After two weeks of protests over the possibly rigged re-election of Iranian President Imanutjob in which twenty people were killed and hundreds arrested, things are back to normal in Iran.
Irans’ supreme executive body, Guardian Council, has refused to annul the elections. A spokesman for the council said they were “among the healthiest elections ever held in the country”.
Given Iran’s history, that may well be true.
G8 foreign ministers have issued a statement saying they intend to write a letter saying how angry they are.
Oh, sorry. I was almost right. The statement says they deplore the post-election violence, and urge Iran to resolve the crisis through democratic dialogue.
Seinfield should find out who their writer is and give him a job.
Meanwhile President Obama has issued a stern warning that if the violence keeps up, he may be forced to consider using adverbs.
But there are some possible positives:
Regardless of any change in Iranian domestic politics, the crackdown could influence the Middle East by undercutting public support for Islamist groups and perhaps by pushing others to reevaluate their ties with the country.
The scenes of Muslims being killed by other Muslims for voicing their beliefs will “weaken the argument of Islamists in the region who have been holding Iran up as a model,” Palestinian analyst and pollster Ghassan Khatib wrote in the online publication Bitterlemons.org. “The damage is irreversible regardless of the outcome” and could affect debate within Palestinian society divided between Hamas and the more moderate (read, slightly less nasty) Fatah movement.
And then, like Neville Chamberlain, Barack Obama may begin to realise that being nice to dictators does not mean that they will be nice to you.