On the principle of “the worse the better” for our enemies–and, make no mistake, Iran is our enemy–it is possible to take some small degree of satisfaction from the outcome of Iran’s elections.
If the mullahs were really canny, they would have let Mousavi win. He would have presented a more reasonable face to the world without changing the grim underlying realities of Iran’s regime–the oppression, the support for terrorism, the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. He is the kind of “moderate” with whom the Obama administration could happily engage in endless negotiations which probably would not accomplish anything except to buy time for Iran to weaponize its fissile material.
But instead it appears that the mullahocracy was determined to anoint Ahmadinejad the winner–and by a margin which no one can take seriously as a true representation of Iranian popular will. Ahmadinejad is about the worst spokesman possible to make Iran’s case to the West–a president who denies the Holocaust, calls for Israel’s eradication, claims there are no homosexuals in Iran, and generally comes off like a denizen of an alternative universe. Even the Obama administration will be hard put to enter into serious negotiations with Ahmadinejad, especially when his scant credibility has been undermined by these utterly fraudulent elections and the resulting street protests.
That doesn’t mean that Obama won’t try–but he will have a lot less patience with Ahmadinejad than he would have had with Mousavi. And that in turn means there is a greater probability that eventually Obama may do something serious to stop the Iranian nuclear program–whether by embargoing Iranian refined-petroleum imports or by tacitly giving the go-ahead to Israel to attack its nuclear installations.
So in an odd sort of way a win for Ahmadinejad is also a win for those of us who are seriously alarmed about Iranian capabilities and intentions. With crazy Mahmoud in office–and his patron, Ayatollah Khameini, looming in the background–it will be harder for Iranian apologists to deny the reality of this terrorist regime.