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View Diary: Khatami is In--This is a Clear Signal (309 comments)

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  •  Minor error (0+ / 0-)

    You state that Khatami would not be running unless Khamenei and the Supreme Council were willing to allow him to run:

    In short, Khatami would not be running if the Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Supreme Council did not want him to do so; they might be looking for a change too.

    Actually, they have not given Khatami permission, and may still rule against his participation in the election.  The Iranian system doesn't require that candidates register ahead of time with the Supreme Council - Khatami can hold a news council and say that he is running without prior approval.  Then the ball is in the Supreme Council's court - they can decide to do nothing and let him appear on the ballot, or they can object and remove him from the election.  And there's no set time within which they need to do this.  Theoretically, they could do nothing and then suddenly rule him ineligible on some pretext, even quite close to the election.

    I think it's great that Khatami is running and have long thought he is a man who could forge a new relationship with Europe (and the US now that Bush is gone.)  But it's not at all clear that the Supreme Council or Khamenei will permit it.  Khatami is counting on public pressure to keep his name on the ballot.  However, remember that Khatami's urban educated base of support may not be as deep or broad as it was a decade ago. Khamenei and other hardliners may not like Ahmedinejad all that much but may back him anyway just to prevent Khatami from being elected.  Khatami is not that strong, politically, and it may actually suit the hardliners to have him run because they may be able to more effectively motivate their base as a result.  

    Iranian politics is subtle and complicated, and the men behind Ahmedinejad are not stuipid (although Ahmedinejad himself is the Iranian equivalent of George Bush.)

    Just a small splash of cold water.  Again... Khatami running = good.  But we shouldn't get our hopes up too much just yet, particularly about the goals, perceptions and strategy of the more conservative Iranian religious leadership.  

    "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

    by ivorybill on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:56:13 AM PST

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    •  Actually I'm speculating that bridge has already (0+ / 0-)

      been crossed. I think that Khatami is no fool, and he was derailed by hardliners as reform candidates were removed in 03. I suspect that he sought pre-approval before he announced, because he strikes me as someone who does not engage in Quixotic campaigns.

      Sure, the Supreme Leader and Council could at any time force him out or deny his candidacy, but they have political pressures to manage as well, and if they really did not want him to run, they would have kept him from making just this type of announcement.

      You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

      by FrankCornish on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 09:17:10 AM PST

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