Thats rightracist moron goatherder Mahmūd Ahmadinezhād, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and poster-child for everything thats wrong with recent US attempts to pal up to Iran, is up for re-election this Friday. In another surprise, he may not win.
First, there is the not-subtle influence of Saudi Arabia, who urgently wants to see Iranian influence brought down to a manageable level. The Saudi government was a major and perhaps decisive influence in the Lebanese elections by funding the pro-Western candidates to ensure their election.
Wait, Czar, did you say pro-Western Saudis? No. The Saudis certainly backed a pro-Western candidate because the leading opponent was the pro-Iranian Hezbollah party. Simple logistics there: go for the less-threatening of the two. With the Iranian influence slightly diminished in Lebanon, the Sauds see the election as a golden opportunity to reduce Iranian power in Iran directly.
Second, the still massively influential and reasonably popular former President Ali Akbar Hāshemī Rafsanjānī blasted Ahmadinezhād in the Iranian press for some unsurprisingly stupid comments the latter made about the former, accusing the more US-tolerating Rafsanjānī of corruption, influence peddling, and general naughtiness. In response, Rafsanjānī fired off a detailed letter to Supreme Leader Ali Hoseyni Khāmenei (who wields massive power and could easily determine the elections outcome with a finger-flick) that beautifully lambasted Ahmadinezhād as a threat to Islam.
In response to the letter, Ahmadinezhād supporters naturally chanted death threats against Rafsanjānī which, one supposes, will not help any counter-argument, and the negative reactions to this could well help tank him on Friday. He could grow a vastly thicker beard and wander around universities giving speeches of no consequence. Bright future ahead of him, for sure, as the Iranian Al Gore (except that Ahmadinezhād managed to get elected President first).
Two points the Czar wants to make clear, one bad, one good.
The bad point is that even if Ahmadinezhād goes down in flames (the Czar likes that image), this will likely change jack about the crazed fiends that run Iran. Unless you actually see Jimmy Yankee-Doodle-Cagney waving an American flag on the election-winners podium Saturday, you can expect Iran to remain a serious regional and world threat for years to come. The Czar would like to be wrong on this, but likely will be right.
Yet the good point cannot be ignored. Good things happen when Saudi Arabia gets very nervous. The fact that the Saudis donated massive sums of money to swing a Lebanese election away from Hezbollah, and are trying to take Ahmadinezhād down in turn, means they have realized something essential: Iran is way scarier to them than the United States. And that will help everyone in the region, even the Persian people themselves.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.