General Question

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Should the UN step in and hold new elections in Iran?

Asked by ABoyNamedBoobs03 (7538points) June 23rd, 2009

In my mind, this is the best choice. A neutral party holding a second election with the same party members, if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins again, it’s legitimate, if not, then we have our answer. To me this seems like the most logical step to solve this very volatile problem and it should be done as quickly as possible. What do you think?

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28 Answers

shilolo's avatar

How exactly would this happen? It isn’t like Iran has had a favorable-accommodating relationship with the UN already (can you say, nuclear inspectors?) Also, as much as I think the current Iranian “government” is tyrannical, what country would allow an outside force to come in and “help” in that way? I don’t think any country would allow that, so it doesn’t seem feasible. Short of an invasion of Iran, this would never happen.

ragingloli's avatar

that is what they tried in iraq and afghanistan. look what happened.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Unfortunately, this is a serious matter, obviously. 15 people have already died and it’s very likely there will be more. This situation will get much worse before it gets better, worst case a legitimate civil war breaks out, and in a country like that, it could be disastrous with the distinct possibility of spilling over to Iraq, or dragging on for years. To be honest if the protests become more violent(consistent lethal force regardless of circumstance) a peace keeping force may be the only option. I understand the UN’s reluctance to get involved with anything, ever, especially a situation as fragile as this, but is that not the responsibility of the UN? To settle potentially disastrous situations and to stop the inhumane loss of life?
Regardless of politics, it needs to be stopped before it snowballs into something the country won’t be able to recover from.

wundayatta's avatar

The UN and what army? Get a grip! Iran is a sovereign nation run democratically. We can argue about whether the election was fair or not, but no one in the rest of the world has a right to impose their will on another nation. Some countries don’t care, but that’s not a good way to make friends.

shilolo's avatar

@daloon I agree that Iran is a sovereign nation, but not that is is “run democratically”. The Supreme Leader is ultimately in charge, and he isn’t elected. The President remains their public face, but he has limited powers compared to the Ayatollah.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

you can hardly call Iran democratic.

aside from the possible election fraud, the Iranian government has removed the freedoms to protest peacefully and freedom of speech, all the while resorting to violence and fear to try and silence those who protest their legitimacy.

dynamicduo's avatar

Absolutely not.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Yes I know, like I said, I realize the UN, 9 times out of 10, is a joke. Regardless, something needs to be done if the violence escalates, and the UN are really the only ones with the authority to take control of a new election, which, at this point seems very much needed. I’m not saying start a war, but everything that can be done to peacefully hold unbiased elections in Iran should be done as soon as possible.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I mean, honestly, how many people here think the situation is going to get better from here on out before it gets much worse? Why not take action now and prevent the loss of life?

dynamicduo's avatar

I guess I should elaborate. Here’s why my answer is “absolutely not”. Other countries simply do not have the right to impose their will on Country X, and this is a very good thing, because countries often have different wills and wills that change over time and popularity.

Yes, what is going on in Iran is bad and at times inhumane (I’m thinking about Neda here). But it is Iran’s problem to deal with, not the world’s problem. Condemning their processes is enough of an intrusion into their matter. It really is up to the people of Iran to free their country now.

America has stuck their hand in the Middle East far too much already, such as with Iran’s previous revolution. Sticking their hand in more is not the solution at all. The Iranian people must take their own freedom with their own hands or else it is worth nothing.

Of course it’s going to get worse. But then it will either get better and they’ll have their freedom, or their future generations will remember this oppression and revolt once again and win.

The simple matter is that you, @ABoyNamedBoobs03, have no right to intervene on their matters. And neither does anyone else.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

not the worlds problem? The removal of universal freedoms is humanity’s problem. Do Iranians have less a right to free speech than we do? not at all. And most likely the only way the Iranian government is going to relent is if they have no choice, and if we let The Iranian citizens handle it on their own, there’s a distinct possibility of increasing violence, while the UN, has the possibility of settling this in a relatively peaceful manner if they show unanimous support for a second election. I’m not saying take over the government, I’m just saying act as an Unbiased median and hold a second election so the Iranian people, and the world, has a definitive answer.

dalepetrie's avatar

Should they? Theoretically yes.

Could they? No.

I mean they could, but there’s no way to force Iran to accept the results of this election (or even to allow it to take place) short of military action.

I submit that if all you’re looking for is smoking gun evidence that this election was stolen, that you read this article.

dynamicduo's avatar

But where is the line between taking over the government and forcefully having another election? In my mind, there is no difference between the two, @ABoyNamedBoobs03. You can’t just intrude into another country and impose your will.

“Humanity” is not something that needs protecting. Where’s your sympathy for everyone in Africa who is mistreated? Should the UN fix Africa too? What about America’s economy, should the UN intrude into there?

There WILL be violence. It goes hand in hand with attaining freedom. Remember the Civil War?

And there is no such thing as an unbiased median. That’s the first thing to realize about politics on any level, local or global. Everyone has a motive. Everyone has desires. No one is unbiased, not even a newborn baby.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

well this isn’t a thread about the horrible things that occur on a daily basis in Africa, but yes, if I had my way the UN would be much more involved in that continents affairs instead of just shoving them to the side like the world’s garbage fill. However, that’s another debate for another time.

It’s a simple line, you don’t take over policing the nation, you don’t make any choices for the current government. You hold peacekeepers inside designated Election centers, count the ballots, and whoever wins, wins, period, end of story, there’s no room for bias because the UN wouldn’t be doing anything except counting election ballots.
Yes violence was needed during the civil war, but if someone came up to you and said there was a way around the bloodiest war in American history, a way in which so many families wouldn’t have had to bury their sons husbands or fathers, would you say “oh, well, I’ll stick with the violence, it adds a little pep to my kid’s history class…”?

cwilbur's avatar

There were serious allegations of vote fraud in the last few U. S. Presidential elections, some of them with credible evidence, and so me of them might have swayed the result of the election. Would it have been appropriate for the UN to step in and run a second election?

And if it’s not appropriate in the case of the US, what makes it appropriate in the case of Iran?

dynamicduo's avatar

Forcing a country to redo and accept the results of another election is exactly “mak[ing] any choices for the current government”. So I really don’t understand your argument one bit.

Regarding your last comment, I’m Canadian, I don’t give a hoot about America’s past. And I don’t engage in theoretical discussions of impossible actions.

But @ABoyNamedBoobs03, I think you formed your opinion fraudulently, so I will impose my will upon you and make you change. It’s for the better of humanity though, I promise! So you must no longer form opinions in your own way, I will send in a peacekeeper to help you form your new opinions, end of story.

Does that sound OK to you? Then why exactly would it be OK for you to do this to Iran?

dalepetrie's avatar

@cwilbur – in 2000 I would have welcomed UN elections inspections with open arms after having read this book. But I wouldn’t have expected it to change anything even if when the UN declared our election results to have been swayed by fraud.

Essentially, I think it’s important for the world to know that the Iranian elections were a sham, and I think they will do know this. Just like the world knows that Ahmadinejad is a joke via his denying the Holocaust and stating that there are no gay people in Iran. The man has zero credibility in the outside world (that is the world outside radical Islamic extremism).

And it is my understanding (I heard this on NPR several months back, correct me if I’m remembering this wrong), that in Iran, the position of President is essentially 3rd in command…he’s basically the Nancy Pelosi of Iran, and his position is basically that of a mouthpiece for the Iranian government, but he holds no formal decision making power.

It seems to me that in an Iran where the Presidency is a glamour job, it would make little difference who was elected to this post. Now as a voting citizen, I would not want my vote to be a vanity exercise and I understand that the opposition is going to exploit this anger. It is the opposition leader and party who are asking citizens to continue to stand with them in the face of martial law…essentially as I see it, the opposition party is playing politics with the lives of the citizens he wants to represent. As sure as I am that he probably won the election, I’m not sure his serving would be any better than would Ahmadinejad.

Bottom line here is the Iranian government (the part of it that actually has the power to do so) is doing exactly what every non-democratic government does when the status quo is challenged. I for one agree that the purpose of the UN should be to alleviate human suffering and crack down on human rights violations wherever they may occur in the world, but that has not been the path the UN has taken. So basically, what the UN should do and what they actually have the limited power to do are once again, for about the billionth time in my lifetime, completely different things.

I’d love to see a worldwide governmental agency made up of Democratically elected nations which created a code of conduct which it had the ability and power to enforce via any means necessary. Instead we have a voluntary group run by the political whims of the 5 global superpowers in terms of military strength.

I say the best approach is to use information to spread the word far and wide that the Iranian Presidency is a sham, the Iranian President is a powerless fool and that we must put continued pressure on their failed political structure until the voice of its people is heard. Imposing elections will do nothing that the facts we already have will not.

robmandu's avatar

If you want something done with more fraud and more corruption than Iran’s current electoral process, by all means then, get the U.N. to do it.

While they’re at it, the U.N. would likely also siphon money out of any humanitarian aid coming in as well as round up lots of young girls for the human trafficking trade.

There are few (if any) cases where bringing in the U.N. has actually helped improve the overall situation. What do you expect of any organization that routinely puts Libya or North Korea as chair of the human rights committee?

marinelife's avatar

Iran is a sovereign nation.

Would you have supported the UN coming in in 2000 and reholding the US elections?

It bugs me that people apply one standard to America and another for other parts of the world.

CMaz's avatar

World domination does have its advantage.

Jayne's avatar

@dynamicduo; perhaps you can explain to me what is so special and inviolable about a sovereign nation’s rights? People don’t choose what country they are born into, and it would be incredibly naive to believe that they choose where to live, either; so political borders are not a not a fair, democratic, or meaningful representation of the people within them. They are convenient for the purpose of administration, and they are self-perpetuating, because so long as governments only care for their own people, then all governments, benevolent or otherwise, have an interest in maintaining or expanding them. But there is no ethical reason that a government of one country should not consider it its business as a guardian of human rights to concern itself with the people of another country. Obviously, no one country, especially not the U.S., should be permitted to enforce this principle at will except in the most egregious cases, because no one country can be considered impartial, and the right to intervene would be exploited for self-interest. But a global organization like the UN does not, in theory, have any “self” in which to have an interest. It has, or would ideally have, enough conflicting internal interests that its arbitration in a situation such as this should be considered unbiased. I see no reason that the government or Iran, simply by dint of being the continuation of a generations-old system that was not enacted in any sense by the current people of Iran, has any more right to govern than an external body, except convenience, especially as its administration runs demonstrably contrary to the people’s will, while the UN would be doing nothing more than ensuring that their will is done. And I would have no problem with the UN intervening in the U.S. either; Iran is simple far more troubled than us at the moment.

Naturally, all of this ignore the fact that it would be very difficult for the UN to do such a thing; I am merely asserting that there should be no theoretical opposition to such a course of action, and perhaps the world should work towards the eventual institution of an effective, uniform mechanism for the international administration of elections. Really, there is somehing very wrong with a system where one candidate party in an election, namely the incumbent party, is responsible for the administration of that election; it is only due to media scrutiny, a culture of governmental authority, and a fairly even political split that this does not often pose much of a problem in the West.

marinelife's avatar

@Jayne The way the Bush administration blotted our copy book in that regard, we currently have no credibility in the world. Intervening in a sovereign’s nation’s affairs again is not the way to mend some of that reputation.

Nations who assert their own rights to govern do so by honoring the rights of others to govern their territory. I personally am not ready to trade that in for an even larger and more unwieldy bureaucracy in the form of a world government.

People accept the benefits of government and its power to provide them and to rule. From time immemorial, those who object either work from within for change, leave or escape (if leaving is not an option).

Jayne's avatar

@Marina; I did say that no one country, especially not the U.S., has the right to intervene; that right should be reserved for largely disinterested international bodies. As for bureaucratic inefficiencies, those would pose a formidable obstacle, and I agree that for the moment national rather than global government is by far the more viable option in almost all cases. Notice that I am not actually advocating that the UN step in. I was arguing that the reason for this should be pragmatic and not ideological; it should be based on the difficulties and the consequences of doing so, not out of reverence for the sanctity of national governments.

marinelife's avatar

I am GAing your thoughtful answer even though we will have to agree to disagree on the soverign rights of nation’s in the current world order.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

As been mentioned before, I would have been perfectly fine with UN intervention in 2000. Also, as mentioned before I realize the immense difference between what the UN should be, and what it is. It is far from a perfect system and it needs to be reformed.
_“I think you formed your opinion fraudulently, so I will impose my will upon you and make you change. It’s for the better of humanity though, I promise! So you must no longer form opinions in your own way, I will send in a peacekeeper to help you form your new opinions, end of story.

Does that sound OK to you? Then why exactly would it be OK for you to do this to Iran?“_

That’s hardly a valid comparison… I haven’t killed 15 people as a direct result of my opinion, The Iranian Election Situation isn’t an opinion, it’s a problem that has thrown that country on the brink of all out rebellion. Just because it’s only happening in Iran, and not on your doorstep, doesn’t make 15+ people killed any less tragic or appalling. It’s the mentality that if it’s not in your living room it’s not your problem that is exactly the reason things like these are allowed to happen to humanity even to this day, and why they will continue to happen. Ahmadinejad and his party are putting Iran in the situation because they know they can, they know the world will allow them to do this and get away with it.

BBQsomeCows's avatar


the UN is feckless at best

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