The Corner

Rooting for Jalili

Four years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a blog post, “Rooting for Ahmadinejad,” that explained why I wanted the worst of the candidates on Iran’s election day in 2009 to win the.

Whoever is elected president, whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, will have limited impact on the issue that most concerns the outside world – Iran’s drive to build nuclear weapons, which Khamene’i will presumably continue apace, as he has in prior decades.

Therefore, while my heart goes out to the many Iranians who desperately want the vile Ahmadinejad out of power, my head tells me it’s best that he remain in office. When Mohammed Khatami was president, his sweet words lulled many people into complacency, even as the nuclear weapons program developed on his watch. If the patterns remain unchanged, better to have a bellicose, apocalyptic, in-your-face Ahmadinejad who scares the world than a sweet-talking Mousavi who again lulls it to sleep, even as thousands of centrifuges whir away.

And so, despite myself, I am rooting for Ahmadinejad.

Following the same logic, that it’s better to have an aggressive Saeed Jalili than a sweet talking Hassan Rouhani, I am, despite myself, rooting for the vile Jalili. (June 14, 2013.)

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