As Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed election results that show him winning by more than 62%, supporters of his opponent Mir Hossein Moussavi flooded the streets and clashed with riot police in Tehran June 13, saying the vote was rigged. Protesters in Tehran’s Moseni Square smashed store fronts and started fires. Moussavi and his supporters said before the votes were counted that the process was tainted, and urged a halt to the counting because of what he called “blatant violations.”
“The results announced for the 10th presidential elections are astonishing,” Moussavi said in a statement. “People who stood in long lines and knew well who they voted for were utterly surprised by the magicians working at the television and radio broadcasting.”
The amount of votes Ahmadinejad received is making observers worldwide suspicious of the outcome. Ahmadinejad is popular in rural areas, but Moussavi was expected to do well, if not win. But Ahmadinejad has the backing of the country’s powerful religious leader, Ayatollah Khameni and his mullahs, who oppose Moussavi and his reform-minded views. Iran’s Interior Minister Seyed Sadeq Mahsouli said 85% of the county’s 46 million eligible voters turned out to vote Friday June 12. (AHN, June 13)
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A June 14 post on Daily Kos, “Iran’s Fear of A George Soros-Funded ‘Velvet Revolution’,” includes a “bizarre public service message” apparently produced by the Iranian government (and provided to Western viewers courtesy of the neocon Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI), featuring a CGI George Soros conspiring with John McCain and the CIA in a secret White House meeting to destabilize Iran. The (presumably MEMRI-provided) subtitled translation helpfully identifies Soros as a “Jewish tycoon” (and McCain as a “senior White House official”—huh?).
The Daily Kos blogger, one “Ukit,” notes that two Iranian academics who have received funding from Soros’ Open Society Institute, Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh, recently faced charges in Iran of conspiring to overthrow the government. Both Esfandiari and Tajbakhsh were eventually freed after wrangling between the Iranian and US governments, but not before eliciting the following “confession” from Tajbakhsh:
The most surreal thing about the Iranian propaganda video is the presence at the secret White House conclave of Gene Sharp—author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action (1973), which sought to systematize the successful strategies of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and was indeed used as a tactical manual by Serbia’s Otpor and opposition movements in the “Rose” (Georgia), “Orange” (Ukraine) and “Tulip” (Kyrgyzstan) revolutions. Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution have also been roundly bashed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez for supposedly plotting to destabilize his regime. 9-11 conspiranoid Thierry Meyssan has likewise been on the attack against Sharp, alleging that NATO drew upon his work in the 1980s “to organize the Resistance in Europe after the invasion of the Red Army,” and that subsequently, the “CIA began using it to overthrow inflexible governments without provoking international outrage.” Actually, Sharp’s 1985 book Making Europe Unconquerable: The Potential of Civilian-Based Deterrence and Defense posed civil nonviolent resistance as an alternative to NATO and to nuclear-armed military alliances both sides of the Berlin Wall. Life’s little ironies.
Iran: Juan Cole weighs in for fraud
From Juan Cole’s Informed Comment, June 13:
See our last post on the Azeri struggle.