The potato revolution continues

Writing on ForeignPolicy.com late last month, analyst Mehrzad Boroujerdi described Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s Iranian election campaign as something of a potato revolution: [P]otatoes, it seems, have everything to do with the Iranian elections this year. Ramping up the public distribution of potatoes, along with a wide range of other government subsidies and alms, has become Ahmadinejad’s ...

By , International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.
584897_090615_mousavi32.jpg
584897_090615_mousavi32.jpg

Writing on ForeignPolicy.com late last month, analyst Mehrzad Boroujerdi described Mir-Hossein Mousavi's Iranian election campaign as something of a potato revolution:

[P]otatoes, it seems, have everything to do with the Iranian elections this year. Ramping up the public distribution of potatoes, along with a wide range of other government subsidies and alms, has become Ahmadinejad's preferred strategy for buying votes. While the Western world has focused on the incumbent's inflammatory statements about the Holocaust and his confrontationist nuclear policy, his domestic critics have focused their ire on his flawed economic remedies and populist demagogy, in addition to his erratic diplomatic style. Hence, potatoes, and the surprise return of Mousavi, a man little known outside Iran.

Writing on ForeignPolicy.com late last month, analyst Mehrzad Boroujerdi described Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s Iranian election campaign as something of a potato revolution:

[P]otatoes, it seems, have everything to do with the Iranian elections this year. Ramping up the public distribution of potatoes, along with a wide range of other government subsidies and alms, has become Ahmadinejad’s preferred strategy for buying votes. While the Western world has focused on the incumbent’s inflammatory statements about the Holocaust and his confrontationist nuclear policy, his domestic critics have focused their ire on his flawed economic remedies and populist demagogy, in addition to his erratic diplomatic style. Hence, potatoes, and the surprise return of Mousavi, a man little known outside Iran.

Well, Mousavi looks to agree. Speaking at a rally today, an observer’s twitter feed reports him saying:


These masses were not brought by bus or by threat. They were not brought for potatoes. They came themselves.”

Potatoes, it seems, just don’t buy what they used to in Iran… and I doubt revolution was the purchase that Ahmadinejad had in mind.

Elizabeth Dickinson is International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.

Tag: Iran

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