Iran will vote in a little over two weeks for a new president. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009, is ineligible to run again under the country's term limits. Mr Ahmadinejad was sometimes a thorn in the side of those who actually run Iran, so they have taken steps to try to ensure that cannot happen again. The office of the country's well-named "supreme leader" has disqualified all candidates except for eight of his political best friends.
Those who have mistakenly called Iran a democracy for the past eight years now can see the country's power structure clearly. Iran has become the world's leading proof that elections _ even honest elections _ have little, if anything, to do with democratic rule. As of now, it appears Iran will run an honest election day on Friday, June 14, with honest voting and vote-counting.
But the fix is in. No matter who is picked by the voters, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei and his Guardian Council win. The upshot is that Iran will adopt more and more policies that take it further from the world mainstream. Mideast relations will suffer and Iran's increasingly secretive nuclear development will cause more tension.
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