Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


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The New York Times is liveblogging today’s planned protest in Iran, which threatens to escalate the situation or perhaps even pose a potential tipping point after Khamenei’s denunciation. Against this backdrop, the Atlantic‘s coverage seems a bit trivial.

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June 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm

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Satrapi on Iran

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Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, has now protested the situation in Iran before the European Parliament. Via Bleeding Cool.

Marjane Satrapi, Iranian author and director and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, an Iranian filmmaker and Mousavi spokesman, presented a document that they claimed had come from the Iranian electoral commission.

The document said liberal cleric and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi came second in the election with a total of 13.3 million votes, while president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came third with only 5.49 million votes.

However, there is no certainty about the legitimacy of the document.

These are the same numbers that have been floating around the Internet all week.

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June 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Other Midday Links

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Other midday links.

* Apropos of what I was saying yesterday about Andrew Sullivan, here’s Ben Smith on Sullivan, his continued outsized influence, and the first-mover advantage in the blogosphere.

* There have been a lot of assertions from both left and right that Obama “isn’t doing enough” to support the protesters in Iran. It’s not clear to me what exactly these people have in mind; any U.S. involvement is likely to be entirely counterproductive, as Obama himself has noted. So it’s worth noting that the Obama administration has quietly taken action to support the protesters in a way that is not counterproductive; according to NBC News, the State Dept. has leaned on Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance because of the way the site is currently being used in Iran.

* Also from Iran: Gary Sick lays out an important challenge to that much-discussed pre-election poll showing Ahmadinejad ahead that I hadn’t seen discussed anywhere else—it’s from over a month before the election.

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June 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Iran Monday

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Kinohi asks in the comments:

Interesting numbers, but is there anything out there that gives us some sense of *how* the election was stolen so dramatically? Were there election observers in Iran? Who was in charge of local elections? Until we get a better account of how this was done, these numbers will be meaningless.

I’m not prepared to answer that question except to say that the prevailing theory seems to be that votes were not legitimately counted at all—Ahmadinejad was simply declared the overwhelming winner by official state agencies after an extralegally brief period of time.

But there is more information coming out about the numbers that provides more context. Two posts from Nate Silver’s look at the numbers in more depth: first, what are apparently the official numbers from the Iranian government, including breakdown by province, and second a post from Nate’s coblogger Renard Sexton charting statistical irregularities in this election against recent Iranian electoral history.

Matt Yglesias takes up the point Vu has been making in the comments, that late polls showed Ahmadinejad winning, and adds this important caveat:

That said, Juan Cole raises a hugely important point of interpretation. Ballen and Doherty talk about how their mid-May poll showed Ahmadenijad with a 2-1 lead, about what the official results show. But they don’t mention the specific numbers. According to Professor Cole, “It found that the level of support for the incumbent was 34%, with Mousavi at 14%.” That seems like a 34-14 is very different from an official result in which Ahmadenijad’s support was in the sixties. In the domestic American context if you had an incumbent polling at 34 percent, you’d say he was in huge trouble no matter how badly his opponent was doing.

Ayatollah Khamenei has apparently pulled back from his proclamation of a “divine assessment”; he has now ordered an investigation into the results.

(Picture via the WSJ slide show. The image is of a pro-Ahmadinejad rally; I picked it because it is striking and because it reflects the extent to which both sides are rapidly becoming radicalized.)

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June 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Class vs. Culture

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Juan Cole: So to believe that the 20% hard line support of 2001 has become 63% in 2009, we would have to posit that Iran is less urban, less literate and less interested in cultural issues today than 8 years ago. We would have to posit that the reformist camp once again boycotted the election and stayed home in droves.


So observers who want to lay a guilt trip on us about falling for Mousavi’s smooth upper middle class schtick are simply ignoring the last 12 years of Iranian history. It was about culture wars, not class.

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June 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Iran: Alleged Leak of Real Election Results

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These numbers have been floating around Twitter for twenty-four hours, but this post at Attackerman is the first time I’ve seen them with any sort of provenance attached.

Unofficial news – reports leaked results from Interior Ministry:
Eligible voters: 49,322,412
Votes cast: 42,026,078
Spoilt votes: 38,716
Mir Hossein Mousavi: 19,075,623
Mehdi Karoubi: 13,387,104
Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad (incumbent): 5,698,417
Mohsen Rezaei (conservative candidate): 3,754,218

I’m very skeptical that these numbers reflect anything real.

A Daily Kos diary has an update of events overnight.

* 1. The Green protesters have taken over at least two police stations in north of Tehran, the Guards are trying to take back the buildings.

* 2. University dormitories across Iran have been attacked by the Revolutionary Guards.

* 3. The building of the ministry of Industry, and a major telecommunication center, have been set on fire.

* 4. Sharif University’s professors have resigned on mass.

* 5. Unrest in Rasht, Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz and every other major city.

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June 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

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Iran 4

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Following up on Vu’s link in the comments to a pre-election poll showing a sizable Ahmadinejad lead, here’s Nate Silver arguing that the much-trumpeted linear graph doesn’t by itself prove election fraud. But as Nate’s commenters point out, alphabetizing final state-by-state results flattens out exactly the sorts of discontinuities (regional and otherwise) we would expect to see in partial, real-time election results—rendering Nate’s demonstration somewhat unpersuasive. There’s also this news, via Andrew Sullivan: the president of Iran’s electoral monitoring commission has declared the results invalid, and Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has resigned his position on the Expediency Council.

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June 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm