Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 11, 2009
WAR: The Moderate
Goldfarb looks at some samples of the rhetoric of Mir Hossein Mousavi Khameneh, Ahmadenijad's opponent in the Iranian election. Whether he's a "moderate" depends on what you think this is moderate compared to:
In 1988, Reuters reported on a radio address by Mousavi to the Iranian people:In a Foreign Ministry statement read on Tehran radio today, Iran said that Israel should be annihilated and that implicit recognition of it by the Palestine Liberation Organisation ignored the inalienable rights of the Muslim Palestinan people.
Read the whole thing. Ahmadenijad is unusually belligerent and unhinged even by Iranian standards, and so removing him can only be a good thing, but the reality is that the real power in Iran continues to lie with the very much unelected religious and security establishment; the mullahs control the selection of candidates and the scope of their authority, which is limited. A new front man won't change that. And the fact that Iranian "moderates" all end up saying about 95% of the same stuff as the "extremists" just illustrates the fact that the problems with the Iranian regime run far deeper than any one man.