Ahmadinejad's Extremism May Be Wearing Thin Among Iranians
There is beginning to be a few hopeful signs that the confrontational political extremism of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is beginning to wear thin both with many Iranian voters as well the ruling religious council clerics. Early returns from lower level elections held in Iran this weekend show that moderate conservatives as well as the few reformers allowed to run for office by the ruling council of religious clerics did very well. In addition some signs of concern that Ahmadinejad is failing to improve Iran's economy and other broken promises that first brought him into office, instead focusing on dangerous confrontation with the West is risking Iran's image in the world community among the ruling clerics as well as many voters.
Hopeful signs included weekend protests against Ahmadinejad that denounced him as a "dictator" and burning his image in public places, as well as a huge turnout among the huge population of Iranian voters under 35. These can all be seen as hopeful signs that a military conflict with the West and Iran might be able to put off or even avoided for some time. Whether Ahmadinejad begins to turn more moderate now, or acts even more extreme remains to be seen. But his erratic rule could be ending soon, one way or the other, maybe even by removal by the ruling religious council who may feel that Iran's world image is being ruined by Ahmadinejad who may even get Iran involved in warfare with the U.S. or Western world. Iran's nuclear program may be a source of Iranian national pride, but many in Iran draw the line at this program creating nuclear arms and dragging Iran into a serious war with the U.S. or other Western world states