The Corner

Re: Cleanest Election

Of course it’s true. As I pointed out on NRO Thursday:

Iran has never had free and fair elections.

I was in Iran 30 years ago for the first elections held under the gaze of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the dour, militant leader of Iran’s Islamist revolution. I was a young and inexperienced foreign correspondent unconvinced by older and more experienced foreign correspondents that Khomeini and his followers intended to transform Iran into a freer and more just society, rather than one that would be brutally oppressive at home and threatening abroad. . . .

The truth is Khomeini and his followers were never freedom fighters. “Don’t listen to those who speak of democracy,” Khomeini said in March 1979. “They all are against Islam. . . . We will break all the poison pens of those who speak of nationalism, democracy, and such things.”

Khomeinists believe in the strictest possible interpretation of the Koranic injunction to “command right and forbid wrong.” . . .

If  “commanding right and forbidding wrong” is your religious and political obligation, what do you do when Iranians go to the polls and vote wrongly, instead of rightly? Apparently, you hand the election to the “right” candidate, in the current instance to Ahmadinejad, including in his opponent’s home region, and without bothering to count millions of paper ballots.

Clifford D. MayClifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

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