Middle East Bush Failure: Ahmadinejad’s Iran

In the Middle East, the Bush Administration experienced several foreign policy failures that can be viewed as direct consequences of its ill-conceived 2003 invasion of Iraq. One of the more prominent failures was the June 2005 election of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

With its policy of preemptive war and open belligerence toward Iran, the Bush Admin set the stage for Ahmadinejad’s ascent. A notorious Israel-basher and proverbial poster child for the “War on Terror,” Ahmadinejad was the Iranian’s answer to George W. Bush himself. It can be argued that the Bush Administration “stirred the pot” intentionally to galvanize support for war against Iran. Intended or not, the consequence of this failed policy is that self-professed reformer Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjan lost the Iranian election by more than 7 million votes. Iran has accelerated the development of its nuclear capabilities. And now the next U.S. president faces a far more dangerous Iran…. and few, if any, good options for dealing with the threat.


Iran’s Ex-Leader Seeks Return in the Trappings of a Reformer, New York Times, May 25, 2005

Shock as Iran Elects Hardline President, Guardian UK, June 26, 2005