The momentous June presidential election in Iran and its bloody aftermath will probably be remembered as a turning point in the life of this strange republic. The true face of the state, so meticulously hidden beneath a confusing veneer of “Islamic democracy,” surfaced in its true form—something conveniently forgotten after eight years of reformist rule.
Putting aside any pretense to civility or an electoral system, the Islamists adhered to what they know best: brutality. The June 12 aftermath dealt a major blow to the hope for a realignment of Islam and a representative state. In lieu of a hybrid Islamic Republic, a militarized regime emerged in earnest, a regime that had been taking shape since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his mark in the 2005 elections, and which is now embodied by a coalition of actors including Ahmadinejad, supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).