June 17, 2009
Most Peculiar, Momma

It behooves us all to STFU until we figure out what’s actually happening in Iran. I’m talkin’ to you, McCain.

This from McClatchy:

TEHRAN, Iran — Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country’s most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged.

“No one in their right mind can believe” the official results from Friday’s contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Montazeri accused the regime of handling Mousavi’s charges of fraud and the massive protests of his backers “in the worst way possible.”

“A government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy,” he declared in comments on his official Web site. “I ask the police and army personals (personnel) not to ‘sell their religion,’ and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God…”



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 17, 2009 12:12 PM
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There is a lot of strange evidence going around. This one (link below) seems as non partisan as it gets and the guys seems to have done his homework on the subject. (Twitterers revving the whole thing up) And the story also makes sense. I just am skeptical of all of this affair because there appear to be many suspicious fingerprints of certain governmental organizations both at home and abroad all over the whole mess. Juan Cole is convinced of vote tampering but I'm not sure anyone in this country has any room to judge anything at all in regards to voting irregularities. I've lived through too much of it here at home to regard it anything other than what corrupt governments do in almost any so called "democracy". You've got to give the Iranians credit for one thing. Compared to the Iranian people, Americans and the leaders of certain political parties have for too long behaved like a bunch of wimps. Count me as guilty as the next guy on that score.


Posted by: Buck on June 17, 2009 3:27 PM

I agree that the right strategy is not to make judgments yet, since we have very little info. It's not up to us to decide who leads Iran or why, but it certainly affects us.

Gary Sick, who knows a bit about Iran, is blogging at http://garysick.tumblr.com/.

The regime seems to have miscalculated badly. They seemed to believe that a sudden coup – the announcement of dramatic election results followed by a show of force – would intimidate and silence the opposition and consolidate their control. That is perhaps more understandable if the decisions were being made by military leaders who tend to see the battle in Manichaean terms, rather than politicians such as Khamene`i who are accustomed to seeing shades of gray. In any event, it backfired and they now have a much larger crisis on their hands than if they had simply arranged for Ahmadinejad to win by a slim margin (which was at least believable).

All parties are now in uncharted territory. A significant portion of the Iranian population seems to have concluded that their social contract with the rulers – accepting Islamic rule in return for a respectful regard for the opinion of the governed, an Islamic Republic – is no longer valid. They do not trust their rulers.

The rulers, whose support has been declining for years in the face of their own inept management of the country, are increasingly replacing popular support with repression. This election seems to have called that tactic into question.
For the military, the obvious answer is more repression. So it would appear to be a moment to bet on Might.

But nobody is fully in command of events. Decisions taken in the next weeks will be fateful and could determine the future path of the Iranian revolution.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on June 18, 2009 12:15 AM
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