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20 Jul 2009 13:377 Comments
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Few non-Iranians understand Iran and Iranians like Roger Cohen does. He's as brilliant as he is eloquent. Ed.

Iran's Tragic Joke [NYT] What president would celebrate a "victory" by two-thirds of the vote with a clampdown resembling a putsch? What self-respecting nation would attribute the appearance in the streets of three million protesters convinced their votes were stolen to Zionists, "evil" media and British agents? read

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7 Comments

Mr. Cohen's touching prose and sharp insight give the Times one of its brightest stars. He sees beyond the surface and always manages to unearth the core truths about Iran.

Mina / July 20, 2009 2:37 PM

I've really enjoyed Roger Cohen's coverage of the "elections" and the aftermath.

Maziar / July 20, 2009 5:48 PM

I'm not sure how well this would translate into, or work in Farsi, but in English, it would be fun (and appropriate!) to start to stick the word 'Landslide' in front of Mahmoud's name, if just the first name is used; or, if both are used, to stick '(Landslide)' in between, as is done with Mafiosi: e.g. Sal (Big Pussy) Bonpensiero.


He is, and his election is, a (cruel) joke--and he, and it, ought to be treated as such. It also redounds to Roger Cohen's point: since Landslide Mahmoud is laughable, he should be (continuously) mocked.

Wendell / July 20, 2009 6:21 PM

@Wendell, I like it. I'll definitely start calling him that.

Dave In America / July 20, 2009 8:34 PM

Roger Cohen always uncovers unique sides of Iran, an ability possessed by very few journalists. If a non-Iranian were to start studying Iran, he/she would have to start by reading Rogers' columns.


Reza A.

Reza A. / July 20, 2009 9:45 PM

Thank you, Roger (there are others!) for using humor so effectively and so adroitly in this matter.

Dictators can crush protests, they can ban freedoms of the press, public speech and public assembly, but they often succumb to the march of progress when they become the butt of jokes and the fodder of comedians!

No one can respect and allow themselves to be lead by the butt of the world's jokes.

You, Roger, have helped solidify and mature the international opposition to this dictatorship which has stolen that election. Thank you, again.

Roger / July 21, 2009 6:58 PM

In Friday prayers today (July 24) Ahmad Khatami (not the recent candidate for president, Mohammed Khatami) attacked those seeking a referendum or other method of determining whether the June 12 election actually reflected the will of the people. His sermon also appeared to support the supreme authority of Ayatollah Khamenei, rather than the will of the people.

Of note, Ayatollah Khatami also strongly urged Mahmoud "Landslide" Ahmadenijad to set aside his choice of primary V.P., since Khamenei and other hard-liners oppose him and gave Mahmoud "Landslide" Ahmadenijad written corroboration of their views.

So far, however, Mahmoud "Landslide" Ahmadenijad has resisted the call to substitute someone else for his primary V.P., so the ball is still in play.

This lack of unity between the hardliners, including Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei, and supposed president Mahmoud "Landslide" Ahmadenijad may be one of the more hopeful signs that miss-communication, and lack of communication will contribute to sufficient embarrassment that a new election, or at least a refrendum will demonstrate how much the people of Iran want reforms, freedoms (which are STILL banned) and greater contact with the outside world.

Perhaps the degree to which the Revolutionary Guard is profiting from the huge black market in Iran is becoming better known, and greater understanding of what they has to mean, as far as their policies, techniques and ideals.

Stay tuned!

Roger / July 24, 2009 1:17 PM