Having lived through much of the Cold War, we are used to nations that are at odds with the U.S. holding sketchy elections, so while we’re sorry for the citizens of Iran, we’re not as surprised as some by what seems like a rigged result. Ahmadinejad’s alleged reelection has been strongly disputed. The disputing is also disputed, but there have been large, angry protests in Tehran, on which the government has predictably violently clamped down; despite a government ban people seem to be turning out for more. Iranians abroad are protesting as well, and France and Germany have summoned their Iranian ambassadors to hear their protests.
With official communications under tight state control, social media has been generously praised for getting out the dissidents’ messages, and it would be lovely if it amounted to something other than a quicker-than-usual view of the usual chaos and repression. Photo (cc) .faramarz.
Update: Our own Ward Harkavy points out that “glimmers of [Iranian] democracy are well and good, but if the oil giant emerges from the grip of the mullahs, it’s more likely to cast its lot with the East than the West.”