Ariel Cohen: Elections demonstrate that Iran is not democraсy
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 26 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
The Iranian elections demonstrate that Iran is not а democraсy, leading expert of the 'Heritage' Fund for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy Ariel Cohen believes.
"This is essentially the sham, because no non Islamist candidates are running, no women are running, no secular people are running and no there is no expression of Azerbaijani pro-independence sentiment," he said. "The question is for how much longer the Iranian people will put up with the clerical regime and with political oppression."
"The second question in front of the West is what will happen with the nuclear problem, but the personality of the president is not dispositive is not decisive," Cohen said. "The decision is in the hands of the supreme leader and of the small religious elite around the supreme leader and I don't think Iran will stop its nuclear program, and that has applications for south Caucasus's well as for the Persian Gulf area, and for Saudi Arabia, Israel and other Middle East countries."
"The moment Iran obtains a deliverable nuclear weapon it becomes stronger diplomatically, geopolitically and can dictate its will to the region," Cohen added. "With the US becoming more disengaged and less involved in the region, the countries of the region have to make painful but independent decisions about their national securities and their future."
Iran will hold the 11th presidential election on June 14, 2013.
The voters will select the successor of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is not able to participate in the elections for the third term according to the country's constitutional laws.
The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election and the Guardian Council vets the candidates for qualifications.