An interesting article on Armoured Dinner Jackets strongest opponent. Does he offer a real change from ADJ? Can he win?

Iran's Potato Revolution
By Mehrzad Boroujerdi

Page 1 of 1
Posted May 2009
Meet Mir Hussein Moussavi, the man trying to dethrone Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Khomeini's ghost: Is this former prime minister and student of the Iranian Revolution really the reformer his supporters hope?

"Death to potatoes!"

This pointed exclamation, hurled from the crowd at a recent rally for Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi, might seem an odd way to show support for a man who has twice been Iran's prime minister and is today incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's most formidable opponent. But potatoes, it seems, have everything to do with the Iranian elections this year. Ramping up the public distribution of potatoes, along with a wide range of other government subsidies and alms, has become Ahmadinejad's preferred strategy for buying votes. While the Western world has focused on the incumbent's inflammatory statements about the Holocaust and his confrontationist nuclear policy, his domestic critics have focused their ire on his flawed economic remedies and populist demagogy, in addition to his erratic diplomatic style. Hence, potatoes, and the surprise return of Moussavi, a man little known outside Iran.

Although many Iranian liberals - and a few Western analysts - see in Moussavi a potential reformist corrective to Ahmadinejad's excesses, the former prime minister, should he overcome long odds and win in June, is likely to tweak, rather than overhaul, the Islamic Republic. Think Leonid Brezhnev, not Mikhail Gorbachev.

The 68-year-old Moussavi has never run for elected office, having been appointed prime minister at the age of 40 after serving briefly as foreign minister and editor of the conservative Islamic Republican Party's newspaper. He is not especially charismatic, and appears to lack the kind of solid organizational machinery that makes Ahmadinejad, with his religious conservative base, the reigning favorite. Moussavi, moreover, has spent the past two decades largely out of the public eye, pursuing his life-long interests in architecture and painting. For some two thirds of Iran's extremely young population, his legacy as prime minister has little or no resonance today.

Sounds promising since realistically we're never going to get large scale change happening there outside of something like a 1979 size incident that sweeps away the whole system, the conservatives elements are just too entrenched IMO. Slow and steady seems much more preferable. Un**** the economy and spread the wealth around in a fairer manner combined with one statistic I've seen mentioned that roughly 70% of Iran's population being under 30 (which means they never lived in the Shah era and aren't as invested in the Revolution) and that provides a fairly strong impetus for social change.

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