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…but orange now and black

Iran’s election fallout, Ctd.

HuffPo’s got the latest. Here are the last two entries:

9:42 AM ET — More elite opposition to election results? An emailer, Laleh, writes in with some information from a friend in Tehran. We don’t have confirmation on either of these points, but have heard them several times now, so am forwarding on.

1) Grand Ayatollah Yousof Sanei, a major Iran scholar, has apparently declared the elections “haram” — unlawful.

2) The restrictions on foreign reporters are growing more strict. Laleh relays this from his friend: “The foreign reporters, who most of them are staying at the Esteghlal Hotel, have been forbidden to leave the hotel. A contact who was at the hotel last night witnessed security forces keeping reporters from leaving the hotel and witnessing scenes of unrest nearby on Vali-Asr avenue.”


9:31 AM ET — Report: 160 arrests. “Deputy head of Iranian police says 160 arrested & denies Mousavi under house arrest — as reported by Mehr news agency” — from journalist Mina Al Oraibi on Twitter.

Also recounted, from earlier in the day, Ahmedinejad’s response to a question from CNN’s Christianne Amanpour about whether or not Ahmedinejad will guarantee his opponent’s safety:

The situation in the country is in a very good condition. Iran is the most stable country in the world, and there’s the rule of law in this country, and all the people are equal before the law. And the presidential election has witnessed people’s massive turnout. As I said, even in a soccer match, people may become excited and that may lead to a confrontation between them and the police force. This is something natural. A person coming out of a stadium may violate the traffic regulations. He wil be fined by the police no matter who he is, an ordinary person or even a minister.

So these are not problems for the people of Iran. 40 million people have participated in the election and these 40 million people will safeguard the elections, based on the Iranian culture. There is no partisanship based on the Western concept. In fact, the people are friends with one another, and they’re going to cast their votes in favor of any candidate they like, and of course, such a voting process will not lead to any hostility among the people. And you go to the streets you see that people are friends with one another, and in Iran, no one asks the other whom you’re going to vote for.

The situation is very good, and Iran is on the threshold of making considerable progress. And definitely in the next four years, the status of Iran in the world will be further promoted.

Quick update from Huffpo: They just posted this incredible video:

The latest from the NIAC:

10:03 update: It has been confirmed that 120 faculty members at Sharif University have resigned in protest of the election, and are gathering in front of the university for a demonstration.

Juan Cole has a nice sum up of recent political history in Iran, placing the current legitimacy crisis into context. Sample:

But in 2000, it was clear that the hard liners only had about 20% of the electorate on their side.

The problem for the reformers of the late 1990s and early 2000s was that they did not actually control much, despite holding elected office. Important government policy and regulation was in the hands of the unelected, clerical side of the government. The hard line clerics just shut down reformist newspapers, struck down reformist legislation, and blocked social and economic reform. The Bush administration was determined to hang Khatami out to dry, ensuring that the reformers could never bring home any tangible success in foreign policy or foreign investment. Thus, in the 2004 parliamentary elections, literally thousands of reformers were simply struck off the ballot and not allowed to run. This application of a hard line litmus test in deciding who could run for office produced a hard line parliament, naturally enough.

From Roger Cohen’s column today:

“Here is my country,” a young woman said to me, voice breaking. “This is a coup. I could have worked in Europe but I came back for my people.” And she, too, sobbed.

“Don’t cry, be brave,” a man admonished her.

He was from the Interior Ministry. He showed his ID card. He said he’d worked there 30 years. He said he hadn’t been allowed in; nor had most other employees. He said the votes never got counted. He said numbers just got affixed to each candidate.

He said he’d demanded of the police why “victory” required such oppression. He said he’d fought in the 1980-88 Iraq war, his brother was a martyr, and now his youth seemed wasted and the nation’s sacrifice in vain.

Andrew Sullivan wakes up, he points us to an interview at the Nation with a long time dissident, Ibrahim Yazdi:

What do you think will happen now? So much energy was devoted to support for Mousavi, and so much hope was created. Do you think it will result in a crisis?

Certainly, we are concerned about spontaneous reactions. Iran’s youth has been engaged and mobilized. Around the country, there have already been some violent clashes.

We do not agree with violence, because violence will only give the Right an excuse to suppress the opposition.

Certainly, the gap inside Iran, politically, will be widened. Our main concern is how to keep the enthusiasm that was created for the election alive, in order to monitor and constrain the power of the government. The only way to counter it is the power of the people. We need to organize them.

In this we have an experience to guide us. During the era of the Shah, there was only one moment in which the power of the people was mobilized against the Shah and to support changes in the Constitution, and that was during the era of [Prime Minister] Mossadegh. [Mossadegh was ousted in the 1953 coup organized by the CIA and British intelligence.] In that era, there was a very powerful political movement inside the country that checked the power of the Shah. Today we have to do the same. We are nor after subversion. We do not want to change the Constitution. We do want to create a viable political force that can exert its influence.

Sullivan also points us to this Kos report of leaked alternate results from “Government Officials”:

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

Reported by the BBC, from the same press conference at which he gave the above quoted ridiculous response to Amanpour:

Asked about Iran’s nuclear programme and Tehran’s relations with foreign powers , he said the nuclear debate “belongs to the past”, and that Iran had “embraced” the idea of an international effort to eliminate nuclear weapons.


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