Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What nobody seems to be saying about Iran

Iran is not a democracy. The "election" they just had featured four government-approved candidates. The current kerfuffle is between two of those government-approved candidates.

All hopefuls for high elected office must be cleared by the Guardian Council, a 12-member body of clerics and scholars loyal to the ruling theocracy. The council often rejects potential candidates considered too liberal or critical of the Islamic system. For Friday's election, just four of more than 470 possible candidates were allowed.

Now, if this kerfuffle turns into a genuine movement to overthrow the clerical leadership that actually controls the government and institute real democratic reform, then I'll get behind it. But trumpeting the cause of one government-approved candidate over another government-approved candidate, neither of whom are actual reformers who are going to move Iran away from an oppressive, radical theocracy that threatens Israel and the West? I'll pass, thanks.

Beyond which, again, the real power in Iran rests not with the President, but with the clerical leadership. The President is little more than a figurehead with nominal constitutional powers.