Iran: June 25, 2005


Former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the runoff for the presidency. Ahmadinejad is a popular Islamic conservative official, mainly because he is not corrupt, and speaks eloquently of the need for economic reform and more honesty in government. Ahmadinejad  will be a figurehead, as the real power in the country is still the Guardians Council. This is a group of senior clerics who, according to the constitution adopted during the 1980s war with Iraq, gives the clerics veto power over any laws or decisions by the legislature or president. Islamic conservatives also control police, the military and the courts. However, the Islamic conservatives know that most Iranians are more concerned with economic issues, so that is what Ahmadinejad pushes. Unfortunately, the Islamic conservatives are most responsible for the economic problems, and the government corruption. If Ahmadinejad were able to actually do anything about these problems, he would come into conflict with many well placed Islamic conservatives, including a large number of wealthy, and corrupt, clerics. 


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