Democracy in Iran much stronger than in US: Foad Izadi

Press TV has conducted an interview with Foad Izadi, professor at University of Tehran, about Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s remarks comparing the electoral system in capitalist countries with Iran .What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Let’s pick on what the Leader said towards the end there, and that is the comparison that is being made in terms of his words the electoral system in capitalist countries he noted and especially when he talked about the influence that Israel has and also international capitalist networks behind the support of the three political groups that run in those countries in terms of their elections compared to Iran?

Izadi: Yes I think this is quite interesting what Ayatollah [Seyyed Ali] Khamenei said basically comparing Iran’s electoral system and a number of western countries specifically the United States. And the bold assertion that he had in his opinion at least and in the opinion of a lot of other people, democracy in Iran is much more strong and is much more true to the values of democracy when you compare the democracy in Iran to the democracy in United States.

And this is quite interesting because the other side has similar assertions. You have politicians in the United States most recently Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the State Department, making comments about Iran’s electoral laws and criticizing Iran’s electoral laws.

So this is I believe a response to what President Obama and other officials in the US government have said and Ayatollah Khamenei is actually making this assertion that you know what, the democracy that we have in Iran is much stronger than the democracy that you have in your countries and the reason is that, he gave a number of reasons, one pertaining to the issue of media use in the United States.

As you know in 2012 elections about seven thousand million dollars were spent in that year’s election, last year’s election, seven billion dollars almost and based on the studies that we conducted about sixty percent of that money went to advertising on television.

And in Iran you have a situation where public television is available for candidates for free, meaning that the candidates do not have to go and beg the rich people in their countries for money so they can finance their advertising on television.

And this is a fundamental difference that exists that in Iran the electoral system works in a way that discourages candidates to go to what Ayatollah Khamenei calls centers of wealth and power and ask for money from these centers and in the capitalist system, the candidates don’t have any other choice but to go to these centers to get enough money so they can compete in elections.

So this is the comparison that he was trying to make, the fact that in United States for example you only have two parties, only two major candidates. The third candidate, the third party candidate in reality don’t get a chance.

We remember in 2012 elections Dr. Jill Stein, the candidate from the Green Party that wanted to participate in the debates and she was not allowed and she was arrested and when she came out the next day she said that she was chained to the chair for eight hours when she was arrested.

So comparing that to Iran’s electoral system where there are eight major candidates instead of two, and all different political leniencies and political parties within the country are represented both reformists and conservatives and independent candidates are there and they get free time to criticize the government.

If you are covering the election process in Iran you will see that the reformist candidates are criticizing Ahmadinejad’s records of eight years quite strongly and the television in Iran giving them free time to do that, to criticize what has been going on in the country. And you will not see that in the United States. First of all the candidates have to pay for it and secondly you don’t see major criticism of the system that exists in the United States in the mainstream media, in the corporate media.

So what Ayatollah Khamenei was saying is that, look, don’t speak too loudly about our democracy because we believe that the democracy in Iran is much stronger than the democracy in the United States.

By Press TV

 

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