Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reconstructing the Crime

Juan Cole offers a possible reconstruction of events:
"But just as a first reaction, this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene. And here is how I would reconstruct the crime.

"As the real numbers started coming into the Interior Ministry late on Friday, it became clear that Mousavi was winning. Mousavi's spokesman abroad, filmmaker Mohsen Makhbalbaf, alleges that the ministry even contacted Mousavi's camp and said it would begin preparing the population for this victory.

"The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable. And, apparently, he and other top leaders had been so confident of an Ahmadinejad win that they had made no contingency plans for what to do if he looked as though he would lose.

"They therefore sent blanket instructions to the Electoral Commission to falsify the vote counts.

"This clumsy cover-up then produced the incredible result of an Ahmadinejad landslide in Tabriz and Isfahan and Tehran.

"The reason for which Rezaie and Karoubi had to be assigned such implausibly low totals was to make sure Ahmadinejad got over 51% of the vote and thus avoid a run-off between him and Mousavi next Friday, which would have given the Mousavi camp a chance to attempt to rally the public and forestall further tampering with the election."

The vote totals were definitely handled clumsily, as this graph shows. On the security side of things, however, it looks like there was definitely planning. Maybe it was a contingency plan all along?



Anonymous First said...

I don't agree with your premise. These allegations are just that - I'm rather sceptical about them. There probably were irregularities, but is this why Ahmedinejad won? I think the truth's much more depressing: he won because his rhetoric and policies reflect the views of most Iranians, most of whom are poor, live in some village or dismal suburb, and welcomed the opportunity to stick it to the residents of North Tehran.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Brian Ulrich said...

I agree that would be the tamer explanation, but my belief is that, given everything that's out there, the irregularities were far greater than usual and completely obscure any sense of what a fair result might have looked like.

6:39 PM  

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