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Iran is exploding.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Iran is exploding. Reply with quote

So, Iran had an election. Things haven't been groovy in the Islamist Republic. Sure, hatin' on Israel is great and all, but the economy has tanked and no one wants to be a laughingstock. People seemed less than happy with incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Before the election, polls tightened. Reformist (meaning he still hates Israel and denies the holocaust, but is open to not always hating the great satans of the west) challenger Mir Hussein Mousavi had a tremendous late surge and younger, less hard-line, urban voters were getting excited to vote (something that didn't happen in 2005 when Ahmadinejad was elected.

In fact, turnout was expected to near record highs - something which, as FiveThirtyEight observed, has meant closer first round elections.

Many experts predicted that a runoff would be necessary, as it had been in 2005.

______________________

Yesterday was elections day. If you were paying attention to the story, it was very exciting stuff. The stories from Iranian voters (both inside and outside Iran) were very encouraging from a democratic standpoint. People cared about their representation - even if Iran's President has little real power. Polls had to be kept open until midnight (six hours later than originally scheduled). Extra ballots had to be printed in many locations. It was something different.

______________________

Turnout was a record-high 85%. No sooner had the polls closed than the government-run television network declared Ahmadinejad the clear winner. Almost simultaneously, Mousavi declared that he had clearly won with approximately 58% of the vote. The votes continued to be counted.

As the Government released vote totals, strange patterns emerged. Ultimately, Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of a landslide victory - over 60% of the vote in a four-man race. Mousavi vowed that he would fight the results that were coming out

NYT wrote:
“I am the absolute winner of the election by a very large margin,” Mr. Moussavi said during a news conference with reporters just after 11 p.m. Friday, adding: “It is our duty to defend people’s votes. There is no turning back.”

A statement posted on Mr. Moussavi’s Web site on Saturday morning urged his supporters to resist a "governance of lie and dictatorship," according to The Associated Press.


Stunned reactions abounded Saturday morning - charges of tyranny, or "selection" rather than "election" were thrown about. Grand Ayatollah and Supreme Leader Khamenei called the election a "Divine assessment." Many voters did not share this view.



Quote:
TEHRAN, Iran - Riot police battled with protesters Saturday as officials announced that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won a landslide election victory. His opponent denounced the results as "treason".

The violence broke out as Iran's interior minister said that Ahmadinejad had gained 62.6 percent of the vote.

NBC News reported "violent clashes" between rock-throwing protesters and police in the center of Tehran.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered after a statement posted online by pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi urged his supporters to resist a "governance of lie and dictatorship."

NBC News reported that some of the protesters shouted "Death to the dictator, death to Ahmadinejad" and "We want our votes back".



Right now, Iran is exploding. This is something that really deserves as much attention as possible. It looks as if a peaceful resolution is not going to occur. If the anger of the people doesn't subside, then a military crackdown or a civilian uprising is on its way. Exciting times in Iran, to say the least.
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Last edited by Mizike on Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Willem



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow, I saw this coming.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, who knows he did not win, has come out advocating that the people resist the published results.

Quote:
“Karoubi’s camp believes that if there is no resistance this time, people’s help can never be expected again.” “Making any decision is very difficult and we are in a very difficult situation, any protest must very carefully calculated.” “Karbaschi asks people to follow the news through satellite, facebook and internet and ignore rumors.” “Karoubi will never be silent. He is present in the scene and never left it. Solutions are being considered.”


For what it's worth, the violence is mostly in Tehran.

Edit: Wow, nice pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mousavi1388/
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shit damn.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another good read

Quote:
One man who worked in the Ministry of Interior, which carried out the vote count, said the government had been preparing its fraud for weeks, purging anyone of doubtful loyalty and importing pliable staff members from around the country.

“They didn’t rig the vote,” claimed this man, who showed his ministry identification card but pleaded not to be named. “They didn’t even look at the vote. They just wrote the name and put the number in front of it.”

The government on Saturday insisted that the election was aboveboard and made it ominously clear that it would have little patience with anyone who questioned the purityof Iranian democracy.

It was far from clear what recourse the opposition had left.

Mr. Moussavi, who disappeared from view amid rumors that he was under house arrest or worse, sent word that there would be no turning back, but he did not say how he or his followers should challenge the outcome.

The text-messaging that is the nervous system of the opposition was shut down, along with universities, Web sites and newspapers the government regarded as hostile. Mr. Moussavi was not allowed a platform on Saturday, and barely managed to get out a communiqué calling the election “a magic show.”

Although there were bursts of defiance that were forcibly subdued, there was also a palpable fear; on Saturday, unlike on Friday, few opposition voters would let their names be used.

“By the evening people will pour into the streets,” predicted one young woman, from inside the hood of her black chador. “But Ahmadinejad will become president by force.”


Edit: Make that "More good reads"

Quote:
Alerts from Tehran

*Hour/time given U.S. Eastern (unless otherwise noted)
REFRESH THIS PAGE REGULARLY

For the moment, facebook is just blocked right now. I am in Elahieh neighbourhood. I hear shooting right now I am writing. the shootings were far away. 12:51 noon Eastern US.

Dispatch: Chaos in the streets of Tehran. Stuck for an hour in a riot near the Ministry of the Interior. Police & Basij beating protesters.

WE ARE LAUNCHING OUR THIRD GLOBAL PHOTO SHOOT: GATHER OUTSIDE YOUR EMBASSY, UNIVERSITY, MAIN SQUARE,ETC. AND TAKE PHOTOS WITH THE SUBJECT: WHERE ARE OUR VOTES?


A comment from an Iranian on the NYT's website

Quote:
None of the people I know have voted for Ahmadinejad. He wildly cheated and Khamenei, the leader of Iran, supports this scenario fully. They just wanted to show us that no matter what we do and what we think, they will do whatever they want to do. They just want people to know that their votes just don’t count. … I just feel terrible. I saw police force attack people brutally. I’m going to streets and I don’t know if I’m gonna come back home safely but I just can’t bear this anymore. — Anahita

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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow I doubt this will end well for Mousavi and his supporters. Unprecedented protests will bring an unprecedented crackdown.

I am, however, interested to see how Ahmadinejad will be received as the perhaps fraudulently reelected President of Iran; and this can't be good for the clerics, either, if it becomes a widespread view that the election was rigged. They'll have earned the enmity of an entire generation of Iranians.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
I am, however, interested to see how Ahmadinejad will be received as the perhaps fraudulently reelected President of Iran; and this can't be good for the clerics, either, if it becomes a widespread view that the election was rigged. They'll have earned the enmity of an entire generation of Iranians.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Ultra conservative: The new pants on head retarded.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Election monitors, who are approved by all candidates, have allegedly declared the election to be a fraud.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/a-bleg-for-farsi-readers.html
(The post asks for Farsi readers to confirm and one later did)

Edit: Report also says Mousavi is under house arrest.



Editedit: If you haven't seen Persepolis, you really should. Very interesting movie and I'm seeing many of it's themes reflecting in the reports out of Iran today.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unreal. Great reporting by Channel 4.

Edit: Holy Hell.

From this Farsi blog:
Quote:
A committee of respected Ayatollahs (the spiritual fighters) have requested that the election be invalidated for the purpose of restoring the people’s trust in the Islamic Republic. We request the people to stay calm and not to provoke the government agents.

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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mizike wrote:
From this Farsi blog:
Quote:
A committee of respected Ayatollahs (the spiritual fighters) have requested that the election be invalidated for the purpose of restoring the people’s trust in the Islamic Republic. We request the people to stay calm and not to provoke the government agents.

Um...how did you translate that? I mean did you do it yourself or is there a decent persian translation service?
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Farsi speakers translated it for Andrew Sullivan's blog. It's come out in multiple outlets since then.

National Iranian American Council wrote:
Stratfor is reporting that Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, head of the Expediency Council, has resigned.

Though unconfirmed, the report is saying that Rafsanjani is resigning from his position as head of the Expediencey Council, NOT his position as the leader of the Assembly of Experts, which has oversight responsibility over the office of the Supreme Leader and would be responsible for naming Ayatollah Khamenei’s successor.

Also from NIAC
Quote:
The President of the Committee of Election Monitoring: The Election is Invalid

Hojjat-ol-Eslam Yali Akbar MohteshamiPour officially requested that the Guardian Council to cancel this election and schedule a new election balanced and moderated democratically with the widespread and national presence of the people.

The Iranian Electoral Commission (Sianat az ara) was approved by all
candidates to monitor the election results

Conflicting reports, now, about Mousavi’s supposed arrest.

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Yorick



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my knowledge of Iranian politics comes from Marjane Satrapi, whichj means it's about 20 years out of date.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff from Andrew Sullivan. He's been on this like no one else other than the Iranian blogs.

Quote:
The Revolution will be Twittered

Mock not. As the regime shut down other forms of communication, Twitter survived. With some remarkable results. Those rooftop chants that were becoming deafening in Tehran? A few hours ago, this concept of resistance was spread by a twitter message. Here's the Twitter from a Moussavi supporter:

ALL internet & mobile networks are cut. We ask everyone in Tehran to go onto their rooftops and shout ALAHO AKBAR in protest #IranElection

That a new information technology could be improvised for this purpose so swiftly is a sign of the times. It reveals in Iran what the Obama campaign revealed in the United States. You cannot stop people any longer. You cannot control them any longer. They can bypass your established media; they can broadcast to one another; they can organize as never before.

It's increasingly clear that Ahmadinejad and the old guard mullahs were caught off-guard by this technology and how it helped galvanize the opposition movement in the last few weeks. That's why they didn't see what those of us surgically attached to modems could spot a mile away: something was happening in Iran. If Drum is right, the mullahs believed their own propaganda about victory until reality hit them so hard so fast, they miscalculated badly and over-reached.

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Mr. Meddler



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow...
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My fucking god.

http://tehranbureau.com/2009/06/13/faulty-election-data/



Quote:
Iran’s Interior Ministry has declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of yesterday’s election. This has been rejected by all the three opponents of Mr. Ahmadinejad, Messrs Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi, and Mohsen Rezaaee.


The best evidence for the validity of the arguments of the three opponents of the President for rejecting the results declared by the Interior Ministry is the data the Ministry itself has issued. In the chart below, compiled based on the data released by the Ministry and announced by Iran’s national television, a perfect linear relation between the votes received by the President and Mir Hossein Mousavi has been maintained, and the President’s vote is always half of the President’s. The vertical axis (y) shows Mr. Mousavi’s votes, and the horizontal (x) the President’s. R^2 shows the correlation coefficient: the closer it is to 1.0, the more perfect is the fit, and it is 0.9995, as close to 1.0 as possible for any type of data.


Statistically and mathematically, it is impossible to maintain such perfect linear relations between the votes of any two candidates in any election — and at all stages of vote counting. This is particularly true about Iran, a large country with a variety of ethnic groups who usually vote for a candidate who is ethnically one of their own. For example, in the present elections, Mr. Mousavi is an Azeri and speaks Turkish. The Azeries make up 1/4 of all the eligible voters in Iran and in his trips to Azerbaijan province, where most of the Azeri population lives, Mr. Mousavi had been greeted by huge rallies in support of his campaign. Likewise, Mr. Karroubi, the other reformist candidate, is a Lor. But according to the data released by Iran’s Interior Ministry, in both cases, Mr. Ahmadinejad has far outdone both candidates in their own provinces of birth and among their own ethnic populations.


This is the most obviously fraudulent election possible. There is absolutely no doubt.

It was the result of a Fatwa issued to change votes for Ahmedinejad.

Quote:
In an open letter, a group of employees of Iran’s Interior Ministry (which supervises the elections) warned the nation that a hard-line ayatollah, who supports President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has issued a Fatwa authorizing changing votes in the incumbent’s favor.

They warned that the same thing happened in the elections for the 8th Majles (parliament), in March 2008, in order to change the vote in favor of the principlists (fundamentalists) allied with the president; but, fearing for their jobs, they had kept silent then.

The authors of the letter state that a copy of the letter has been sent to the President of the Assembly of Experts (a constitutional body that selects the Supreme Leader and monitors his performance) and to former president and powerful politician, Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; the Speaker of the Majles (the parliament) Dr. Ali Larijani; the Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi; the Chair of the Committee for protecting People’s Vote, Mr. Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour (a leftist cleric and supporter of Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi); all the candidates, as well as the office of the Supreme Leader, in order to warn all the important national figures.

The letter states,

After several polls taken by the government in May that indicated a rapid loss of support for the President, an ayatollah, who used to speak about political philosophy in Tehran’s public Friday prayers, held a confidential meeting with the elections’ supervisors. Quoting the Bagharah Soureh, verse 249, of the holy Quran, to justify vote fraud, he stated that,

“If someone is elected the president and hurts the Islamic values that have been spread [by Mr. Ahmadinejad] to Lebanon, Palestine, Venezuela, and other places, it is against Islam to vote for that person. We should not vote for that person, and also warn people about that person. It is your religious duty as the supervisors of the elections to do so.”
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