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I'm fascinated by the Iranian election results. On the surface it appears that the vote was rigged by the guys in power. That's the way these things usually go. But this is a bit more interesting.

First, remember that in Iran the Supreme Leader, Khamenie, decides who gets to run for President. So in theory, whoever wins is okay with Khamenie, even if one candidate is somewhat preferred. That's not a situation where the Supreme Leader has a strong need to rig an election, especially given the risk that doing so would delegitimize the entire government, which is apparently what happened.

But what if President Ahmadinejad's supporters were behind the vote rigging, without the approval of the Supreme Leader? That theory makes sense. Ahmadinejad's supporters would have both the means and the motive.

I haven't yet heard the conspiracy theory that the United States and/or Israel were behind the election results. Both countries would have the motives to destabilize Iran by making the election appear rigged. And Israel would have a better justification for military action if Ahmadinejad remains in power. But I doubt either Israel or the U.S. has the means to rig an Iranian election.

The Supreme Leader has ordered his cronies to look into the allegations of election fraud. Most cynics would conclude that this is just a trick to appease the masses. The obvious play here would be to appear concerned about the feelings of the voters, pretend to look into it for several months then conclude that everything was just fine. By then the outrage will have subsided and people will have acclimated to their unsatisfying situation.

But I am going to make a prediction. I think the Supreme Leader will report to his people in a few weeks that the election was rigged by supporters of Ahmadinejad, without the President's knowledge. And the election will be held again. And I predict you will also hear allegations of meddling by outside powers, meaning the U.S. and Israel, but those suspicions will not be supported by evidence.
 
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Jun 16, 2009
While I don't doubt the elections were rigged in the usual ways of controlling media etc. I personally do suspect vote counting was probably mostly legit. I think it must be the biased news you guys get in the U.S.A. that gives this widespread belief the election was rigged. The truth is the opposition support was just more dedicated than numerous. Remember Ron Paul, he didn't have many supporters but they were loud and educated, imagine if he would have had 35% support like the Iranian opposition, it would seem to the world he was unbeatable even if he was still in the minority. The president in Iran is popular, but his followers just aren't as dedicated, educated or wealthy.

For evidence of my position see "http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8103292.stm"
 
 
Jun 16, 2009
If only the Iranians were vegetarians, it would all work out!
 
 
Jun 16, 2009
One does not easily control cities against the will of the people living there. The ruling class of Iran knows this and will make moves to make a deal with the Mousavi group. A Kenyan solution where Mousavi becomes prime minister is not unlikely.
 
 
Jun 16, 2009
I dont really think it matters who is in power, if there is an unelected "emperor" who really has his finger on the button, then his underling, (picked by him anyway) might as well be a stuffed alligator. Rigged or not the outcome would be the same.

I like scotts prediction and there is a grain of truth, a better prediction is the obvious play though, There is more gained from playing down ANY tampering any having those responsible quietly removed. If you stir up an ants nest they attack EVERYthing not just the things you want.

oh and the US could easily rig someone else's election!
 
 
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Jun 16, 2009
Wow. I'm amazed at how many people seem to have a reasonable understanding of Iranian politics. I understand US politics and the basic rudiments of parliamentary governments like Britain and India, but the inner workings of Iranian power struggles? Am I the only one who feels like a kid at the adult table?
 
 
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Jun 15, 2009
Interesting prediction, but going by the history of Bush vs. Gore, I am afraid Ahmadinejad vs. Mousavi will not product results dramatically different from what the US Supreme Court came up with.
 
 
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Jun 15, 2009
Good call - I was thinking that Ahmadinejad rigged the election to take over from the mullahs
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
Anyone who thinks the Iranians will just 'acclimatize to their unsatisfying situation' hasn't read much Iranian or Shia history. Sure, they suck it up, until they blow. And blow they do. Don't forget, when Khomeini was originally put in power, it was via the overwhelming support of the masses.
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
Looks exactly like the US elections of November, 2000.

America should be flattered that other nations are adopting their brand of democracy...
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
I just think it's hysterical there is so much hand-wringing over someone rigging the election in a foreign country, the outcome of which really means very little in the Grand Scheme Of Things (TM).

We should leave other people alone for awhile, and focus on the rigged elections that have been going on since 2000, at least, in THIS country. Since the Obamists got in, you haven't heard Word One about this. I find that interesting, as well.
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
In other news, 36 more absentee ballots for Al Franken showed up in a car trunk.
 
 
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Jun 15, 2009
I think it's interesting that text messaging was jammed and pro-Mousavi websites were shut down during the election. Even if the election was ultimately not "rigged", there was definitely an attempt to control the outcome.
 
 
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Jun 15, 2009
Interesting that Iran - that country that was founded under Khomeini amid cries of "corruption", oh, and holding US hostages for 444 days, until President Reagan replace the inept Carter - flounders today under cries of "corruption!" Like, maybe there was corruption there that America didn't furnish, that appearance of religion to the contrary, the corruption is still there, and that religion is governed by secular needs.

Who would have thought?
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
Don't be silly. Mousavi will be arrested for destabilizing Iran. This will further inflame his supporters leading to ongoing unrest which the government will brutally suppress - and which, in time, will lead to regime change.

Don't make the mistake of thinking the Iranian government is cleverer than it is. The educated youth are not going to stand for the confrontational, isolationist policies of the past for much longer. The old guard is doing what old guards always do - trying to hold back change that is beyond their comprehension and beyond their power to stop. They will fail - but a lot of people will die in the process.
 
 
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 15, 2009
In an unrelated story, several voting machines and ballot sheets from Florida have turned up missing.
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
Corruption in elections is just a growing pain that they will have to deal with. It's 2009. If this were "Gangs of New York" in 1850-6? then there's still be the corruption, but not eh instant knowledge of it....
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 15, 2009
I think Khamenie chose Mousavi to run to placate the reformist-types, never thinking he would actually win. The loss would be a blow to reformist and prop up Ahmadinejad.

When results started showing the election to be close, Khameni panicked, and having no plan in place to deal with the situation, ended up altering the figures in a suspicious fashion.

But maybe Iranians just like Ahmadinejad, what do I know.

 
 
Jun 15, 2009
I find it very interesting that there are apparently no supporting Ahmadinnerjacket protestors counterprotesting the protestors.
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
Awesome on providing a specific, quantifiable, interesting prediction.

I am for the "look into in and ignore it" prediction. I hope your's is true though.
 
 
Jun 15, 2009
Add politics to the list of areas where you shouldn't get your advice from cartoonists.
 
 
 
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