Iran's futile election
Hassan Rohani has been elected as Iran's new president by securing 51 percent of the votes in the first round of the elections held for the presidential position that enjoys a relatively weaker role within the sui generis spiritual leader-oriented political system of Iran. In fact, what mattered in the latest Iranian elections was not who won the elections, but the voter turnout.
The average turnout was 67 percent for the past 10 elections in Iran, and it had jumped to 85 percent in the elections held on June 12, 2009, due to the rage the public felt against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who pursued policies favoring the religious and security establishment of Iran. In the wake of the disappointment from the failure by moderate reformist leader Muhammad Khatami to implement the reforms he had promised to the public due to the tyrannical system, the turnout had fallen to 63 percent in 2005, and given this fact, it can be suggested that the high rate of participation in the 2009 election represented a strong demand for change. But as you will remember, Iran's deep state stepped in to employ various guiles and fraudulent acts in an effort to sabotage what the Iranian public wanted to achieve with a high turnout, and this state-sponsored ruse had eventually triggered a wave of well-attended protests that may be loosely defined as an Iranian Spring.
The Iranian state had resorted to its known method, i.e., state terror, for suppressing the millions who protested against the election fraud of the 2009 presidential elections. As you know, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the presidential candidates who later acted as leaders of the protests that came to be known as the "Green Movement," have been under house arrest since then. The fact that Mousavi was the prime minister and Karroubi the parliament speaker during the time of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Mostafavi Moosavi Khomeini is a clear indication of the level of loyalty of today's Iranian regime to Khomeini's ideals.
The regime suppressed the 2009 Iranian Spring -- which had come two years before the Arab Spring -- by killing dozens of people and arresting thousands of others, and by doing so, it created a precedent for its affiliated regimes for suppressing the public revolts in Syria, Iraq and other countries. Learning by doing, Iran knew that popular uprisings could be suppressed with violence, pressure and bloodshed, and it played an influential role in making sure that the Syrian and Iraqi regimes fully stuck to this method.
The fact that the president assumed a weaker and more passive position within the Iranian political system and that out of 678 presidential candidates, 670 were disqualified by the Guardian Council of the Constitution, a watchdog operating under the influence of Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, stripped the Iranian elections of any value or importance on which to base our analysis. A system in which Mousavi and Karroubi are still under house arrest just because they had run for presidency in the previous elections and where Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- who acted as president for two terms and is currently the head of the Expediency Discernment Council of the System, which settles the disputes between the legislature and the executive -- wasn't approved for running for president can hardly be defined as a democracy. And the sham elections held in such a system don't deserve any attention.
Having largely lost their confidence in the system after their demands and expectations were tyrannically suppressed in 2009, the Iranian people had two choices in the last elections: They would either completely boycott the elections and they would refuse all candidates endorsed by the Iranian deep state. Or they would attend the elections and lend support to a relatively moderate candidate who can be seen as the lesser of two evils among the state-endorsed candidates, thereby showing their reactions, and ensuring that the elected president is relatively more democratic and moderate at least in terms of nuances. Apparently, the Iranian voters chose the second option. This is well indicated by the fact that the turnout was above 70 percent and Rohani was elected in the first round.
But what can Rohani change? To snap a short and concise answer: nothing... The developments that occurred during the two terms of Khatami and during the last term of Ahmadinejad are proof that a president who is at odds with Iran's establishment enjoys virtually nonexistent power and strength. For this reason, Rohani does not have any chance to take into consideration the people's demands for change and freedom. Even if he acts boldly to lend an ear to these demands, he is very unlikely to do anything about them. We must remember that in Iran's political system, the mandate to govern is completely vested in the spiritual leader and the set of people endorsed by him, but not in the president who is elected to office. If a somehow elected president acts in harmony with the spiritual leader and his supporters, then the president may falsely assume that he has the power or mandate to govern. If he fails to adapt to the spiritual leader and his supporters, his already nonexistent power will quickly melt away.
Therefore, no one should expect miracles from Rohani, who is endorsed by the deep state of Iran in the final analysis, even if he is a technocrat who has tremendous skills and has managed to secure 51 percent of the vote, outscoring his rivals. Those who believe he can run miracles should have a look at what happened to Khatami, who had been removed from office by the system due to his reformist ideas when he was a culture minister in Rafsanjani's cabinet, and who had been elected to office as president with 63 percent of the national vote. Even if the Iranian people sent a strong message to the deep state by electing a relatively moderate candidate, the sole winner is certainly the Iranian deep state that consists of the spiritual leader and his supporters and the Revolutionary Guards-oriented security elites. Yet, the deep structure is always poised to win in any case. Rohani's election has also served to quench the public's accumulated rage.
Rohani does not have the slightest chance in brokering even the slightest change in Iran's security and defense policies as well as the foreign policy, basic economic policies and the nuclear program. This is because those policies that are considered as high politics are not formulated by the president, but by the spiritual leader and other institutions that are controlled by the security elite. For this reason, Rohani, who will take office on Aug. 3, is very unlikely to make a change in the crisis areas that pit Iran against Turkey and the international community such as its nuclear program, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq policies. In short, it is a waste of time to analyze the results of Iran's game of sham democracy and to read these analyses. I hope you forgive me for wasting your time.
“200 Türk subayı Suriye’ye sızdı"
İran Haber Ajansı’ndan “Türkler El Nusra’yla koordineli çalışıyor” iddiası.
İran’ın Fars Haber Ajansı FNA, 150-200 kadar Türk subayının El Kaide ile bağlantılı El Nusra üniformalarıyla Halep’in yakınlarına gittiğini ileri sürdü. FNA, haberini Arapça yayın yapan “Al-Ahd” web sitesine dayandırdı. Türk subaylarının Azaz-Kilis sınır noktasından geçtiği ve Kürtler’in yaşadığı El-Eşrefiye ve Şeyh Maksud bölgelerine yerleştiği öne sürüldü. Türk subayların El Nusra güçleriyle koordineli çalıştığı iddia edildi.
Amerikan Yönetimi, El Nusra’yı “terör örgütü” olarak tanımlıyor. CIA’nın “iki numaralı adamı” Michael Morell, kısa bir süre önce, El Kaide gibi bir tehdit nedeniyle Suriye’de Beşar Esad’ın kalmasının ABD için çok daha iyi olduğunu söylemişti. El-Vatan gazetesi, birkaç hafta önce, Türkiye ve Suudi Arabistan’ın El Kaide ile bağlantılı örgütlerden Suriye’deki Kürtler’i hedef almalarını istediğini iddia etmişti. Bu örgütlerin, son zamanlarda Kürt bölgelerinde katliam yaptıkları ileri sürülüyor. Aynı “radikal” grupların, Suriye’de Kürt halkın yaşadığı bölgeleri ele geçirmeye çalıştığı öne sürülüyor.
Dışişleri Bakanı Ahmet Davutoğlu, kısa bir süre önce, El Nusra’nın Kürtler’i öldürdüğü yolundaki haberleri, “Bunlar hayal mahsulü” diyerek yalanlamıştı. Davutoğlu, bir Kürt-Arap savaşı istemediklerini belirtmiş ve Kürtler’i süratle Suriye Ulusal Konseyi’ne katılmaya çağırmıştı.