In the six days after the presidential election the people have again seen the contradictory attitude of some western governments toward Iran. When it was announced that an unusually large number of people participated in the democratic exercise, most if not all western circles admired the political climate in Iran and confessed that such a development was unparalleled in the Middle East.
However, one day after when it was reported that the candidate of the conservative faction won the vote, they get desperate and started raising doubts about the validity of the election. Now that the legal institutions in the country are talking with the three aspirants who lost and investigating their complaints, western quarters are floating the idea of supporting one particular political current to raise new doubts about the validity of the June 12 vote.
Such attitude is not unprecedented in Iran’s recent political history and it is not restricted to electoral undertakings.
Interestingly enough, all comments and statements from western politicians about Iran in recent days boil down to the notion of democracy and it is being claimed that the US and its European allies are “concerned“ about the future of democracy in Iran.
Perhaps the most accurate response to this is the recent editorial in the Arab language daily, Al Watan. It said, “Although only 30 years have passed since democracy came to Iran, we saw on TV that over 80 percent of the 46 million eligible voters showed up at the polling stations in long queues and in a calm and safe atmosphere.
It would be better if the West compares this development with the present conditions in Arab countries. In fact, the ongoing debate among political groups on the election results hints at the Iranian political landscape being lively and vibrant and is in essence a continuation of the democratic spirit and struggle the world saw during the live TV debates of the four candidates in the run-up to the vote.“
The plain truth is that European and American leaders have challenged the result of the vote at the time when there exist doubts about their own democratic agendas among regional peoples more than ever before. The good cases in point about this contradiction can be seen in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. In Egypt, the government that is a loyal and trusted US ally easily prevented the opposition parties from participating in the recent parliamentary elections. In a rubberstamp ballot exercise the ruling National Democratic Party won all the parliamentary seats!
Egypt’s civil institutions took their complaints to the relevant international organizations. But neither the US nor France, Britain and Germany made any effort to help implement democratic principles in that country. The same was true in Jordan where the pre-western King Abdullah II prevented many key figures from the Muslim Brotherhood from participating in parliamentary elections. There too his supporters won all the seats!
The West did not show any reaction whatsoever to those negative developments.
The gimmicks and machinations of the US and Europe vis-ˆ-vis participation of powerful Islamic resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine in elections have a story of their own.
It is pretty clear that the post-election developments in Iran have transformed into a test for the western foreign policy.
It can and must be said that yet for another time America and Europe have made a grave error of judgment or were unable or unwilling to impartially assess the ground realities in today’s Iran.