My Middle East history professor prophesied back in 2005 that Ahmadinejad would never win the Iranian presidency because Iranian youth, who she believed were the key to the election, were in fact, progressives and would come out and vote against him. She was certainly wrong about that prediction—while many may not have voted; a lot of youth supported Ahmadinejad and helped him win that election. (Side note - this professor was wrong about a lot of things, but that’s a whole other story.)
Well, another election is upon us and there’s been a lot of talk in the media once again about the role of youth in this new election. It goes without saying that as a Jewish American, I hope Ahmadinejad is defeated and that the country elects the most moderate of the candidates with the help of the 70 million people in Iran under the age of 30. But, I’m not going to hold my breath. Iran doesn’t have any independent polling, so it’s hard to predict who will win the election.
There are four candidates this year, Ahmadinejad, who I’m going to the call the radical. His fellow conservative and former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei and two moderate candidates, former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi and former Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karoubi.
I dug around and here are a few articles speculating about the role of youth in the 2009 election.
Anti-Ahmadinejad human chain stretches across Teheran.
There’s also a good op-ed piece from CNN about the role of women in the election. Khatami urges Iranians to help create 'miracle' by electing Mousavi.
And if you’re still interested…Dateline did a large piece titled “Inside Iran” a few nights ago that’s quite compelling.