Role of US Militarism in Ahmadinejad’s Rise / Muhammad Sahimi
15-Aug-2009 (3 comments)

The U.S. threats greatly helped Iran’s hardliners to crackdown on the reformists. First, the press that had enjoyed relative freedom during the first few years of Khatami’s presidency, was suppressed, partly because the hardliners accused it of being an agent of foreign powers. The reformists were then purged from the Iranian parliament during the 2004 elections. Then, on the eve of Iran’s 2005 presidential election, George W. Bush basically said that the Iranian people should not vote, which actually provoked the conservatives and even some nationalists to vote in large numbers and help elect Ahmadinejad.
Once Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005, and began using harsh, but inconsequential, rhetoric against Israel, the U.S. ratcheted up its military threats against Iran. In a show of force, and in addition to surrounding Iran with the U.S. forces on three sides, the Bush administration dispatched two carrier battle groups to the Persian Gulf in May 2007, in order to frighten Iran. Dick Cheney used the deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to threaten Iran, "We’ll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region. We’ll stand with our friends in opposing extremism and strategic threats."
All such threats were used by Ahmadinejad and his hard-line supporters to further suppress dissent in Iran, shut down independent and reformist newspapers and other publications, and accuse the reformist and democratic gro... >>>

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by IRANdokht on

I have learned a lot by reading Dr Sahimi's articles, that's why I make sure to share them on this site too.

Thank you for your comments. I do agree with the points made in this article too. 


Shah Ghollam

Good analysis

by Shah Ghollam on

Thanks for sharing!


I agree...totally...

by Ostaad on

My hope was Ahamdinejad's shelf-life would expire after Obama's election. I firmly believed Ahmadinejad would be a shoe in if McCain had been elected, but he would lose after Obama's electoral victory. Obviously that did not happen due to electrol fraud. I still think an Ahdmainejad win was not totally implausible, but not at the margins that were published.

But Obama, due to factors that keen observers of the US policy vis-a-vis Iran are well aware of, including the dismal state of the economic depression, pro-Israel lobbies and right-wing push for military confrontation with Iran, could not give solid assurances to Iran that war option would not "on the table". As the result his rhetorical assurances to Iran did not work.

On the Iranian side, the same forces that put Ahmadinejad in the presidential office by organizing a quasi-coup at the beginning of his first term, Iran's nascent military-industrial complex, managed to repeat their dirty trick again.

The author's argument that military threats drive Ahamdinejad's military, industrial and business backers to maintain their control and rule in Iran is spot on.