al Jazeera English’s (AJE) “Inside Story” takes a look at Iran’s controversial elections, the protests that have followed, and the potential recount.
From the Daily Briefing earlier today:
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered a probe into Iran’s allegedly rigged re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This follows a letter to Iran’s Guardian Council (“a powerful 12-member body that’s a pillar of Iran’s theocracy”) from the primary opposition to the president, Mir-Housain Mousavi, and a sit-down with the supremo himself on Sunday. Three days of protests have followed the announcement of the election’s results. Iran has arrested journalists, shut down news sites on the web, and Mr. Mousavi has called for protests to stop as Iranian stormtroopers are now packing live ammunition. Leaked interior ministry reports show Mr. Ahmadinejad finishing 3rd in the voting behind Mr. Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi. Sevn people have been killed in the protests. Middle East scholar Juan Cole did a great analysis on his blog and in an article for Salon into why he concluded the election was rigged a couple of days ago. The Guardian Council will “recount those boxes that some presidential candidates claim to have been cheated… the body is ready to receive complaints and probe into the issue and build more confidence”.
80% of Israelis don’t see Iran as a threat, according to a poll conducted by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). Oddly, this is the same INSS that reported recently that 59% of Israelis support a military strike on Iran right now. People are stupid.
“Washington Maintains Cautious Response to Election Crisis” by Jim Lobe and Daniel Luban (IPS): “Although many anti-Iran hardliners here are calling for Barack Obama to make an unequivocal show of solidarity with Iran’s anti-government protesters — including imposing new economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic — his administration has so far declined to express outright support for the protesters against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his backers. Israeli hawks favor Pres. Ahmadinejad as stronger propaganda for war. Contrast this the Obama Administration’s overt support for the “March 14” opposition to Hizbollah in Lebanon’s elections about a week ago and this prudence can be interpreted as tacit consent for Iran’s election results. When the Bush Administration was looting the American people to bail out the banks, Mr. Obama was a cheerleader, but there was only “one president at a time” when Israel slaughtered thousands in the Gaza Massacre before his inaugu-coronation. This is no different. The seldom censored U.S. veep Joe Biden, on the other hand, acknowledges there’s “an awful lot of doubt” surrounding the election. (Sayyid)
The Obama Administration is “deeply troubled by the reports of violent arrests and possible voting irregularities” in Iran following its presidential election. Roula Khalaf and Najmeh Bozorgmehr accurately describe Mir-Hossein Moussavi as “the symbol of an angry, and surprisingly determined opposition movement”. A brave, young supporter of Mr. Mousavi, Amir Sadeghi, has taken and posted some truly amazing photographs in Tehran over the last few days covering the protests as an activist. His site was banned in Iran over the weekend. On the NYT blog, Robert Mackey posted a request for pictures relating to the Iran election last Thursday. I sent the link to Mr. Sadeghi.
“Iran’s Election: None of America’s Business” by Justin Raimondo (AntiWar.com): “The U.S. government – or, at least, one branch of it – didn’t help matters much. Their fast-tracking of draconian new sanctions on Iran right before Iranians went to the polls could only have helped Ahmadinejad. How’s that for timing?”
“Official” interior ministry results are posted on the Guardian here.
Tweets containing the #iranelection hashtag are reportedly being blocked in Iran. Use #iran9 and #gr88 in your tweets and refrain from RT’ing with your Iranian source’s username. RT with “RT from Iran” or RT “anon”. The hashtag block is a rumor, but hell #iran9 and #gr88 are shorter and you only have 140 characters if you’re low on space in a tweet, right? Changing your Twitter location to Tehran and your time zone to GMT+3:30 is a help to the bloggers over there to keep them communicating and safe.
16 Jun 09 | AJE
The outcome of recent elections in Iran has angered supporters of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, with thousands of people taking to the streets to demand a recount. (23:56):
A screenshot was posted showing Mohsen Rezaee having 633,048 votes at 09:47 and 587,913 votes at 13:53 — a decrease of 45,135 votes over a four-hour period. (h/t: loft65.com):
Iran has banned international journalist coverage. ‘Citizen journalists’ have reported of government plants among the protesters to incite violence. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour’s posted scores of photographs to her facebook profile.
Robert Fisk has been covering everything on the ground from Tehran for The Independent concluding in one of his articles: “Government is not about good guys and bad guys. It is about power, state and political power – they are not the same – and unless those wanly smiling riot police move across to the opposition, the weapons of the Islamic Republic remain in the hands of Ahmadinejad’s administration and his spiritual protectors.”