For almost two weeks in mid-June, Iran dominated the news. Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the June 12 presidential election with over 24 million votes, the highest number of votes that an Iranian presidential candidate has ever received. Millions of Iranians protested and rebelled against their regime.
Given Iran’s importance to international relations and foreign affairs and the magnitude and lasting effect of the events of June that transpired in Iran, I don’t know who has been more uniquely important to the news headlines and to history in 2009 than Ahmadinejad, which is why I believe he could be one of the leading candidates for Time Magazine’s 2009 Person of the Year.
It was his divisiveness that caused the widest rifts between the Iranian regime and its people and the widest rifts amongs Iran’s political elite in the thirty-year history of the Islamic Republic. Iran’s post-election unrest and its aftermath in the years to come will pose one of the greatest challenges to the survivability of the Islamic Republic since its foundation in 1979.
I understand that politics and the emotional sensibilities of the public may keep Ahmadinejad from earning the Person of the Year recognition, as was done to Osama bin Laden in 2001. To many, Ahmadinejad represents terrorism, brutal and violent repression, anti-American and anti-Israeli belligerence, and Holocaust denial. But, the list of past Person of the Year recognees, and Time’s statement that the Person of the Year is the person who “most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill”, clearly indicate that it is not necessarily an honor.
Any thoughts from Iranian.com users about the possibility of Ahmadinejad being Time Person of the Year or about any other candidates?