Bored with waiting for Iran’s election, we set out to identify decision makers who took a clear stand against this exercise in pseudo-democracy. Gut feeling (in lieu of relevant media coverage): not good.
As far as we could tell, the single most important step taken was the US decision to authorize the sale of communications software, hardware and services to Iran. That’s putting your money where your mouth is.
As for declarations, Canada was particularly vociferous in its condemnation of the Iranian electoral process: “The regime is hollow,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry also expressed his misgivings vis-à-vis the upcoming vote: “I do not have high expectations that the election is going to change the fundamental calculus of Iran,” he told reporters. Israel didn’t surprise anyone by guaranteeing that the elections won’t change anything in the nuclear crisis – but at least it spoke up.
In comparison, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague hesitated– and in the end missed his chance.
Instead of taking her cue from Baird and Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton followed Hague – saying in an EU statement
“But after the elections seems to me the right time to think about another meeting. I think we have to wait and see how the elections turn out because depending on who’s elected there may be differences.”
That’s how Lady Ashton will be remembered by the beleaguered Iranian people. Really.
Not satisfied, we turned to civilian society. Found encouraging gestures, like this event by some good folks in Germany. Theirs is the message the world should have been conveying to the Iranian people from the start of the campaign. But it didn’t.
Please correct us if you think we’re wrong.