AN FRANCISCO, California, Jul 28, 2010 (IPS) – A recent poll conducted by a credible Iranian university centre concerning the post-election events of 2009 has found that 56 percent of participants believe President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s popularity has declined over the past year, while just 22 percent believe it has increased.
Opinions of Ahmadinejad in the capital Tehran declined, despite the fact that the president’s cabinet enjoys a monopoly over state television and radio stations.
Over the past two years, dozens of reformist publications have been shuttered, and journalists and political activists critical of the government’s policies have been arrested and imprisoned.
According to the poll, conducted in Tehran in June by the Iranian Student Polling Agency (ISPA), two-thirds of the 1,172 people surveyed believe that dissatisfaction with the government remains widespread, if largely covert.
“Ahmadinejad’s popularity has been in question since before the election last year, and the main reason for that is the perception that his administration has mismanaged the Iranian economy,” Jason Rezaian, a Tehran-based journalist, told IPS. “Given the deteriorating financial situation of most Iranians, it’s increasingly hard to argue otherwise.”