Iranian Elections

The upcoming elections in Iran are becoming more interesting by the minute. Former president Rafsanjani, hero of the Islamic Revolution and hard core conservative, has just registered as a reform cadidate.

Neil MacFarquhar of the NY Times writes:

"Aside from Mr. Rafsanjani, the remaining candidates hoping to succeed President Mohammed Khatami include one moderate cleric and four former senior officers in the Revolutionary Guards, whose loyalty to the supreme leader is unquestionable.

In this lineup, Mr. Rafsanjani is viewed as a compromise figure - the least distasteful conservative to the liberals and the most liberal among the conservatives."

Khatami, though a reformer, failed to make any reforms, namely because the Revolutionary Council blocked him. Rafsanjani has the conservative chops to hold Islamic fundamentalists at bay, but is he really a reformer or just a power hungry bureaucrat who wants a second shot a fleecing his own countrymen? Maybe Rafsanjani has seen the light (or more likely the winds of change). At 70 maybe he thinks he has less to lose by becoming a reformer and accomplishing some real change, maybe even securing his place in history.