The Big Game
K's nephew predicts that tonight the Iranian national soccer team will beat the Bahrain team Doh-heech (2-0). A tie would make them one of the first teams to qualify for the World Cup. ( Read the story )
But more importantly, this big game is happening just 9 days short of the election. 12,000 police will be on the street. Their mandate is to use as little force as possible because the government does not want a forceful confrontation with crowds of young Iranians at this time.
Rafsanjani is ready to claim the team's victory for himself. His campaign plans to keep a high profile tonight. Rumor has it that there are already Rafsanjani soccer victory campaign posters ready.
Despite all the shiny, happy campaign images around, I have not met a single person who plans to vote. Friends tell us that even the fashionable youth sporting Rafsanjani headbands do not plan to vote. It's just fashion and money and little bit of guerilla marketing.
Yesterday I saw a group of teen-aged girls tearing down campaign posters on fashionable Valiasr Street. It was 3:00 in the afternoon. The girls were not making any effort to be secretive about their actions.
Posters come up, posters go down.
That said, Iranian agencies are already planning their world cup tours. Iranians have the greatest confidence in their team. Go Iran!