I am sure all of you have also been watching the still continuing drama in Iran where supporters of the losing candidate for president in last week’s election, Mousavi, refuse to accept the official declaration that the West’s favorite whipping boy, Ahmadinejad, won reelection. There are demonstrations for and against the result.

The striking feature is that those supporting the loser appear to be the better off members of Iran’s society. They are waging their campaign via computers and cell phones over the internet. They apparently would prefer that elections be done via “Facebook, U Tube and Twitter.” They demonstrate from motor vehicles. They are concentrated in Tehran and the larger cities.

Amadinejad’s supporters appear to be the less fortunate living in the poorer sectors of the cities and in rural villages. They respond to elections in the old fashion way, they vote. They also demonstrate on foot. The western press makes much of Amadinejad’s supporters having to be bussed in to Tehran from the countryside. Could that be because they don’t have motor vehicles?

The post election tension reminds me of what has occured very time Venezuela’s President Chaves has won reelection. The obviously wealthier Venezuelans have taken to the streets to protest the results while their poorer compatriots simply vote in greater numbers. We have other examples in Latin America.

Could all this be fueled by the worldwide recession? Maybe those demonstrating against Ahmadinejad in Iran are the recently graduated university students and those still in school who are facing grim job prospects. The blame the world’s most well known provocateur for their bleak economic prospects.

In Venezuela Chaves is clearly to blame for making a bad time worse with his ill-considered and ill-executed programs to redistribute wealth. Maybe that is the real motivation behind the violent protests against his reelections.

Could it be that the main result of the current recession will be massive class warfare? Hard to believe, but then the post election struggle in Iran could turn very ugly.

Leo Cecchini
June 2009