Wednesday, June 24, 2009


"Conversely, there is a significant segment of the traditional middle class, the bazaaris, that is in fact the beneficiaries of Ahmadinejad's economic policies of governmentally subsidized commodities and services, and thus supports him. As for the "uncouth" among the Iranian peasantry, Eric Hooglund, a senior scholar of Iran with decades of experience in rural areas, has recently said that when he hears reports that Ahmadinejad's support base is rural, he is left quite baffled. "Is it possible that rural Iran," he asks pointedly, "where less than 35 percent of the country's population lives, provided Ahmadinejad the 63 percent of the vote he claims to have won? That would contradict my own research in Iran's villages over the past 30 years, including just recently."" I am not sure that I agree fully: that the class element is not politically salient at all here. So is the claim that Ahmadinjad has no support whatsoever?