To all my fellow Iranians,
As most of you already know, the Iranian presidential elections are going to be held on Friday, June 12th, 2009. I know many of you have little to no ties to Iran, and think that what happens there doesn’t really affect you. Or maybe you think that it’s all a show and the winner of the election is pre-determined, and all of this is just a game. Some may even think that it really doesn’t matter who gets elected, because the president’s authority is essentially very limited. You may think that by participating in these elections, you are giving a stamp of approval to the Islamic Republic and are legitimizing their governance. I have to admit that I don’t totally disagree with any of these arguments, and each have some sliver of truth in them, but I do believe that getting the current president out will have a direct affect on ALL our lives, regardless of bond to Iran.
Whether we like it or not, people all over the world associate us with the Iranian government, so if there is a badmouthed, illiterate, warmongering… president, then that image is projected onto all of us. Also, for those of us who have family and loved ones in Iran, the thought of another 4 years of adversity, poverty, sanctions … is unthinkable and quite frankly, extremely frightening. As for whether the elections are fair or not, there will be no room for any wrongdoing if the vote count difference is huge. The president is not the most powerful figure in the Iranian government, and we all saw that in the 8 years that Mr. Khatami was in power. Every which way he turned he was shut down, and essentially left with many unfulfilled promises. But he did try to put Iran on the right track, and no matter how little his advances seemed to be, they were in the RIGHT direction. In the past 4 years, Mr. Ahmadinejad was able to erase all the gains in the Khatami years and then some. He has put Iran on a path of destruction. I don’t think there is a need to go into detail on all the damage he has caused, for most of you already know. If he is not re-elected, the least that can happen is that this train to devastation will lose steam and hopefully, slowly of course, start to get back on the course of prosperity.
Voting is as much a stamp of approval for the government as not voting is a stamp of denunciation. You not voting will not prove anything, nor will it hurt the regime, it will only help facilitate Ahmadinejad’s reelection bid. There are many more effective ways to oppose the government.
There are 3 candidates that are pitted against Ahmadinejad, while all 3 will be better than him, one of the candidates stands out as the most formidable. He is Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iran’s former prime minister and one of the key players in managing the country during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). There are plenty of websites and articles that fully describe his platform, policies, and objectives. He is the only candidate than can reverse Ahmadinejad’s damages most efficiently and effectively.
In the end, I want to beg of each and every one of you to vote, not because you approve of the government, not because a new president will suddenly transform Iran into a world economic powerhouse, but because Iran, and frankly the world, cannot afford another 4 years of Ahmadinejad. There are polling stations throughout the country, and the exact locations will be published on Wednesday, June 10th. All you need is your passport or ID card, so let’s all head to the polling stations on Friday, vote Green, and get Ahmadinejad OUT of office!