After voting concluded on Friday in Iran’s presidential election, incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won reelection over his main rival, former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi. The win was a complete blowout for the incumbent Ahmadinejad, who garnered 62.6% of the vote compared to 33.7% for Mousavi. Protests have since broken out as Mousavi has alleged voter fraud, a very likely possibility considering the lopsided nature of the contest after the opposition had been so energized as to bring a very real chance Mousavi might win. Indeed, U.S. analysts have said the results are likely fraudulent, one indicator being that Mousavi impossibly lost in his own hometown.
The Ahmadinejad regime seems to have lost a great deal of credibility and legitimacy among its people as a result of the suspicious vote. Despite all the unrest, the chances of an uprising I would still rate as slim to none, especially given that Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, has blessed the results and urged Iranians to get behind them. And the Obama administration still plans on going full steam ahead with “dialogue,” a losing proposition which will legitimize the Ahmadinejad regime and result in few concessions on Iran’s nuke program.
Unfortunately, Israel has more to fear at this hour than it did before, as, fraudulent or no, the reelection of Ahmadinejad gives the appearance of approval from the Iranian people of his Holocaust-denying, Israel-destroying rhetoric. They have cause to feel nervous as the protests play out, because if Ahmadinejad emerges in position of strength among his own populace, the Iranian Presideent will feel vindicated in taking whatever actions he wishes against the Jewish state. It’s a bad electoral outcome coupled with civil unrest, making for a terrible situation over in the Middle East at this hour.