The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee were the first Jewish organiztions to reach my e-mail box about the Iranian elections, with both expressing upset over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apparent win (the official results are being challenged by his opponents). Of course, had he lost, many U.S. Jewish organizations were likely to have hammered home what has been one of their main talking points in the past few weeks — that ultimate power in Iran rests in the hands of the Supreme Leader, not the president, so no matter who wins, many of the regime’s most troubling policies are likely to remain in place and must continue to be challenged by the West.
Which explains why Daniel Pipes was rooting for Ahmadinejad:
… Therefore, while my heart goes out to the many Iranians who desperately want the vile Ahmadinejad out of power, my head tells me it’s best that he remain in office. When Mohammed Khatami was president, his sweet words lulled many people into complacency, even as the nuclear weapons program developed on his watch. If the patterns remain unchanged, better to have a bellicose, apocalyptic, in-your-face Ahmadinejad who scares the world than a sweet-talking Mousavi who again lulls it to sleep, even as thousands åof centrifuges whir away….
Here are the statements…
ADL Statement on the Iranian Election Results
We are greatly disappointed by the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Throughout his term as President, Ahmadinejad’s political strategy has been to divert popular focus from domestic issues, such as the dismal economic situation and the impact of Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation, to irrational and extremist allegations and attacks against Jews, Israel, the United State, the West and minorities.
We had hoped that a different outcome to this election would have sent a message to the international community that Ahmadinejad’s incendiary behavior is not reflective of the beliefs and views of the Iranian people. Unfortunately, result for Iran is likely to be another four years of extremism and isolation.
AJC on Ahmadinejad “Electoral Victory” in Iran
AJC expressed grave concern, if not surprise, at the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Iranian presidential elections.
Iranian state media are reporting that Ahmadinejad won over 60 percent of the vote. His principal rival for the post, Mir Hossen Moussavi, claimed that there were “irregularities” in the tallying of the vote. Protesters gathering in Tehran have been severely beaten by the police.
“The result is a triumph for fanaticism which may well have been enforced upon the Iranian people,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Since he became president in 2005, Ahmadinejad has demonstrated time and again that he is a world-class thug, serial human rights violator, and Holocaust denier. He has brought nothing but misery upon the Iranian people – and it appears that he will continue to do so, by fair means or foul.”
Harris reiterated that Iran’s nuclear program poses a major threat to regional and global security, noting that the program was championed by all candidates in the election, as well Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has denounced Israel as a “cancerous tumor.”
“Iran must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons,” said Harris. “Ahmadinejad believes that nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles are the ways to project Iran’s influence and reach — and his zealous religious outlook. In doing so, Iran has repeatedly violated binding UN Security Council resolutions and International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines. The re-election of Ahmadinejad underscores why the international community must do all it can to deny the Iranian regime the means to carry out its dangerous and destabilizing ambitions.”