Magazine May 25, 2009, Issue

Ahmadinejad’s Last Stand?

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks to Iran’s Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Shahroudi during the International Conference of the Prosecutors of Islamic Countries in Tehran April 22, 2009. (Raheb Homavandi/Reuters)
The meaning of Iran's upcoming presidential election

At first glance, a presidential election in the Islamic Republic of Iran might not arouse much interest. With all candidates pre-approved by the authorities, and the entire electoral process controlled by the government rather than an independent body, the exercise is a far cry from elections in a democracy. Moreover, the Council of Guardians — a twelve-member “star chamber” (six mullahs, six legal experts) answerable only to the Supreme Guide (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the successor to revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini) — could cancel the results of the poll. Even if that does not happen, the man elected president cannot

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Hinge of History

The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism, by Michael Kimmage (Harvard, 440 pp., $45)
Film & TV

A Strange Voyage

His Star Trek is too faithful to count as a reinvention of its source material — but just unfaithful enough to count as a betrayal, and a blunder


The Week

The Week

In a recent press conference, a New York Times reporter asked President Obama what had “enchanted” him the most during his first 100 days as president


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