James Forsyth

The Iranian election was fixed from the start

The Iranian election was fixed from the start
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Elections in Iran are neither free nor fair. Even before anyone started campaigning, the Iranian theocracy had barred any candidate they perceived to be a threat to the Islamic revolution from standing. So, it is not surprising that there appears to have been considerable interference with the voting process to give Ahmadinejad victory in the first round of voting. (The Interior Ministry says that with ninety percent of the vote counted, Ahmadinejad has sixty three percent of the vote and Moussavi a little under 35 percent).

The three opposition candidates are saying that they will not accept the result. But it is unclear whether they will be able to mobilise their supporters to seriously challenge it.

Regardless of the result of this election, Iran was going to continue to pursue its nuclear ambitions and its attempt to become the dominant power in the region. With Ahmadinejad as president, it will probably soon become apparent that diplomacy will not persuade Iran to give up its nuclear programme. At that point, America and its allies will have to decide what they are prepared to do to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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