's worse, he's effectively chosen the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shiite divide; the contents of the speech he gave yesterday clearly goes against Iran and its supporters, while backing up Saudi Arabia and its supporters. The conflict between Sunni and Shiite has been ongoing for about 1400 years; we really, really don't want to become a part of that.

    The Washington Post has an article up describing this situation. Here's an interesting quote:

    “This whole meeting looked like a 'Sunni international,' in which the main non-Sunni power in the Muslim world, Iran, was bashed by both the American President and his Sunni hosts,” wrote Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol in the New York Times. “This is not going to help anything other than adding to the sectarian divide. It is not fair, either. Iran has lots of sins to account for — including its cynical support for the bloody regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. But most radical Islamist terrorists in the region are Sunni, not Shiite. In fact, in terms of their theology and jurisprudence, they are much closer to Saudi Arabia than Iran.”​

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...n-for-the-middle-east/?utm_term=.fee9541cdd40
     
  4. zin macrumors 6502

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    #4
    It isn't really a democratic election if the candidates have to be approved by the people in charge. The President of Iran holds no real power.
     
  5. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #5
    Yep. Iran would do much better to just give up on the whole idea of democracy and choose a purely autocratic form of government, just like our best buds the Saudis do.
     
  6. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #6
    And how did Iran get into that situation? I mean, it did elect--in true democratic fashion--a democratic leader over sixty years ago. Oh that's right, British Petroleum got all kinds of pissed off that he nationalized Iran's oil industry so BP could no longer rape the country of most of its profits. So the UK and the US instituted a coup to install the Shah as the leader, and after a quarter century of iron-fisted rule a revolution ousted him, which allowed the religious zealots to take on much more power. So don't be so judgemental of a situation your own "kingdom" (UK) helped create.



    Mike
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #7
    Sarcasm so thick it takes one of Trump's industrial grade who-eats-expensive-steak-bone-dry steak knives to cut through it!
    --- Post Merged, May 22, 2017 ---
    But like, that's the past man. If America can just forget about all the human suffering it caused around the world as it overthrew democracies left and right, why can't the people who suffered the results of said overthrows?
     
  8. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #8
    .
    It's changing, over time. It's not without risks after all. Both China and Iran are tuned into this. Not least when they see stuff like what happens when the thumbspring's released without any plan (e.g. the 2003 "liberation" of Iraq). Even Saudi Arabia has begun to experiment with letting women run for minor local council seats etc. Sure it's done reluctantly, and is partly window dressing. It's a start. It's a controlled release of restriction on local expression of opinion. Doubtless bumps in the roads ahead.

    The wiser rulers do become willing to take the pressure off over time, otherwise they face the spectre of desperate people becoming willing to do ever more desperate things. So, sensibly enough, they're just doing some of it, small steps, local venues. Word gets out and maybe the bloodbath is postponed for another five, ten years. Maybe bloodbaths can be avoided if the progress is steady enough. All the monarchies in the region seem to hope so. What the ayatollahs of Iran think is still shrouded in rhetoric and behind-scenes arrangements with the Revolutionary Guard.
     
  9. zin macrumors 6502

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    #9
    All I did was state a fact. Don't assume I support the kind of intervention that led to the situation in Iran.
     
  10. mrkramer macrumors 603

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    #10
    But Iran is slowly moving in the right direction. On the other hand the US and our allies appear to be moving in the wrong direction. I wouldn't be surprised if within the next 50 years or so due to decreasing freedoms in the west and increases in freedom abroad places like Iran and China will be more free than we are in the west.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #11
    Because what happened in 1953 was a massive turning point, and not just for Iran.

    These were the last genuinely free and fair elections where a secular, democratic, government was a realistic aspiration - and credible and desired and possible outcome - in a Muslim country.

    However, what happened in 1953, when Dr Mossadeq was overthrown, was that a lesson was taught that democracy is fine for the western world, but will not be tolerated in the Muslim world, if such a government attempts to govern for the public good and in the national interest in a way which threatened western commercial interests. In other words, only very conditional democracy, might be tolerated, but secular autocrats were to be preferred.

    After 1953, the choice available to Muslim countries was one between secular autocrats, or religious fundamentalists. Secular, democratic administrations were no longer on the agenda. They learnt about the double standard whereby we appeared to be of the opinion that democracy was all well and good in the western world, but could not be allowed to take root elsewhere, if, by doing so, our commercial interests were threatened.
     
  12. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #12
    You're right - the CIA did try to initiate a coup. It was largely failing and then Iranian military leaders joined the coup. Any idea that the coup was based solely on Western intervention is nonsense. I am not trying to make an excuse for the US's and UK's interference in Iran, but in situation like this you cannot ignore the actions of local people. The CIA could never just snap its fingers and change the government in a country, but it could take the 'credit' if a coup happened to align with perceived US interests.

    FWIW I think it is a shame that US/Iran relations have been so adversarial. Before the Shah fell there was an exposé in on 60 Minutes about how the Shah's intelligence services were monitoring Iranian students in the US. This led to other stories about the Shah's use of repression and torture. That really didn't go down well with most people in the US, and had the Iranians not taken embassy hostages, there would have been considerable sympathy for the people in Iran overthrowing the Shah. Instead, people in the US quite rightly reacted to the taking of US embassy hostages as a (criminal) act of war. The only time I have ever witnessed people in the US actively demonstrating for war was during the hostage crisis that ensued.
     
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #13
    The idea that Iran had anything like a credible western style democracy in the early 1950s is to a great extent an inaccurate narrative left over from the Cold War. Yes, Iran did have an elected parliament but when it came to selecting the government, the authority and balance of power was still very much in the hands of the monarch. This is similar to the situation today in Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, none of which are what would be called functioning democracies.

    Iranians going to vote in the 1950/51 elections for parliament simply wouldn't have thought they were "electing" the government. Indeed there would be 3 other prime minsters after the election before Mossadeq.

    Given that his government halted the 1953 elections in mid-count, Mossadeq is probably better viewed as a budding secular autocrat than as any sort of champion of western style democracy......certainly a nationalist and a bit of a revolutionary, but still an autocrat typical of the time and region.
     
  14. Tinmania, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017

    Tinmania macrumors 68040

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    #14
    That is hardly a surprise, as they were paid off. There is plenty of proof for the instigators and backers of the second and successful coup (such as the CIA admitting it). Can you provide proof saying it was not the CIA and MI6?


    Mike
     
  15. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #15
    The CIA assumed the coup had failed and indeed was getting ready to evacuate Iran. Their plans were dedicated to encouraging a resistance to the government once the coup failed. It was brazen interference on the part of the US and UK, but local people contributed to the coup for their own reasons as well.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    Give Iran a break.

    How many countries from the west had a "genuine western style democracy" by the 50s?

    Of course, Iran was not "a (fully) modern western democracy" in the 50s.

    How many western European countries were such a thing? France (revolutionary France, as my French friends ironically remind me) only gave women the vote post World War 2.

    As for Iran - and this is key - it had chosen to try to become such a thing - and had taken significant steps to achieve this - and significant elements of the society had chosen this route. Yes, sections of the elite opposed it; but - vast sections of the population supported it.

    Read Peter Wright (Spycatcher et all): Sections of of the elite conservative England disdained democratic principles at a level that is profoundly unsettling until quite recently.

    Give Iran a break; they elected a modern, secular, democratic government - that governed wth the public good in mind - and one that would not have been out of place in - any progressive country of western Europe in the early 50s. And it was overthrown by a morally bankrupt and politically hypocritical coup in 1953.

    And - without the intervention of both the US and the UK - for the most loathsome and morally bankrupt of voraciously greedy reasons - Dr Mossadeq could well have survived.
     
  17. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

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    #17

    lol....well then don't hype it as such. :p

    And that's why it was such a tragedy that Mossadeq turned away from democracy in favor of attempting to concentrate power in his own hands in yet another mid-eastern autocratic regime based on a cult of personality.

    Iran might well indeed have done better with Mossadeq than Iraq did under Saddam or Syria under the Assads (or Saudi Arabia under the house of Saud)......sadly the middle east has had little luck with democracy
     
  18. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #18
    Or with Western adulation of their oilfields either. The curses and blessings of oil. They are not the only region to experience both but they've certain seen (and perpetrated) some highs and lows so far.

    There was a rough egalitarianism, in accord with traditional Islam, still operating in Saudi Arabian society before oil became the kingdom's mainstay. That homage to the teachings of Mohammed vanished almost overnight after Saudi Aramco was born and ignited the greed and profligacy that ensued amongst the royals.

    Now the positive aspects of those old ways really linger only in the likes of the festival of Eid that focuses on the perennial tangible and spiritual values in providing for family, the neighbor, the poor. Meanwhile the fundamentalist clerics pervert the religion with their focus on the darker offerings of the Quran. At the intersection of the royals and the clerics is oil money, payoffs for the clerics to excuse the inexcusable of the royals' self-destructive, self-serving behavior.

    The clerics are as backwards in their quest to promote their version of Islam as are fundamentalist churches that extrapolate a singular interpretation of the Bible, for the purpose of gaining personal or political power in the name of Christ. One could argue those clerics may ultimately have sown far more destruction than Christian fundamentalists have done.

    I'd argue that we can't be certain of that, especially since the stories are not over yet. But since the fundamentalist Saudi clerics help support madrasas all over the world, and since many of those produce enthusiastic advocates of militant Islam, it's hard to resist awarding the "most destructive" medal to the fundamentalist Saudi clerics these days. The proselytizing efforts of fundamentalist Christians are not without cascading problems, despite the value of literacy provided around the world in our equivalent of madrasas.

    We know the Saudi royals aren't about democracy. The people are caught in the middle, since whatever the Saudi clerics are about, they are not about democracy either. They may and do propose that they are fundamentally about the egalitarianism advocated by Mohammed. That's certainly not how their radical students operate in the wild when they graduate from those madrasas.
     
  19. Huntn, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017

    Huntn macrumors G5

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    #19
    There is a moderate faction in Iran. Bets on whether Trump egged on by Israel and Saudi Arabia will squander or capitalize on this?
    --- Post Merged, May 22, 2017 ---
    Yeah, Trump will misread this. His lack of knowledge about the region and it's history is lacking. His Drive Them Out rhetoric was an embarrassment and cringe worthy coming from POTUS. No, I'm not a Trump fan. :(
     
  20. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #20
    The Iranian hardliners are suspicious of outreach from us. I'd like to think we'd encourage investment in Iran from European partners though, as a beginning back from isolation.
     
  21. Huntn, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017

    Huntn macrumors G5

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    #21
    That's why moderates would be key... I think. :) It's counter productive to categorize them all as spawn of the Devil.
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #22
    Thanks for the elaboration, but my post was in extreme sarcasm. People/governments don't just recover magically after their regimes topple.
     
  23. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #23
    Like I said, the rift between Iran and and the US is tragic, but I believe both sides have contributed to it. You said that 'Dr Mossadeq could well have survived.' I agree, but we'll never know for sure, and it wasn't US citizens who killed him. His fellow Iranian citizens did. No dictatorship survives without a significant proportion of the people benfitting from it and supporting it.
     
  24. Scepticalscribe, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #24
    When I wrote "Dr Mossadeq could have survived" - I should have expressed it more precisely by saying that "his government/administration could have survived", because, of course, he wasn't killed, but, rather, was "merely" removed from office (as a democratically elected leader), driven from power, and placed under house arrest until the day he died, a decade and a half later.

    My point remains.

    He wasn't perfect (what leader - with human foibles, frailties and failures is?) - but was the closest thing the Islamic world has had to what we recognise as a form of government that we respect and seek to protect.

    Neither before then, nor since then, has a country with an Islamic culture, elected - in elections deemed free, fair, open and democratic - a secular democratic leader with a vision of attempting to govern for the good of society - and suffering the fate of having been overthrown for wanting to do just that.

    The west behaved disgracefully on that occasion, cupidity trumping democratic ideals - not least because this is the exact model of governance we purport to preach, and ought to have encouraged - strongly.

    To my mind, this was a turning point, sending a message to Islamic political cultures that we did not consider their world an appropriate place for the grafting of "the seeds" of democracy, or that democratic regimes might as well forget about ruling in the interests of their societies if what they sought to do clashed with what we perceived as our commercial and economic interests.

    A democratic, secular, progressive, transparent Iran - one wedded to principles of democracy, social progress, and the rule of law - could have offered - modelled - itself as an astonishing (and extraordinary positive) role model in the region, and - merely by existing - would have been seen as a welcome alternative to the more usual depressing, regional, models of secular, autocratic - and often extremely corrupt and cruel - tyranny, or religious fundamentalism.
     
  25. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #25
    How dare you bring nuance and complexity into what our leaders clearly want us to view as a simplistic "good vs evil, us vs. them" issue. Who the hell do you think you are?
     

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