Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bahari: Iran Election was not rigged

Maziar Bahari, Canadian-Iranian journalist who got arrested following the disputed Iranian presidential elections, with Jason Jones from The Daily Show appeared on PEN American Center.

In this program Maziar mostly talks about his ordeal in Iran while Jason were throwing jokes but I think he touched down on two important issues. First he pointed out that election was not rigged or rigged to small degree, not to the extent that Reformist camp exaggerate about it.

Second, he talks about fear of change among majority of Iranians.

At 0:52:40 someone asks:
"I think here in the States that we, just sort of instinctively assume that people of Iran hate the current clerical regime and want to see the end of them but Americans are notorious to failing to understand what people of another countries want. so my question is do people in Iran hate the current regime and want them to go, and if they do, considering there was not a revolution after the past election, is that a thing possible?"
Maziar in response says:
"It doesn't matter whether people like the government or not, silent majority do not want change, specially in a country like Iran that has been through so much turbulence, a war, a revolution and so many different upheavals in the past thirty years so people want to have that peace and security as much as possible and because of that many people do not take action against this government"
Maziar falls into trap of his own fallacious argument. How could someone be at peace when there is lack of freedom, justice, security and last but not least, immense social and economical gap between certain social class close to theocratic regime and rest of society (I am not even advocating for equality)? The only answer pops into mind is that you become like them, transform to pro-regime ideological follower but it seems it is not the case for the silent majority.

So there should be other reasons that majority keep silent and do not take action. Maybe we should look for answer in presence of weak, inflexible and ineffective political parties that deep down are part of establishment.

Then he concludes his answer:
"At this moment it is very difficult to say that most Iranians hate this current regime and I know that doesn't make me very popular among Iranians because people love to hear that everyone hates the Iranian regime, but that's not true."
We do not have data to argue over this claim, to prove its wrong or right we need reliable information and unfortunately in theocratic Islamic republic of Iran, polling is not allowed. In absence of reliable data it is only left to our imagination but before I bring this post to the end, I have got a question for you to think about; if majority were pro-regime would it make sense to exercise rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of Iranians to the extent which it damaged government image inside of country and on the international scene?


  1. And I have a question for you: Did the election of Mousavi -- a regime-insider who was specifically precleared and vetted to run for office -- really present such a threat to the regime that they would have had to resort to massive election fraud to keep him out of office? No, it did not. There is in fact no evidence of any election rigging in Iran.


  2. You didn't give me chance to answer your question. The answer is No, Mousavi and his cadres have been part of establishment. It wouldn't threat establishment at all.

    That's one thing but you gotta consider partisan politics in the election and crisis that we have witnessed.