Sunday, June 19, 2005
Dilip Hiro on elections in Iran
In Iran—that "outpost of tyranny," "haven for terrorists," and honorary member of the "Axis of Evil"—they have more-or-less the same type of electoral system that we have. There are some differences, of course. For example, they have more candidates to choose from, and runoff elections. And the most liberal voting age laws, perhaps in the world; everyone age 15 and older can vote. And the voter turnout is far greater than in the U.S.
Iran also has the oldest Parliament in the Middle East.
A perfect system? Surely not. (Can you name one that is?) A "democracy"? No more so than the United States. A representative government? Pretty much.
Yet, despite all this, Iran remains always an official enemy, condemned for everything, while Bush and his cadre commend Saudi Arabia for its "great strides" toward "democratic reforms." At least in Iran, women can vote, drive cars, and other such crazy things.
Listen to Dilip Hiro on CSPAN (mp3, 21.8 MB)
Buy the book "The Iranian Labyrinth: Journeys Through Theocratic Iran and Its Furies"