Socialist Worker

Election result revives hope in Iran

by Peyman Jafari
Issue No. 2358

Millions of Iranians who yearn for justice and peace celebrated the spectacular victory of Hassan Rouhani in Iran’s presidential election. 

But warmongers in the West remain on a collision course.

Elections in Iran are subject to various restrictions, such as censored media and internet. 

Most importantly, the Guardian Council selects which candidates are allowed to run. 

So it plays the same role as billionaires in US elections. 

But there are real differences among political factions. 

Elections are an opportunity for ordinary Iranians to make their voices heard and to organise in their own interests.

The media and politicians in the West ignore these facts in order to justify foreign intervention through economic sanctions, covert operations and military threats. 

Negotiator

They predicted that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei would rig the elections to ensure that Saeed Jalili, Iran’s negotiator on the nuclear issue, became president.

But Jalili came third.

Many voters were not sure whether it was worth taking part when campaigning started four weeks ago. 

The repression of the Green Movement in 2009 made many people distrust the electoral process.

But Rouhani’s campaign gained momentum as young activists, especially women, transformed his meetings into a space for demanding social and political reforms. 

By promising to tackle inflation and unemployment, Rouhani also attracted voters who were disillusioned with current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s promise to fight poverty and inequality. 

This mood translated into a big turnout of 72 percent on 14 June. 

As the results were announced, people poured into the streets. They danced and chanted “The Green Movement is not dead, it has brought Rouhani” and “Freedom for all political prisoners”. 

Rouhani’s victory has revived the hope and defiance of the 2009 demonstrations. But his track record is of alliance with Iran’s rich and corrupt elite.

If the new mood does not transform into independent struggles and organisations of workers this could lead to disillusionment.


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International
Tue 18 Jun 2013, 17:37 BST
Issue No. 2358
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