وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Executive Olive Branch

Word over the wire that another Iran - USA soccer exhibition is in the works, potentially.

Political football (and wrestling) is nothing new of course, as we humans of the world seek non-governmental, cultural exchanges in our quest towards genuine peace, love and understanding.




That was in 1998, and elections had taken place in Iran the semester before, with the 'reformist' President Khatami taking the helms of the IRI. President Clinton tried reaching out, and buzz was building that relations between the two governments might thaw.

That year I took a Middleastern Studies class in college - before it became popular in a post-9/11 USA. The instructor was a brilliant man named Prof. Kaveh Ehsani. I noticed then there were two classes of politicians alllowed to run in IRI's theocracy: the right-wing candidtate, and the really right-wing candidate. So the best you could hope for was a "moderate" winning - but who would be a Conservative in any normal setup.

Then I asked Prof. Ehsani about the ridiculousness of the whole thing there. With the 'Council of Guardians' structure in the IRI -- which approves candidates based on the guidance of the 'Supreme Leader' Ayatollah Khomenei -- and such. His reply took me off Guard: "It's not much different with the political system here, which is based on who can raise the most money."

So I've also noticed some interesting parallels of politicians in the upcoming pseudo-elections in Iran with our own recent election in the States.

I.R. Iran -- Beards, No Neckties, "Allah Akbar", Supreme Leader
U.S.A. -- Flag Lapels, Neckties, "God Bless Ameria", Supreme Court

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