Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Win of Iran’s Election Sparks Riots
Ahmadinejad has been re-elected as president of Iran with a substantial poll win. With 80 % of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had 65% of the vote against 32% for his main rival Mousavi.
Mousavi had claimed victory earlier, at the closing of the polls and has complained about large scale voting irregularities. Nobody was expecting the margin of Ahmadinejad’s victory to be so big. Mousavi supporters are expressing shock and disbelief.
Richard Dalton, a former British ambassador to Iran told Al Jazeera: “There has been fraud alleged by the losing candidates in other Iranian elections, and there has been good evidence that it actually happened. What is more important, in the early stage, is people’s perceptions. If people perceive they were robbed, that will stir up passions in what is still a volatile country.”
In the context of the Iranian elections, like in many others, one must think about Josef Stalin’s famous quote: “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”
Rioting was to be expected after Mousavi had stated that people would revolt if Ahmadinejad was declared winner.
Civilian unrest has been reported by numerous news outlets, except by Iranian media. According to the Washington Post:
Riot police clashed with supporters of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in the center of the city Saturday evening after the government declared that he had been defeated in a landslide by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Police used tear gas and batons to battle angry crowds, buses were set on fire and explosions and gunshots were heard in the distance.
NPR News is reporting this:
Protesters set fire to tires outside the Interior Ministry and anti-riot police fought back with clubs and smashed cars. Helmeted police on foot and others on buzzing motorcycles chased bands of protesters roaming the streets pumping their fists in the air. Officers beat protesters with swift blows from their truncheons and kicks with their boots. Some of the demonstrators grouped together to charge back at police, hurling stones.
And this according to the SUN News:
Riot cops responded by attacking the opposition supporters, beating them with clubs and smashing cars.
This is a previous News Junkie article covering the Iranian elections and the forces at play between the reformists, the Ayatollahs & their enforcers: Iran Republican Guards
Story updated Saturday at 10:20 a.m. (Pacific Time)