Iran election: The global view


As unrest in Iran continues, our correspondents have been weighing in with the local reaction from their countries. Here are links to their reports and some excerpts:


Given the historic close ties between Caracas and Tehran — both rebel members of OPEC whose leaders are crusaders against perceived American “imperialism” — it's not surprising that the virtual silence from Venezuela on the topic of the election is audible.


Some Iraqis hoped that these recent elections might put a new leader at the helm of Iran who would pose less of a threat to their country. But as one construction worker told me, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection changes little for them. "So Iran will continue to influence our politics like before," he said. "But with the American army here and a bigger Iraqi army, at least we don't have to worry about getting attacked by their army."


It may be an earthquake for Iran, but it is barely a tremor for most Afghans. While Kabul residents seem to be watching the riots in Tehran with interest, the central issue — a growing movement against a fundamentalist dictatorship — does not seem to register. 


There have been no rallies or vigils or events suggesting a Moroccan public riveted by news from Iran. Perhaps it’s the 3,200 miles separating Rabat from Tehran; perhaps there’s a culture gap between francophone, largely Sunni Morocco and the mostly Shiite Persian speakers to the east. But it’s also true that the latest Moroccan dogfight — nationwide local elections in which a brand new party swept into power — have sucked up much of the journalistic oxygen, and ink.


There were no reports of protests outside the Iranian embassy or anywhere else in capital city, Jakarta, though several Muslim intellectuals here voiced their disapproval of Ahmadinejad’s leadership in the Muslim world. The two countries have increased bilateral ties in recent years, cooperating in economic, industrial and social sectors. Indonesians, however, are predominantly Sunni, and although Muslim, share little of the Shiite Iranian leadership’s ideological zeal.


Here in Turkey, there is barely a whisper about their neighbor. Aside from a few cookie-cutter stories adapted from the wires, the Turkish press hasn’t had much to say on the controversial elections. The hub at local cafes is no different.


Ordinary Egyptians have expressed hope that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, will win out in the standoff. This has less to do with love of Mousavi and more to do with deep skepticism over Ahmadinejad’s belligerent stance toward moderate Muslim states. At the government level, officials seem most concerned about the issue of nuclear weapons.


China’s government, an old friend to Iran and not one to rock the global political boat, has called for stability in Iran and says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be supported as the “choice of the Iranian people.”


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flew to Russia today on his first foreign trip since the vote and subsequent protests that broke out in its wake. Russia welcomed him with open arms.


The questions I’m left with are these: What could a regime shift in Iran have meant for that country’s investment in Senegal? Will those economic ties affect Senegal’s take on the contested election results?

New York

The upheaval in Iran has invoked many references to history from the mainstream media. Some are less wide of the mark than others.


Iranians in Boston are also demonstrating. About 100 Iranians gathered at Harvard Square Sunday to protest the elections.