Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 27, 2009

An Interesting Detail

A new interesting detail in a fresh NYT piece from Tehran:

The Expediency Council, headed by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, issued a statement that called the supreme leader’s decision the final word on the election, although it still called on the government to investigate voting complaints “properly and thoroughly.” The group also asked the candidates to cooperate with the government in any probe.

Mr. Rafsanjani, though a consummate insider, has been one of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s strongest critics and one of the most ardent supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s chief rival in the election. Mr. Rafsanjani’s son had even financed an elaborate system intended to check for voting fraud before the election. But since the vote, the former president has been quiet, and many Iranians were hoping he could broker some compromise behind the scenes.

So there was a "elaborate" and "well financed" system not under government control to check for election fraud. Moisavi had over 40,000 election observers in the field who must have reported to some central entity. Where are its results? What are they? Why were they not released?

If Rafsanjani would have proof for election fraud, why would he not leak it too the public or hand it over to the guardian council? Instead he now agrees with Khamenei on Ahmadinejad's victory.

Of course there are again various conspracy theories one might (and some will) develop around this. For now I will go with the least conspirishy one and assume that, in absence of any proof,  there was no fraud at all.

Posted by b on June 27, 2009 at 01:57 PM | Permalink

Comments

conspirish?

cool wordiness. conspirishy sounds better tho. let's check w/the wordinistas! conspiralicious!

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2009 2:15:57 PM | 1

To b:
Well financed watchdog is usual suspects members of Musavi backers trio of (Mosharekat & MEI ,& Katgozaran-Raf). This self appointed committee( komiteh , sianat ray / committee for votes protection) , was created before election, when Musavi camp was so far behind with intention that there while be cheating and they are going to safeguard peoples votes.
This committee headed by Mohtashami, who is Musavi representative . Mohtashami was with Musavi when he was prime minster over 20 years ago, Mohtashami was involve in another election fraud during that time when Guardian Council found some evidence of cheating . Musavi and Mohtashami at the time they did not want GC to investigate.
That ended up appealing to late Khomeini , and he said damn you if you don’t accept the law.

Posted by: Loyal | Jun 27, 2009 2:30:07 PM | 2

b, what Rafsanjani says NOW proves only one thing, namely, that there WAS massive fraud.

Let's do a little exercise in lateral thinking:

If Rafsanjani had indeed had fool-proof monitors amd knew there was no cheating, then why did he wait till now, so late and after so many died, to back Khamenei? You'll note that both he, and Rezaie earlier, said they would accept the decison in the national interest. Neither has said there was no major fraud. These are 2 mutually inclusive statements.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 2:42:22 PM | 3

(continued)
The 'fool-proof monitors' were apparently electronic but rumour has it that they were neutralized by the Interior Ministry at the last minute when it was clear that Moussavi was the overwhelming winner. The original attitude was: "Sure you can have monitors", to add legitimacy to the expected result, but once voting patterns emerged the Interior Ministry's generosity ceased forthwith. Its IT Chief is still missing, feared dead.

Why did Rafsanjani wait so long if his 'fool-proof' monitoring system had detected no massive fraud on une 12th? It looks like a case of check-mate, with all sorts of threats and compromises behind the scenes, as usual, "in the interests of National Kleptocracy".

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 2:42:35 PM | 4

Come on, Parvis, I've been trying to take you seriously but this exercise in backing and filling, this so-called lateral thinking, with vague references to "all sorts of threats and compromises behind the scenes, as usual" is a bit much.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27, 2009 3:16:10 PM | 5

Sorry, Parviz it should be.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27, 2009 3:16:54 PM | 6

So the 'Wrap-up' of the last Iran thread was not the end. as I'd supposed.

I appreciate, b, that it's your blog, and you want to defend yourself. But I thought the conclusion well reached after many, many, comments, is that electoral fraud can only be described as 'not proven'. The post-election revolt, and its results, is more important for the future.

Posted by: Alex_no | Jun 27, 2009 3:59:05 PM | 7

@1 annie - thanks, corrected
@2 loyal - thanks for the information - no 'western' media catches and publishes such
@3 Parviz - you didn't get the hint in my last graph?

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2009 4:01:23 PM | 8

Parviz The mainstream media and secret services have been working around the clock to come up with some evidence of an electoral fraud. They have came up with nothing. Here you are claiming that there is proof of electoral fraud based on rumour and guesses.

The monitors were not electronic as the ballet involved the voters showing their id cards before placing their thumb prints on the ballet paper. At every polling station there were human monitors financed by Rafsanjani as well as official monitors. Electoral fraud would be very difficult in such circumstances and even if it were possible it would be very easy to detect the culprits whose thumb prints would be on masses of ballet papers.

Posted by: Charles | Jun 27, 2009 4:26:11 PM | 9

Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, directed a pre-election electoral monitoring system based at Islamic Azad University founded by his father. His people were paid to work here assembling data to help the human election monitors observe the actual voting.

Quote "The university’s campaign team developed its own software for doing election polls, and has given 1,000 phones equipped with it to campaign workers who fan out across the country to do face-to-face questionnaires. They type the answers directly into the phones, and then transmit them back to the Tehran headquarters by text message, Mr. Rafsanjani said. The surveys are being done almost continuously, and the latest show Mr. Moussavi with at least 56 percent of the vote, compared with a maximum of 42 percent for Mr. Ahmadinejad, he said".

Who can trust a political party to do its own polling. Despite the money spent on this system it is flawed straight away by not being independent. In any case the nationwide poll published in the Washington Post showing Ahmedinajad ahead by 2 to 1 made them look silly. What can the opposition say now. The ballet boxes are going to be checked to put an end to the rumours and the colour revolution has failed because those behind it failed to turn the masses against Ahmadinajad.

Posted by: Charles | Jun 27, 2009 4:51:01 PM | 10

B, the part about the election-monitoring system set up by Raf's son is not currently in the version of the NYT article at that URL.

Posted by: Helena | Jun 27, 2009 6:13:12 PM | 11

But grosso modo the news about Raf essentially backing down is huge. In my view he was not just a 'potentil intermediary' figure as some Bousavi people are referred to as saying but rather, the eminence grise behind the whole Mousavi phenomenon.

Posted by: Helena | Jun 27, 2009 6:15:37 PM | 12

Pardon the horrible typos in the last comment.

Posted by: Helena | Jun 27, 2009 6:17:08 PM | 13

It would seem to me as a cynical outsider operating on about as many facts as everyone else (ie very few pertinent) that if Rafsanjani, and his proxy Mousavi, have pulled the pin on calling for protest and cranking kids up to throw rocks at armed policemen, in the certain knowledge at least some of the kids will end up shot, wounded or imprisoned, that they probably wrung the concessions they wanted to out of Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad. Those concessions are unlikely to mean much to the protestors RafCorp and MousaPol ruthlessly exploited.

There won't be any increases in personal freedoms since that type of liberalisation is contrary to the interests of the elite, in favour or out of favour with the general citizenry.

Most likely Rafsanjani has secured an undertaking that some particularly prized piece of Iranian public infrastructure will be privatised.
Ahmadinejad has never been that big on privatisation, he has blocked and or cancelled many facets of Iran's privatisation policy, but Rafsanjani has been vehemently arguing for a return to the former privatisation policies in place up until the end of the Khatami reign.

As someone who has lived in a country which moved from heavy state ownership of economic assets to low ownership of those assets, I can attest that this type of change is counter to the needs of the ordinary citizens because it alters the focus of many infrastructural entities (eg with electricity generation and supply - state owned energy entities regard their main priority as being the supply of electricity to all citizens, but a privatised electricity corporation puts profitability ahead of that. Consequently people in remote or inaccessible locations are denied access to electricity, maintenance of systems decreases causing irregular supply and the corporate owner recovers any revenue drop from that by increasing prices. We have been subjected to the enron scam more times than anyone can remember - that is supply failures are blamed on uncompetitive pricing models rather than poor maintenance or deliberate sabotage which actually caused the problem and as a monopoly the supplier then uses the failure as an excuse to jack up prices further).

It isn't any surprise Ahmadinejad and to a lesser extent Khamenei pulled the pin on privatisation which would have pissed off the pistachio prez (Rafsanjani) no end. A way into a national privatisation campaign, most citizens overwhelmingly oppose any further privatisations, the trouble is as many different societies have discovered, it is frequently difficult to find a politician who will actually stop the rot despite their professed ideology.

The fix has been in with most pols on this planet,to lap up the neo-lib lies.

amerika's isolation of Iran prolly made penetration of all popular political movements by the globalists and neo-libs a tough ask, consequently with Ahmadinejad, Iranians got a pol who actually kept his undertakings re cessation of privatisation.

So it will be interesting to see if there were Rafsanjani concessions and to see exactly how Khamenei and Ahmadinejad handle them.

Ahmadinejad doesn't have another election in the near future he must take a break after this term although he can throw his hat in again later; so will he risk the wrath of his supporters by means of the usual weasel words used when a pol moves from being an opponent of privatisation to an enthusiastic advocate? Anything else eg "they made me do it" will play worse than a claim to some type of economic epiphany.

Still Rafsanjani can prolly mobilise the urban masses on personal freedom issues but getting peeps out on the street over privatisation would be a lot tougher for him so maybe Ahmadinejad will change the deal.

yeah right. Unfortunately past experience would make the odds of the latter alternative a pretty ordinary bet.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 27, 2009 11:49:38 PM | 14

Who spontaneously furnished all those thousands of meters of green cloth is what I'd like to know. I bet it rhymes with "CIA."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 28, 2009 12:47:49 AM | 15

"Allah Akbar" shouted from the rooftops at 10 p.m. every evening has been so loud and relentless that the vigilante Baseejis have been roaming the streets at exactly 10 p.m. and breaking into houses and beating up people who participated.

All towers and apartment blocks have had a note delivered that says if the satellite dishes are not immediately removed the towers and apartments will be raided and the occupants will face the wrath of the inspectors. Internet speeds have been reduced to a crawl to prevent live streaming and block even non-political activities that require high speeds (ordinary business, booking plane tickets, etc.,.).

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 1:16:59 AM | 16

The Talebanization of Iran has begun, but it will fail because Iranians are secular and simply won't stand for it, probably adding another 15 % of the population to the 70 % already fiercely opposed to this pseudo-'Islamic' rule. They are digging their own graves, and I hope they introduce even more restrictions to show who they really are and accelerate the inevitable General Strike.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 1:17:09 AM | 17

Debs, I totally disagree with everything you wrote which appear to be theories to support other theories. If privatization was such a bad thing, how come Khatami was RE-elected in Iran's largest ever voter turn-out with an even larger vote (81 % compared with 79 %) after having privatized the economy? I'll answer this for you: Because he created jobs, jobs, jobs.

The vast majority of Iranians (obviously not the vigilantes and mercenaries and maybe a few million who benefited from Ahmadinejad's throwing money at some villages to shore up support) look back fondly on the Khatami era as one of strong growth, government by educated technocrats rather than Ministers like Ali Kordan who literally 'bought' his Oxford Ph.D. despite not even having a proper high school diploma), increased personal freedoms, far less intrusion into people's homes, etc.,.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 1:23:41 AM | 18

(For those who think I'm hogging space, kindly note that my multiple posts are actually a single post because I cannot transmit more than a few lines at a time):

For those who dispute the overwhelming support of Iranians for privatization and liberalization, please read my piece written in February. Ignore the forecast about Khatami winning (which was based on the fact that Moussavi had withdrawn in the former's favour on every previous occasion) and focus on the FACTS:


Link

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 1:32:23 AM | 19

@Helena @11 - B, the part about the election-monitoring system set up by Raf's son is not currently in the version of the NYT article at that URL.

Wow. I swear it was there. I copied the part one to one. It's now gone. Now I wonder why the NYT editor deleted that sentence.

Now the part reads:

The Expediency Council, headed by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, issued a statement that called the supreme leader’s decision the final word on the election, although it did say the government should investigate voting complaints “properly and thoroughly.”

Mr. Rafsanjani has been one of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s strongest critics and one of the most ardent supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s chief rival in the election. But after the vote, the former president had been quiet, and many Iranians had hoped he would broker some compromise behind the scenes.

The polling sentence is missing.

But here is a a screenshot I just made from Google with the search sentence being the missing one "Mr. Rafsanjani’s son had even financed an elaborate system intended to check for voting fraud before the election."

The NYT had that sentence in there.

Try the search yourself: here.

Posted by: b | Jun 28, 2009 2:38:16 AM | 20

Parviz @16 you seem to be okay with internet speed as you type faster then what you think

Posted by: hans | Jun 28, 2009 5:05:50 AM | 21

British embassy staff arrested in Iran

Posted by: hans | Jun 28, 2009 5:22:47 AM | 22

Great article by Trita Parsi titled "The End of the Beginning":


Link

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 5:26:23 AM | 23

Not only have local embassy staff been arrested but the Vigilante Baseej are smashing cars and raiding houses in any streets where Alla Akbar is chanted, while all new wounded protesters are being pulled from hospitals by Baseej forces.

Terrific days for freedom of speech, democracy and human rights.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 5:29:12 AM | 24

So is Parviz now claiming that both times Ahmadinejad won he 'stole' the vote even before he was in a position of power since all Iranians were so content with privatisation, why would they have voted for Ahmadinejad the first time?

Parviz betrays his neo-liberal attitudes again attitudes which are rarely supported outside a narrow urban technocrat community in any society which is why politicians have been called out for betraying their mandate on this issue.
Allegedly Left leaning pols from Bliar to Oblamblam have sold out their voters on neo-liberalism by saying they don't support the policies then keeping the neo-lib timetable once elected.

This nasty little scam has been happening everywhere but Iran over the last couple of decades, contributing to the general antipathy towards pols more than any other single issue. Everywhere but Iran where the pol who says he is going to stop privatisation actually does unlike everywhere else consequently the electorate who supported him turned on the pol for living up to his promises, unlike everywhere else too. Weird eh?

Too weird for me there is no reason to suppose the average Iranian is the polar oposite of humans everywhere else on the planet.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 28, 2009 6:15:14 AM | 25

Great youtube 18thJune (Must watch) Elections in Iran - Live Questions to George Galloway - part 4 of 7

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 28, 2009 6:26:42 AM | 26

Parviz @ 18:

The vast majority of Iranians (obviously not the vigilantes and mercenaries and maybe a few million who benefited from Ahmadinejad's throwing money at some villages to shore up support) look back fondly on the Khatami era as one of strong growth, government by educated technocrats..

This is hilarious, the liberal that opposes theocracy praises the cleric as President.

Parviz @ 19:

For those who dispute the overwhelming support of Iranians for privatization and liberalization, please read my piece written in February. Ignore the forecast about Khatami winning (which was based on the fact that Moussavi had withdrawn in the former's favour on every previous occasion) and focus on the FACTS:

Oh you mean like these facts:

Israel has caused much loss of blood, treasure and reputation to the U.S., so in due course the U.S. will bring Israel to heal.

The Left are seen in Iran as opportunistic traitors and have no future.

The Rev. Guards voted 70 % for Khatemi in 1997 and even more in 2001

b (26), Moussavi was an economic disaster for Iran as its P.M. in the Eighties

regarding negative propaganda, my wife and I have been astonished to note the number of mainstream T.V. channels recently flooding the airwaves with sympathetic portrayals of Iran
...
My point is that the world is being 'softened up' for a rapprochement. All these simultaneous programmes cannot be by mere coincidence. Even the CIA's own VOA-Persian is softening its stance (ever so gradually!).

Too funny you're a regular comedian Parviz.

Posted by: Sam | Jun 28, 2009 6:50:44 AM | 27

all new wounded protesters are being pulled from hospitals

and certainly life support systems are being torn out of the intensive care stations with unlucky patients thrown into a wood chipper. oh, and they are using nerve gas on their own people too. and the carpets they sell as handwoven are actually manufactured in Belgium.

there, that should help.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 28, 2009 7:06:46 AM | 28

and the carpets they sell as handwoven are actually manufactured in Belgium.

LOL

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 28, 2009 7:22:17 AM | 30

Sam, I'd rather be a good comedian than a complete ideological idiot. B is sending you my response owing to government restrictions.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 7:32:38 AM | 31

letters: Media miss real Iran story

The U.S. media have abandoned every semblance of objectivity in its relentless propaganda campaign over the allegedly stolen election in Iran. Supporters of Mousavi, a brutal theocrat implicated in the 1983 killings of 241 U.S. Marines in Lebanon, are portrayed as campaigners for freedom and justice, while the equally repulsive Ahmadinejad is portrayed as a modern day Hitler.

The media refuse to place the situation in Iran in its broader context, one in which the world's most powerful country is carrying out two bloody occupations on Iran's borders as part of its drive to control the world's oil supply.

Despite the long history of U.S. subversion of free elections the world over, and the U.S. role in the violent overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government in 1953, suggestions that U.S. intelligence agencies are involved in fomenting the unrest in Iran are ignored or dismissed as paranoid ravings of the "tin-foil-hat" crowd.

Of course, this is the same media that parroted Bush Sr.'s false claims about Iraqi soldiers pulling Kuwaiti infants out of hospital incubators and Bush Jr.'s false claims about Saddam Hussein's WMDs. Why should we expect them to report accurately about Iran now?

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 28, 2009 7:39:01 AM | 32

Parviz @31 B is sending you my response owing to government restrictions.
I seem to have no problems with censorship with my own man in Tehran©. No he does not work for any MI, he is a normal twitter guy who has his own facebook, does not support privatisation and is not overtly religious!

Twenty eight demonstrators were arrested and six people were wounded during riots in Jerusalem on Saturday over the opening of a parking lot in the capital on Shabbat. A 20-year-old haredi man sustained serious head wounds during the turmoil; MDA emergency services said the man, suffering from convulsions, was taken to Hadassah Ein Karem for medical treatment. Police said they had no further details about the circumstances in which the man was wounded.

Now this is what I consider serious breach of human rights!

Posted by: hans | Jun 28, 2009 8:22:12 AM | 33

Iran claims FBI blocking Web sites
UPI, Jun 26 2009

Iranian broadcasters claim the FBI ordered the disruption of Internet servers that host Iranian Web sites in the wake of Iran’s election fallout. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network claims the FBI ordered Washington to disconnect 80 news, social networking and other Web sites, including the Beirut bureau of Press TV, because of depictions of government protesters. IRIB claims the FBI disconnected the servers because one of the Web sites had published photos of demonstrators in a manner that those involved were readily identifiable. IRIB counters that this comes as amateur Web resources and unverifiable accounts published thousands of pictures in which individuals are easily identified. The Iranian broadcaster complains international regulations require advance notification of any disruption to allow owners to provide for backups. The FBI had no information on Iranian Web activity.

Posted by: hans | Jun 28, 2009 8:25:51 AM | 34

#33: Was that supposed to be even faintly amusing?

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 9:42:31 AM | 35


THE OTHER VIEW - Iran in turmoil

We need to be critical about media reports on the whole. “Iconic images” such as that of Neda, an Iranian woman shot in the head and the lone person facing the tanks in Tiananmen are flashed on the screen to elicit sympathy for protesters and as symbols of resistance to repression. The networks are situating the turmoil in Iran in the context of historic struggles for freedom.

-snip-

Some writers see the turmoil in Iran as a struggle between the seculars and the mullahs, but some rival religious leaders are on the side of the protesters. Others like James Petras see polarization between “high income, free market-oriented, capitalist individualists” pitted against “working class, low income, community-based supporters of a ‘moral economy’ in which usury and profiteering are limited by religious [i.e. Islamic] precepts.” He sees class war rather than a conflict between secular interests and the theocratic state.

-snip-

Supporters of Mousavi who lost to Ahmadinejad are said to be pro-western, educated, liberal-minded, and English speaking in contrast to the conservative supporters of Ahmadinejad

-snip-

The West is naturally inclined to the seculars who do not share Ahmadinejad’s brand of nationalism and support for the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Hamas in Gaza/West Bank.

-snip-

What has not been played up by the western media are the reportedly bigger demonstrations for Ahmadinejad from the rural areas and lower classes.

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 28, 2009 9:45:06 AM | 36

Loyal @ 2

How old are you pesaram? I'm asking because your post sounds like someone copy pasting bad translations of Fars News Agency -- the propaganda arm of the IRGC -- and Kayhan without having the slightest clue of what he is talking about.

Of course a foreigner hell-bent on believing whatever supports his opinions will buy what you say no questions asked. He wouldn't even bother to check your claims, mostly because he can't.

But jelo ghazi o moallagh bazi?

Pity! You could have been a force for good, not a hack mired in information warfare waged by the likes of Ruhollah Hosseinian.

Posted by: Dragonfly | Jun 28, 2009 10:12:36 AM | 37

Outraged @ 36

And when was the last time James Petras set foot in Iran? When was the last time he actually observed the phenomenon he is talking about?

How about you?

Posted by: Dragonfly | Jun 28, 2009 10:14:32 AM | 38

"What has not been played up by the western media are the reportedly bigger demonstrations for Ahmadinejad from the rural areas and lower classes."

That's really cute. Not even Iranian State TV "played them up". Why? Because they didn't exist other than in the writer's and your imagination. Those in the provinces who were bribed/coerced, grabbed the money and made their way sheepishly to the polling stations where they dutifully voted, but without fanfare either before or after the Selection. Even in Tehran the bussed-in pro-Ahmadinejad supporters in a LEGAL demonstration totalled approx one million while the ILLEGAL rally for Moussavi was triple that amount according to the current Tehran Mayor.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:20:49 AM | 39

One cogent comment by Ahmadinejad during the debate was his visit to Hamedan where he was besieged by farmers and workers. They complained bitterly that Hamedan's livelihood as the fresh garlic centre of Iran had been destroyed by cheap Chinese imports. To wild cheers he promised to ban all garlic imports as long as domestic demand could be met.

So it wasn't just the 'upper classes' who supported Moussavi but ordinary people who detested the substitution of production by handouts.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:20:56 AM | 40

Dragonfly, here is a really interesting comment by Roger Cohen, the last major journalist to report on Iran during the uprising: Since nobody else on this Blog is interested I'm addressing this solely to you (Don't worry about Disloyal, and don't worry about my marriage proposal -- that was just a joke!):


Kristof-Cohen Brief Interview

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:28:28 AM | 41

#40: Sorry for the typo: I meant "one cogent comment by Moussavi ..."

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:29:38 AM | 42

The Shah Must Go On: Son Talks to 'NYT Magazine' About Iran on Sunday

Rez Pahlavi, who lives in Bethesda, Md., looks eerily like his dad in one of the photos. He denies that he is simply bitter about not getting to be Shah himself, saying, “This is not about me.” He also denies that he is a billionaire, thanks to money taken out of the country by his late father. He claims that while he has been working with exiles seeking to overthrow the current regime, he has had no contact with the CIA or gotten any aid from the U.S. government at all.

Pahlavi warns that Mousavi would not be the answer, comparing his “moderate” reputation to the hopes, years ago, for new Soviet Union leaders sometimes dubbed “moderate" but who still represented Communism and totalitarianism. Asked about his dad’s own brutal rule, he replies, “I leave this judgment to history. My focus is on the future.”

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 28, 2009 10:32:16 AM | 43

Sam (27), there's too much of your nonsense for me to pick apart. The fact remains that Iran is under virtual Martial Law, vigilantes rule the streets and break into homes and hospitals to arrest demonstrators on their deathbeds, the Guardian Council banned 400 candidates and selected their own 4 to stand for election (2 of whom exposed the regime's multiple layers of sewage on Prime TV), all reformist newspapers have been shut down or heavily censored, internet speeds have been slowed to prevent file uploads, satellite dishes are being smashed on rooftops, torture of demonstrators has hit new highs and the Government spews out unbelievable propaganda that the CIA caused the uprising (and shot Neda Agha-Soltan!), unemployment and inflation are at historical highs and will get far, far worse as long as Ahmadinejad is selected President.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:35:05 AM | 44

Iran earned $ 214 billion from foreign exchange oil revenues in the 25 years from 1357 - 1384 (1980 - 2005). In Ahmadinejad's 4 years alone it earned $ 290 billion, and every Iranian other than those bribed and coerced has been asking where all the money went. = Cayman Islands instead of Gilan, Mazandaran and Khuzestan, British banks instead of Baluchestan, etc.,. Iran earns foreign revenues at almost 10 times the rate of prior presidential periods and unemployment and factory closures, instead of declining, have actually sky-rocketed as the 'Import Mafia' exploits the production vacuum to flood the market with cheap Chinese goods. Iranians aren't stupid, which is why they protested such large numbers, 3 million on one day in Tehran alone, far exceeding the number of demonstrators for Ahmadinejad, according to current Tehran Mayor Qalibaf.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:35:35 AM | 45

Go on, you and Debs, continue defending your Leftist-favourite regime, the most corrupt and religiously hypocritical on Earth. Commentary is free. You're just lucky you don't have to live or work here, otherwise you'd both soon be among the demonstrators.

I strongly recommend everyone read the link in #23 above, plus the following outstanding article by a foreign observer of Iran:


"Will the Cat above the Precipice Fall Down?"

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 28, 2009 10:35:42 AM | 46

I strongly recommend everyone read the following outstanding article by a foreign observer of Iran:

Iran Elections: White Beared Nut Job Supports Black Bearded Nut Job ; Everyone Riots

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's leading expert on a book written nearly 2 millennia ago, has given his support to the disputed leader of Iran; Mahmoud Ahmadinjad.

-snip-

The Iran election involved Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, the current, crazed, black bearded right-wing leader, in favour of Iran nuclear empowerment, death to America, the Great Satan and wiping Israel from the map. The challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is a popular moderate with a grey beard, in favour of Iran nuclear empowerment, death to America, the Great Satan and wiping Israel from the map.


-snip-

Following what they call an unjust and rigged election, Mousevi supporters have taken to the streets in the past week, clad in green so those in the West can easily chose a side without having to think or concentrate on the issues too much.

-snip-

We spoke to a young man dressed in green, and asked why he was protesting in Tehran, in superb English Adel Arash replied: "I am actually just football hooligan, I turn out at any sort of riot where I can lob a brick at a police or army official. It great fun, no?"

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 28, 2009 10:51:44 AM | 47

I only would like as an iranian to ask all people contributing to this discussion not to form any opinion about the situation and atmosphere at the moment in iran. it is much calmer and peaceful than some people are trying to picture for you. and also some people try to be the centre of attention here and in many cases by making a big thing out of nothing. I dont know how I can be every where and read and watch every thing in a massive country like iran and yet be able to almost answer every other opinions by other people and challenge all along.
thank you.

Posted by: zadeh | Jun 28, 2009 7:32:22 PM | 48

This elaborate system was nothing but millions worth in SMS-based communication in the case fraud had occured but the regime was smart enough to outdo rafsanjani and cut off all communications before the election.

Posted by: Anthony | Jun 29, 2009 7:50:57 AM | 49

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