The other Iranians

June 19, 2009 

Although it is popular and news-making to accuse Iran's election of being rigged, little is said about the actual breakdown of party support, the red and blue states of Iran.

Iran's overall population is almost 70 million, but Tehran and other major cities total only 15 million. Media images of affluent, liberal northern Tehranis enthusiastically supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi show nothing of the other 55 million people of all ages who adore devout Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his simplicity, charisma and candidness.

Indeed, Ahmadinejad successfully improved economic conditions for the low-income majority who have no interest in international politics and vote for whoever promises to improve their lives. It was ridiculous to expect intellectual, left-leaning Mousavi, Iran's John Kerry, to win over a largely religious, conservative constituency. In the last election, Ahmadinejad's win against Hashemi Rafsanjani, the government's favorite who chairs two of the nation's highest councils, should have taught us not only that the elections are not rigged, but also that no matter how much noise liberal Tehranis make, their votes are merely drops in the bucket.

Their enthusiasm is admirable, but next time they need to campaign in other areas of the country rather than preach to the choir of north Tehran.

Gloria Mahin, Cary

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