Why can’t the West accept that Ahmadinejad won?

iran protestsThe results are in. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the process was “clean and healthy”. Iranian authorities have approved the result. A record turnout in an election would usually point to a vibrant democracy.
So why can’t the West accept that Ahmadinejad won?

This bloggeris just one example of scepticism about the results.outlets — who apparently didn’t see this coming – are talking about a threat to reform. And protests against the result are making headlines around the world.

But others are wondering whether there’s something else at play here. Calum Robertson in New Zealand wrote to the BBC —
“In the west there’s a natural dislike of the incumbent president and hope for change, but it’s the election result rather than western wishes that should dictate the outcome.I’ve heard BBC, CNN and other journalists and “experts” comment on the results don’t feel right – but what actual evidence exists either way? Iran has an electoral commission who approved the result.”
Does Calum have a point?

41 Responses to “Why can’t the West accept that Ahmadinejad won?”

  1. June 15, 2009 at 11:46

    Salaam… I do have lots and lots of questions regarding the Iranian presidential elections that I’d really love to get answers to :
    1-Did we all (including the media) participate in the unrealistic amplification of the influence and power of Mr Mousavi ?! Did we all participate in inflaming the presidential campaign by giving the impression that Mr Mousavi has got a power that he doesn’t really have ?! Do those highly educated Iranian bloggers and tweeterers who apparantly speak pretty good English really represent the vast majority of the Iranian people ?! Did anyone try to speak to common Iranian citizens from poor and simple backgrounds inorder to get their opinions about all of this ?! With my love. Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad.

  2. June 15, 2009 at 11:53

    Salaam again. Also some other questions : It does seem like Mr Mousavi does have alot of support inside Iran, but will that abolish the fact that Mr Nejad does also have alot of support inside Iran (did anyone watch the xtremely massive and enthusiastic crowd that he addressed in Tehran yesterday?)?! These elections are for sure highly controversial, and if it were up to me then I’ll surely demand a re-run… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  3. June 15, 2009 at 12:53

    Hello and Sallam,
    My name is Sahid,and am a student in sierra leone.Am 17yrs,i was really upset with what i heard that Ahmadenijad won the election in Iran.I was not expecting that result because i have one of my friend in Iran that was telling me about the election.The worst of all is that i was really confused about what there supreme leader said,that the result was correct.I really think they undermined the result of the election.I really want to say it time for America to say something instead of bitting around the bush.The people of Iran must demonstrate but they must do it peacefully.And i also have one question for the Iran officals,Why do they band all the international website from there country?

  4. 4 VictorK
    June 15, 2009 at 13:12

    I don’t think ‘the West’ cares in the slightest about Iran. Certainly not ordinary Westerners. And there’s no reason why we should. The political elite of the US and UK, however, who habitually stick their noses into the internal affairs of other countries, are another matter. But I’m not sure that the collective noun for Mrs Clinton, Barack Hussein, and Gordon Brown is ‘The West’.

    In any case, this is a non-story (unless it leads to a 2ndrevolution – something the ‘reformers’ haven’t the nerve for). Iran’s Supreme Leader and Guardian Council are far more significant than the President. And given that the Council decides who will be permitted to run for the presidency, the media should drop the pretence that this was, or could ever have been, a fair exercise in democracy. It was rigged from the start. The Western commentariat are greatly self-deceived if they really think that any of the candidates represented a serious, liberalising, secular alternative to Ahmadinejad – or that we in the West should care.

    What’s happening in Iran is interesting in its own right. There’s no need to smuggle in an ‘irrelevant’ Western angle on events there.

  5. 5 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    June 15, 2009 at 13:16

    First of all why EU elections observers were not allows to come and monitor the elections and it outcomes? Who object to the present of EU observers?, Amhadinejad or they themselves and Why? But if elections was for Africa the EU electorates will be the first people to know whether elections is riggs/not before the citizens.I can simply understand that why West was not very interesting in this outcome was due to invincibility of Amhadinejad in Iran believe it or not.

  6. 6 steve
    June 15, 2009 at 14:20

    This is Iranian style theater. If Mousavi was a threat to the “regime” of Iran, he would never have been put on the approved list by the Mullahs. They only approved people they wanted to run. Either way, if Mousavi won, the results would be the same, just the tone would be different, Iran’s policies would still be exactly the same. Do you really think the Mullahs would have approved a reformer to be able to run for President? The power is with the Mullahs, nothing would have changed.

  7. 7 emmanuel formely of makerere university
    June 15, 2009 at 14:22

    The west has done it again!, manipulating campaign and electoral processes by amplifying voices of dissent against leaders whom they consider a threat to their agenda of global domination. It is well known that the west has always considered President Ahmedinajad a thorn in the flesh due to his strong opposition of the jewish nation of Israel and coupled by the fact that he leads an Islamic nation with nuclear capabilities. It comes as no surprise therefore that they cannot accept the election outcomes. The problem is that democracy has ceased to be the will of the people, by the people. It has instead been distorted to mean the exclusive opinion of selected nations. The popular candidate won,period!.

  8. 8 VictorK
    June 15, 2009 at 14:32

    @Dinka: Iran is a sovereign state. It’s not an EU member. Therefore EU observers have no business being there.

    EU observers have no business meddling in African elections either.

    And don’t be fooled by the supposed impartiality of the EU (which is itself an unaccountable, undemocratic and semi-corrupt body). I read an account a few years ago of an African election in which widespread irregularities were ignored or downplayed by EU observers. These same observers declared the election to have been free and fair, which it wasn’t, because the EU’s preferred candidate won. Let’s just leave each country to sort out its internal affairs as best it can.

    • 9 Dinka Aliap-Kampala
      June 15, 2009 at 20:03

      @VictorK.I was not saying that Iran/Africans countries werent sovereign state neither do i objects to any country meddling in each other country since i dont have that powers thereby i was trying to explain what topic was about.I also praise impressiveness and neutrality of your comments.

    • 10 Aboy calledhate
      June 18, 2009 at 09:17

      sounds good to me.

  9. June 15, 2009 at 14:37

    I cannot help but feel skeptical of a large, populous nation with an active absentee voter population should, after having to keep the polls open for five additional hours, having a completed count after only three hours. Iranian law, as I understand it, is that a period of three days is mandated before an announcement of results. The appearance is that the Supreme Leader is giving the electorate the Hawaiian good-luck sign. It is spitting in the face of an enthusiastic electorate. Remember, this is the twentieth anniversary of Tienanmen Square. A government that gives barely a figleaf of respectability is capable of following up with force majeure. What else do they have?

  10. June 15, 2009 at 14:44

    The elections in Iran were free and fair. If we are going to discuss fraud, we should discuss the elections in the USA since 2000. We should also discuss how Republicans and Democrats exclude other parties such as Libertarians and Greens from the political process in America.

  11. 13 Jaker
    June 15, 2009 at 15:11

    Ahmadinejad only won in his dreams, in reality Mir Hussein Mousavi definitely won. Ask all the people of Iran who voted for change & not Syria who announced the result 2 hours after counting started. & we all groaned & slated Mugabe for rigging his election, seems we’re cowards when it comes to “Nuclear Iran”. But the world will pay for this when today’s Hitler strikes. He’s even more dangerous than North Korea’s Kim Jung IL. & why does Ali Khamenei have any say at all, its pure nonsensical!

    This election had/has rigged all over it. I call for all the countries in the West not to recognize his supposed victory; it has fraud written all over it. & as for me, Ahmadinejad is the “Anti- Christ” well that’s my belief anyway…& the world will believe it, when he proves me right!

  12. 14 deryck/trinidad
    June 15, 2009 at 15:15

    Its interesting to read the comments of those on this site, because most are skeptical of Mousavi’s winning the election and so am I. The perception on twitter was quite different in that the noise created by a few hundred or thousand people created the impression that the election were rigged.

    The elections might have been rigged BUT people should not act prematurely before this can be substantiated. It was pretty interesting looking at the mob dynamics in operation and pretty scary.

  13. 15 Jaker
    June 15, 2009 at 15:15

    Where’s Obama…who preached & promoted “Change” in his own successful election? Bo the dog…if you’re reading this…will you give him a bark to get his attention for the Iranian people!

  14. 16 deryck/trinidad
    June 15, 2009 at 15:17

    The West sees Mousavi as a possible proxy for them in Iran and that is why they wanted him to win and can’t accept that Ahmadinejad won.

  15. 17 deryck/trinidad
    June 15, 2009 at 15:20

    Iran has approximately 72 million people and the protests contained thousands of people. This is just a tiny percentage of the entire population. If in my opinion Mousavi genuinely won there would be mass uprisings across the entire country.

  16. 18 Jim Newman
    June 15, 2009 at 15:33

    Hello again
    Well! Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has upset ‘the West’ yet again and in the most vile fashion – by winning an election. It seems to me that holding elections is considered by some to be the prerogative of a few select in the world and anyone else who does it must be cheating. Chavez, who has held a multitude of elections and referenda, is another person who has fallen foul of ‘the West’. Hamas who won the Palestinian elections by a land slide has been effectively pushed into the sidelines by ‘the West’. When someone beats ‘ the West’ at it’s own game there are howls of derision and cries of foul.
    Maybe we should hold world wide elections to decide who is the most hypocritcal. I’m sure ‘the West’ would win hands down.

  17. 19 Julia in Portland, OR
    June 15, 2009 at 15:34

    My biggest concern or should I say the thing that disturbs me the most about this election: many forms of communication with the outside world were cut, the news about the protests was not broadcast to the general citizens of Iran.

    If everything is on the up-and-up then there should be no reason to stop the world and the people of Iran communicating. If it was all legit then the protests could have been reported on in Iran and it would have been taken as just news by the public, hiding these events leads me to believe that there is some from fraud involved.

    Hiding what is going on from their people and keeping those people from talking to the outside world seems to support the fraud theory.

    • 20 ramin
      June 18, 2009 at 22:18

      Dera ms.Julia,

      I’m agree with you. i think as same as you.I’m in Iran and the proof of increasing the participation of people in this voting had been reforming and people have tried to change the political and social areas.

      people are watching public Tv and people know that the government is lying but what they can do? when they ban
      speaking, writing, breathing…

  18. June 15, 2009 at 15:35

    I do think that they were fixed. I heard and read about so many people who were against that man, I can’t see how he won. Those elections could have been fixed. If they can be fixed in America, why not anywhere else in the world?

  19. 22 Brian Foulkrod
    June 15, 2009 at 15:51

    Probably for the same reason that the Iranians can’t accept that he won. I imagine it would have been insane to imagine that the election authorities would have invited their long hated enemy (but internationally recognized all around honest and wonderful guy) Jimmy Carter to bring in his team to openly monitor the process.

    Funny how Iran went out of their way to help ruin and discredit Mr. Carter, but ever since, any country wanting their people and the world to believe that open democracy and reform had arrived, he has been their first choice as honest and disinterested broker.

  20. 23 duckpocket
    June 15, 2009 at 16:05

    This election seems to be a popular subject for ranting.

    We live in a global village where what happens in one country, can affect many others. To say that countries, particularly ones with dubious nuclear ambitions, should be left to their own devices is mischievous and ludicrous.

    Strangely the announced winners of this election demonstrate all the tactics used by discredited regimes to strangle opposition – unlikely levels of claimed popularity, violence against demonstrators, arresting innocent opposition members and blaming the West for interference. Handy eh!

    Why would they need to do it, if it was genuine and above board?

  21. 24 Jennifer
    June 15, 2009 at 16:08

    Re: Why can’t the West accept that Ahmadinejad won?

    I think regular citizens of the “west” do accept that he won. Most I know understand that no matter who is “President” things will be the same. The ones who are upset about the results are ones that think that because we have “change” with Obama; everyone will now love us. They realize that with Ahmadinejad; there is very little chance of that cozy relationship.

    The more I hear about the election results being rigged, the more it seems to be just a small percentage of Iran’s population speaking out because their choice didn’t win.

    I agree with VictorK’s statements. And, as he referred to the “west”-butt out; it’s not our election.

    June 15, 2009 at 16:35

    If the elections were not fare (and this is doubtful), it is not the fault of the Iranians or Guy Jad. He needed the western media and hysteria to rigg the elections for him without the requirement of loose change. This time the bias was heavy including Obama’s visit at a critical time. You can’t challenge voters without having them challenge you. They wen ahead and did it. The end result was nothing short the card for nationalism and voters would do the rest. The horse picked by voters carried a maquee written IRAN (nationalism.

    I think the outcomes would have been very different if the west did not meddle and if only mousavi tamed his tongue. He has only himself to blame since he knows how Iranians react to different scenarios since he was part of the revolutionary government.

    The discenting voices too carried a havy dose of American twangy language and often this kind of people from abroad end up forming a club of hecklers who do not endear themselves on the locals. These are the same folks now raising a hell on the streets of Tehran. They have no point and what they are doing is not democracy.

    The upshot of this is that whenever you meddle with democracy through misguided publicity, the outcomes may work against you like in this instance. The west should back off and engage the leadership with dialogue for peace. That chance is not lost.

  23. 27 patti in cape coral
    June 15, 2009 at 16:42

    From the coverage I have seen, I would have expected Mr. Nejad to lose, so it makes me wonder. Either the coverage was slanted toward the opposition winning, or the opposition actually did win and the election was rigged. There is really no way to tell for sure.

  24. 28 viola
    June 15, 2009 at 17:17

    It seems that in some countries the prerogative of winning an election is given to a select few.

  25. June 15, 2009 at 18:33

    I’m gratified to see the outcry there compared with the passivity here in the US when our 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen. The US should look up to Iran as an example of people who take democracy seriously.

    I also hope you will take this opportunity to reduce Western hysterics about Ahmadinejad, irrespective of the election fraud issue by clarifying the relentless mistranslation of his words by the US media. He did NOT threaten to “wipe Israel off the map” but simply predicted that the “regime” (the apartheid government, not the people or the country) would “vanish from the page of time” (a natural eventual fate of all unjust colonial oppressors).

    And I am very tired of hearing condemnation of their support for Hamas and Hezbollah, which they have every right to provide while the US provides massive arms to Israel used for aggression against the Palestinians and Lebanon. Iran is supporting internationally legal resistance to invasion and occupation while the US supports the international outlaw.

  26. 30 Carolyn
    June 15, 2009 at 18:38

    The world is in a precarious spot, and the rhetoric on all sides is most often imflammatory. I am most grateful that we do not have a McCain-Palin leadership to make the tension worse. (Honestly, Palin is the embodiment of a loose cannon). Good luck to the Iranian people. Leaders can change positions. As long as they are alive, al people have the potential to change their minds. This may not be as bad for the world as we in some parts of the west seem to be reacting.

  27. 31 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 15, 2009 at 23:08

    I rea;lly appeciate the courage of Iranian people, I think west & USA may not like the results, at least they accept Iran as a Demoracy.
    Stood with principals & values is really great as all these principals & values been determined according to Quran & Sunna. Long live Iran & voters.

  28. 32 Chad in San Diego
    June 16, 2009 at 00:53

    This is the most bizarre, Orwellian thing I have ever seen on the BBC. The news of the past few days has emphatically not been that “the West” cannot accept Ahmadinejad’s victory – it is the people of Iran who have not accepted the charade being foisted on them. Hundreds of thousands have been protesting in cities all across Iran. Have you missed this?

    The BBC’s entire coverage of the election aftermath has had a shocking pro-Ahmadinejad slant. Everywhere the “results” are reported straight, with nary a caveat that the vote percentages given are highly contested and quite likely fabricated. Why is the BBC taking the word of Ahmadinejad’s government on Ahmadinejad’s reelection at face value? Where is the journalistic skepticism?

    There is a great deal of evidence that the election was stolen, yet the BBC has reported on very little of it. Why? Why can’t the BBC accept that Ahmadinejad lost?

  29. 33 aero
    June 16, 2009 at 04:10

    From the various reports, i have heard and read, it’s not that the west does not accept the result but rather a concern has been shared pertaining to the transparancy of the electoral process. The absence of independant international observers, coupled with the determined declaration of a victory as given by Ahmadinejad before the official announcement and the widespread demonstration/protest by opposition supporters would lead any outside observer to question whether or not the accepted democratic practise of choosing the head of state by a popular and transparent voting process – which includes a well published and document vote count by electoral districts – was followed. This sistation is not unique only to Iran. Something similar happened not too long ago between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangiri in Zimbabwe where the same concerns relating to transparency of the electoral process were shared by outside observers.

  30. 34 aero
    June 16, 2009 at 04:46

    The west might not like the Ahmadinejad presedency because it presents several problems such as: the assertivenes of the Iranian neuclear issue put forward by its president and its uncertain purpose as the west might see it; the tumultous future relations between Iran and Isreal seeing that America is a supporter if Isreal; Ahmadinejad’s recent out-bursts to the international community (UN) and his deemed racist comments toward Isreal. His support form Egypt and China poses great obstacles for the West seeing that these two nations also have major importance to the West though their influence in the UN and the Saudi “Oil Trust” (if i might use that term). Egypt and China are never quick to condemn nor place pressure on Iran where they have vested interest, thus the West seems always to be in a stale-mate when it comes to Iran. I guess that’s why Ahmadinejaduses this advantage to squeese his fist at the West – always with a smile – and say what’s on his mind without the threat of harsh criticism from the west. I guess he hold some powerful cards in his hands, and he knows it well. When you look at it this way then the West while in principle would recognise Ahmadinejad Presedency, would not accept him as benificial for political diplomacy/relations and economic development between Iran and the West.

  31. 35 Tom K in Mpls
    June 16, 2009 at 05:07

    Funny, I thought the ‘west’ was a non issue here. It seems to be local students that can’t accept it. They have two choices, revolution, or work from in the system. Revolution throws away the basic societal values and costs lives. Change from within is slow. Hey, who said life is perfect.

  32. June 16, 2009 at 15:39

    Hey, I hope my above comments will not be construed as a wholesale endorsement of the American Way.Our electoral system has been a shambles for a long time now.Just the support of electronic voting should be seen as a danger signal, at least until the electrons become publicly visible. America has been a Plutocracy since the twenties. Obama may be an African-American, but a billion dollars of campaign contributions wash him whiter than snow. I have wondered about the Iranian educational system, since I hear so much about the educated population. Education here has been illegal for upwards of a century. Before that , it was simply deficient. At least the Iranian people know when they have been insulted.

  33. 37 globalcomedy
    June 17, 2009 at 19:16

    It’s ironic that the West is criticizing Ahmandinejad’s re-election. Regardless of whether voting fraud happened or not, many Iranians are being heard.

    In the States, two presidential elections have been stolen. War criminals are free to make millions on the lecture circuit. And Obama is going to sign an Executive Order banning publication of torture photos (many of which are seen worldwide). If millions of Americans marched in the streets, Obama could arrest them and declare Martial Law. So much for the “world’s greatest democracy.”

  34. 38 Aboy calledhate
    June 18, 2009 at 09:11

    It;s their country, let them figure it out themselves. The US and all other countries need to keep thier opinions and thoughts to themselves about it all. I hate the way my country is constantly sticking their nose in where it doesn’t belong.
    We certainly don’t let other countries dictate ti us on how we should run our country, why should we expect other to let us do that to them. Our economy is in the trash, and almost all of our politians are self serving crooks so we have no room to tell anybody what to do.

    James Loudermilk
    Eureka Springs, Ar.

  35. 39 Antonio from Rio
    June 19, 2009 at 17:50

    As an upper middle class Brazilian I have experienced this sort of situation a number of times..”everybody we know” voted for Mr. X…but the poor and the voters far from major cities(which makes the VAST majority ) massively voted for the “bad guy”…So what?! democracy , that’s the name of the game!
    Presenting Iran as “on a brink of collapse” based upon %tweeters that oppose the incumbent president ,without a study of the country’s demographics is at least naïve, if not deceiving – and might not contribute at all for the further democratization of Iran.
    Ahmandinejad might have actually won the election…
    I wish the media had been as “responsible” as they are now when Bush won the Florida elections…that would have spared the world a lot of suffering.

  36. June 20, 2009 at 12:47

    Why can’t the world accept that Bush won in 2000?

  37. 41 Jake
    June 20, 2009 at 13:14

    The Western media is engaging in “Argumentum ad populum ad nauseam” in order to make it seem like somebody won the election who actually did not.

    They did this in Georgia, in Ukraine, in Kenya and in Zimbabwe in recent years, all the time claiming, usually without much compelling evidence, that the Western backed opposition had been cheated out of victory.

    I personally think this is absolutely disgusting, and it is a complete perversion of the democratic process. As Ayatollah Khamenei stated, if the difference in votes were 500,000 – 1 million, you could maybe argue with it. But 11 million? No.

    Like it or not, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected by almost two thirds of the electorate. He is therefore the legitimate president of Iran. And most Iranians are not idiots. They have experienced US & UK interference in domestic politics before, and so long as Iran has precious oil, they shall expect it in the future, whomever is president, whomever is Supreme Leader, whomever they might wish to install as dictator or shah.

    Whether Iran is an Islamic Republic, a dictatorship, a democracy or a Western puppet state, the US and UK will continue to interfere and attempt to cause internal division to exploit Iranian natural resources. There is nothing that can be done about this.

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