Q & A : Was the Election Rigged?
From CNN. I thought this was good Q & A about what is happening in Iran right now/the implications of the elections/whether they were rigged. Rather than add to an existing thread, I thought I'd start anew. I don't agree with the notion that it's "possible" the results were valid. I think all the evidence points to the contrary. I found it interesting/surprising that the end of the article seems to indicate that the results, if they stand, may be better for the white house, since it may be easier to implement sanctions against such a "bad guy" via the international community.
Q) So is it possible that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did win the election?
A) The president does indeed have great public support in Iran, Taheri said, adding that "I'm sure he did win the election but it's impossible he won 63 percent of the vote. The results probably exaggerated the scale of his support."
According to official results, Ahmadinejad won in all regions and among all classes and ages -- again, something that Taheri said was unlikely, "but I can't prove it."
Had he not exaggerated the scale of his victory, Taheri said, unlike in previous presidential elections, it is possible there wouldn't be the outcry there is now. "Many Iranians feel insulted by the results because they feel their vote didn't count. Everybody knows, for instance that Ahmadinejad is unpopular in cities but he still won the vote there. That is why people are so angry."
Another Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour agreed, saying he believed this was "a stolen election."
"There are a lot of signs there were major improprieties. First of all there were 40 million votes cast and just two hours after the polls had closed they announced Ahmadinejad's victory: and these votes are hand counted in Iran...
Sadjadpour, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, added: "Another example I give is that (opposition leader Mir Hossein) Moussavi, who is an ethnic Azeri Turk, lost the province of Iranian Azerbaijan. This is the equivalent of Barack Obama losing the African American vote to John McCain in 2008."
Q) What does four more years of Ahmadinejad mean for Iran and the rest of the world?
A) The big problem the United States and Europe is to stop Iran from going nuclear and Ahmadinejad's reelection means Iran's aggressive policy towards the West is not going to change. "I feel the results are quite disastrous," said Sadjadpour. "In terms of the U.S.-Iran relationship, Ahmadinejad's mere presence could well serve as an insurmountable obstacle to confidence building. He presses the worst buttons in the context of domestic U.S. politics with his denial of the Holocaust and belligerence towards Israel. Domestically in Iran he has profoundly mismanaged the economy with one of the highest inflation rates in the world and high unemployment."
However according to TIME magazine, behind closed doors the White House may be relieved by the result. Despite the attention paid to the office of the Iranian presidency, nuclear policy is set by the country's religious leaders and appear determined to amass enriched uranium whether or not a hard-liner or a moderate is president, the magazine said Monday.
"Ahmadinejad's win may increase Washington's chances of getting tougher sanctions on Iran if they refuse to negotiate," TIME reports.