Hmmmm: Khamenei's election message sounds like it was written by Ahmadinejad

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all issues of national life, published a long statement hailing Mr. Ahmadinejad’s “historic victory” as “a great celebration.” This was the first time since 1989, when he became supreme leader, that Mr. Khamenei commented on the results of a presidential election without waiting for the publication of official results. Some analysts in Tehran tell me that the military-security elite, now controlling the machinery of the Iranian state, persuaded Mr. Khamenei to make the unprecedented move.

A detailed study of Mr. Khamenei’s text reveals a number of anomalies. It is longer than his usual statements and full of expressions that he has never used before. The praise he showers on Mr. Ahmadinejad is simply too much. The question arises: Did someone use the supreme leader as a rubber stamp for a text written by Mr. Ahmadinejad himself? With Mr. Khamenei’s intervention, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s three defeated rivals are unlikely to contest the results of the election beyond lodging formal protests to the Council of the Guardians, a 12-mullah body that has the legal duty of endorsing the final results…

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s victory has the merit of clarifying the situation within the Islamic Republic. The choice is now between a repressive regime based on a bizarre and obscurantist ideology and the prospect of real change and democratization. There is no halfway house.