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This could either turn into a Florida-2000 fiasco or something far more dramatic.  The elections in Iran have been marked by sky-high turnout and the overall intensity of the race.  While polls have long been inaccurate in Iran, they almost all pointed to a Mousavi-surge against the incumbent Ahmadinejad.  There has also been countless photos and videos of Mousavi rallies, including the human chain that reached across the massive city of Tehran. There has been such enthusiasm, often directed at electing what some have tried calling "Iran's Obama"(and his wife, "Iran's Michelle Obama").

So isn't it a little brow-raising when the Iranian government declares that the incumbent has so far received almost 70% of the vote?

Allegations of voter fraud began before the polls even closed(I guess they're more like us than we often think).

The opposition-candidates boycotted the Iranian state media in the days leading up to the election.

All scientific and unscientific evidence pointed to a Mousavi-surge, yet here we are seeing the Iranian state media declare Ahmadinejad the winner with over two-thirds of the vote.  Iranian polling is notoriously difficult, so it's entirely possible that some election-polls truly are even more off-the-mark than the primary-polls out of New Hampshire in '08.

Still, with both of the main candidates declaring victory, this is going to be very interesting to watch.

It's also worth noting that like in many elections, results tend to come in from the rural-areas first(See; Virginua, 2008) where conservatives do best.

Originally posted to Setrak on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, Phil S 33, MBNYC, forgore, Amber6541

    "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." Mr. John Conyers Jr.

    by Setrak on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:21:25 PM PDT

  •  So who's counting those votes? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deaniac20, Setrak

    Ahmadinejad's government? Or some independent agency?

    Because if it's the former, Mousavi is screwed.

    Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

    by MBNYC on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:37:00 PM PDT

    •  It's the former. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC

      Very tense in Tehran right now..

      "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." Mr. John Conyers Jr.

      by Setrak on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:43:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the NYT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jaywillie, Setrak

        here:

        Although IRNA, the state-run news agency, declared the president the winner, the country’s election commission was not as definitive. The commission said that, with 61 percent of the votes counted, Mr. Ahmadinejad had taken a strong lead, with 66 percent of the vote to Mr. Moussavi’s 31 percent, Reuters reported.

        The election commission is part of the Interior Ministry, which is controlled by Mr. Ahmadinejad’s supporters.

        That's not good.

        Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

        by MBNYC on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:30:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so its basically the Revolutionary Douchebags (0+ / 0-)

          to think with the stakes these high, Iran could ever have had a fair election.

          "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama

          by deaniac20 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:57:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  According to NBC News; all texting and some other (3+ / 0-)

    communications have been shut down this evening.   Not a good sign.

    "You know, my wife is so dumb, she is always asking me questions I can't answer."--James Inhofe

    by Phil S 33 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:42:36 PM PDT

    •  Rallies/gatherings banned until.. (0+ / 0-)

      ..the formal announcement.

      "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." Mr. John Conyers Jr.

      by Setrak on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:43:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People don't realize that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deaniac20

    by voting, they give the Islamic Republic the legitimacy that it so desperately craves. The proper vote against the Islamists isn't a vote for Mousavi, a pseudo-reformer, but to abstain from voting altogether.

    "Hamas is bad, but not as bad the IDF." - edtastic

    by Mikemoud Huckmadinejad on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:45:52 PM PDT

  •  Mousavi's campaign was more colorful (5+ / 0-)

    and would have been easier for the foreign press to cover since they are the better educated, more likely to be available for interviews and concentrated in the universities and urban areas. It would have been harder for them to get to the countryside and find people in the poorer parts of the cities who would talk to them.  They would not make for good TV. AM was elected the first time because of his popularity with the poorer segments of society.

    At any rate, it's important to find out.  AM has never been popular with the university crowd and that will not change.  

    I don't think the government could get away with a wholesale rigging.  Five points ...maybe.  Forty points...no way.

    •  Joe Klein thinks it's bull. (2+ / 0-)

      Writing on Time magazine's blog, reporting from Tehran, he said the ballots are absolutely ridiculous.

      "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." Mr. John Conyers Jr.

      by Setrak on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:00:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Joe Klein is hardly (0+ / 0-)

        an expert.How does he know ballots are ridiculous without having any access to either exit polls or credible pre-polling?

        •  Is exit polling even allowed? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sulthernao

          There were credible polls that showed Mousavi far ahead.

          Read his story here.  He's not an expert?  He's one of the most distinguished reporters in the world.

          "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." Mr. John Conyers Jr.

          by Setrak on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:07:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

            Joe Klein is not an expert on Iran. As far as polling is considered, no polling agency in Iran has anything resembling a decent record. Most people are going by anecdotal evidence, things like election rallies in Iran.

      •  I think he said he found the ballots confusing (0+ / 0-)

        That does not mean that the voters would find them confusing. They are used to the system; he isn't.

        •  True, but I'm willing to bet (0+ / 0-)

          that it is no coincidence that there was a positive overlap for MA 4 -> 444.

          •  Well (1+ / 0-)

            the UKIP still managed to finish second in the EU election in Britain, even though they were on the wrong side of a fold in the ballot that completely concealed them from initial view.  Motivated voters will find what they're looking for.

            "When the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man to become a law unto himself." ~ Justice Brandeis

            by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:39:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If only the name mattered (0+ / 0-)

            then what difference would that have made.

            Not only that, there was a lot of preparation done by the Mousavi camp to make sure their voters were prepared with their own pens and information to counter rigging. They would have also warned them if the code/number arrangement was an issue.

            In the Bush/Gore situation, it was a worry that the less educated and poorer but more numerous voters would be disenfranchised, not the better educated ones.

  •  More info about Iran (0+ / 0-)

    And demographic break down and Mousavi's strong spots: http://arugulaeater.blogspot.com/

    •  I had to read this several times (0+ / 0-)

      However, what I described in my previous post amounts to 33% of the populace. And the vast majority of Iran's 51% Persians don't live in the provinces. They live in cities.

      He's saying 49% of the populace are not ethnic Persians/medeans. Not that 51% of the populace lives in the cities....

      So who would the ethnic minorities likely favor?  Wouldn't that depend on which minority and how favored or disfavored they were?  There's always a pecking order.

  •  The real giveawy (1+ / 0-)

    Is the stuff Ahmadinejad's people are saying on TV. They are focusing on two main talking points; one, that his margin is nearly as great as Khatami's(implying it was likely supposed to be larger but the higher turnout canceled it out) and that this is a victory over Obama sending him the message that the Islamic Republic is not fooled by him.

    This stuff convinces me that this was not supposed to just be a win for Ahmadinejad, but a message to Obama and the world.

  •  Richard Engel, on Maddow last night, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deaniac20

    said there weren't any international observers around. Is that true? That seems completely insane to me. I mean, hello!! This one's just a tad important …

    Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

    Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

    by Jyrinx on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:36:18 PM PDT

  •  Kumbaya! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weasel

    everyone is a winner in the Iranian elections--talk about reaching out across the aisle in bipartisan comity!

    "When the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man to become a law unto himself." ~ Justice Brandeis

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:36:56 PM PDT

  •  This theocratic dictatorship will go out the same (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deaniac20

    way it came in, with bodies in the streets.   Only this time it will be Revolutionary Guards.

  •  either the people, or their leaders, (0+ / 0-)

    if the leaders and their Revolutionary Assholeguards rigged the vote, are suicidal. Voting for Ahmadinejad is like asking for war, unless of course Ahmad cools the fuck down. While I'd hate to jump the gun, I will say I did not expect a country with the kind of nuts Iran has at the top, with the stakes THIS high, to ever let a fair vote which would ruin the power of the Islamic Republic's religious powerbase yield unfriendly results. I refuse to believe the people in Iran are suicidal by and large, which is why I'll wait until we hear the true story behind the vote. And I suspect that won't be easy. A few people are gonna die while this attempts to happen.

    "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama

    by deaniac20 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:00:40 PM PDT

    •  Why do you have a personal hate for Ahmadinejad? (0+ / 0-)

      What is your problem with him?

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  he threatened to wipe Israel, (0+ / 0-)

        a state just happened to be founded in the ideal of being a Jewish homeland, with more than a third of the Jews in the world, off the face of the map. And don't get cute about the translation, as the official and leading Iranian translators confirm the remark:

        If Mr. Steele and Mr. Cole are right, not one word of the quotation — Israel should be wiped off the map — is accurate.

          But translators in Tehran who work for the president's office and the foreign ministry disagree with them. All official translations of Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement, including a description of it on his Web site (www.president.ir/eng/), refer to wiping Israel away. Sohrab Mahdavi, one of Iran's most prominent translators, and Siamak Namazi, managing director of a Tehran consulting firm, who is bilingual, both say "wipe off" or "wipe away" is more accurate than "vanish" because the Persian verb is active and transitive.

          The second translation issue concerns the word "map." Khomeini's words were abstract: "Sahneh roozgar." Sahneh means scene or stage, and roozgar means time. The phrase was widely interpreted as "map," and for years, no one objected. In October, when Mr. Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeini, he actually misquoted him, saying not "Sahneh roozgar" but "Safheh roozgar," meaning pages of time or history. No one noticed the change, and news agencies used the word "map" again.

          Ahmad Zeidabadi, a professor of political science in Tehran whose specialty is Iran-Israel relations, explained: "It seems that in the early days of the revolution the word 'map' was used because it appeared to be the best meaningful translation for what he said. The words 'sahneh roozgar' are metaphorical and do not refer to anything specific. Maybe it was interpreted as 'book of countries,' and the closest thing to that was a map. Since then, we have often heard 'Israel bayad az naghshe jographya mahv gardad' — Israel must be wiped off the geographical map. Hard-liners have used it in their speeches."

        he is also a Holocaust denier, and spreads hate around Iran and the world, supports murderers like Hamas and Hezbollah, loves leaders hostile to us, like Kim Jong Il and Hugo Chavez, and oppresses his own people. If that is not a leader worthy of hate, then I don't know who is.

        "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama

        by deaniac20 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:48:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems to me he is a lot less worthy of hate (0+ / 0-)

          than George W. Bush.

          As for his "threat to wipe out Israel", there is a lot you don't mention (the fact that he was quoting someone else for a start) that changes the situation.

          Also not mentioned is part of the same interview when asked if he would attack Israel he replied with the question "On what possible pretext?".

          So, no, I don't think the issue as clear cut as you seem to find it.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 07:05:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  winner: Netanyahu (0+ / 0-)

    Either there is zero democracy in Iran, or the country is a bunch of fundy nutjobs.  Either way, the time for playing nice and respectful is over.  

    Iran is not Lebanon.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:41:00 PM PDT

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