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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Iran, so far away

Former Iranian reformist president of reform Mohammad Khatami succumbed to the pressure on his turban and will run against Sports Jacket of Terror Mahmoud Amadi-Nejad for the presidency of Iran. Khatami, a non-crazy person, is the Barack Obama of Iran, except that he's a Muslim, which means he's exactly like Barack Obama.

This is good news. The way recent elections in Iran have worked is that all reformist candidates are banned by the Guardian Council before they can even run over whatever stupid technicality they think up, leaving the remaining conservative Australopitheci to duke it out. And then they send out Basij paramilitaries in case you forgot who to vote for. So helpful!

Giving Khatami the business however would be a step too far, even for them. Banning all of Iran's Ralph Naders is one thing, but Khatami has name recognition and is respected there and around the world, unlike Ralph Nader. With high inflation, falling oil exports, and international sanctions, the last thing Iran's leaders want to do is break the frayed sense of national unity that would come by banning a popular political candidate.

Even though much has been said about spats between Ahadi-Nejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he would still undoubtedly get the full backing of Iran's establishment. So good luck, Mr. Khatami! And someone get that man an ACORN.

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