It is both sad and funny that Iran is held to standards much lower than even Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe when assessing the"democratic degree" of its elections. Few cases of fraud and intimidation are enough for the West to dismiss the election results in Belarus but in Iran election of Ahmadinejad becomes a hotly debated topic and evidence as to how"democratic" means can produce"illiberal" results. Official election figures are thrown around as valid data points as if the freeness and the fairness of the election were rubber-stamped by no less than Jimmy Carter himself.
While much of the Middle East might be longign for Islamist experimentation, Iran is entering a new post-Islamist era. It remains to be seen whether this era brings liberal democracy, rise of a new form of Fascism, or disintegration of Iran along ethnic lines.