Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Mir Hossein Mousavi

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

Tehran Protests

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Over the weekend an old friend wrote me to make sure that I don’t like Andrew Sullivan now. I don’t; his opinions are by and large awful, even if on many important issues he’s slowly switched to “our side” since 2001. But on isolated issues his coverage can be very strong, as it is this morning on the now-illegal protest march in Tehran. Just look at the size of that crowd. (UPDATE: Video from BBC Persia. Wow.) (UPDATE 2: Mousavi is at the rally.)

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June 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm

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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 5 (UPDATED)

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Another round of Iran links as we head into the American nighttime.

* Reports on Twitter have many buildings in Tehran on fire tonight, as well as skirmishes between students and police near the University of Tehran and cries of “Allahu Akbar!” (as in 1979) from the rooftops. Sullivan has an evocative post on the surprising role Twitter has played in all this.

* Reports that Iranian police have placed Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Gholamhossein Karbasch under house arrest have apparently been confirmed. Here’s Mousavi’s letter to Iran.

I advise all officials to halt this agenda at once before it is too late, return to the rule of law and protect the nation’s vote and know that deviation from law renders them illegitimate. They are aware better than anyone else that this country has been through a grand Islamic revolution and the least message of this revolution is that our nation is alert and will oppose anyone who aims to seize the power against the law.

I use this chance to honor the emotions of the nation of Iran and remind them that Iran, this sacred being, belongs to them and not to the fraudulent. It is you who should stay alert. The traitors to the nation’s vote have no fear if this house of Persians burns in flames. We will continue with our green wave of rationality that is inspired by our religious learnings and our love for prophet Mohammad and will confront the rampage of lies that has appeared and marked the image of our nation. However we will not allow our movement to become blind one.

* Political coup? Military coup?

* What should Obama do? Nothing. Andrew Sullivan concurs.

UPDATE: Laura Secor in the New Yorker.

There can be no question that the June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election was stolen. Dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying as much. Government polls (one conducted by the Revolutionary Guards, the other by the state broadcasting company) that were leaked to the campaigns allegedly showed ten- to twenty-point leads for Mousavi a week before the election; earlier polls had them neck and neck, with Mousavi leading by one per cent, and Karroubi just behind. Historically, low turnout has always favored conservatives in Iranian elections, while high turnout favors reformers. That’s because Iran’s most reliable voters are those who believe in the system; those who are critical tend to be reluctant to participate. For this reason, in the last three elections, sixty-five per cent of voters have come from traditional, rural villages, which house just thirty-five per cent of the populace. If the current figures are to be believed, urban Iranians who voted for the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and 2001 have defected to Ahmadinejad in droves.

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June 14, 2009 at 1:18 am

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

Iran 3

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More on the Iranian election and voter fraud from Juan Cole and Muhammad Sahimi.

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June 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Iran 2

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It’s being reported—though not yet by major news sources—that Mousavi has been placed under house arrest. Reports are also widespread that the cell phone network in Iran has been taken offline. A good place for breaking news is #iranelection on Twitter; apparently Twitter is the only social networking system still operating in Iran at the moment. Photos from Tehran, among other places, here.

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June 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm

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Despite reports that the race would be close, state officials are reporting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won a landslide reelection in Iran. The Obama Administration has said it is skeptical of the results, citing among other things the fact that Mousavi apparently lost the vote in his hometown, and in The Nation dissident Ibrahim Yazdi outright calls it a coup. A chart from Andrew Sullivan (right) also gives reason to be suspicious.

There are now protests in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere. Mousavi has not conceded.

Mousavi, who became the hero of a powerful youth-driven movement, had not made a public address or issued messages since declaring himself the true victor moments after polls closed and accusing authorities of “manipulating” the vote.

“I’m warning that I won’t surrender to this manipulation,” said the Mousavi statement on the Web on Saturday. “The outcome of what we’ve seen from the performance of officials … is nothing but shaking the pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran sacred system and governance of lie and dictatorship.”

He warned “people won’t respect those who take power through fraud” and called the decision to announce Ahmadinejad winner of the election was a “treason to the votes of the people.”

Image via the MeFi thread.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm