Thursday, June 23, 2005

Iran Votes 2005

Iranian blogger Windseed of Iran Votes 2005 has several interesting reports: READ MORE

Inside information on how the vote was rigged?
I have information that on Friday, after the end of the election, many ballots were not taken to the Ministry of Interior for counting, and many of those that were already taken there, were not counted.

In the midnight of Saturday (June, 28) an order was received by the Ministry of Interior from the Office of the Supreme leader, which requested that the result of the election be released as (1-Rafsanjani, 2-Ahmadinejad). Subsequently, the Director General of the Elections Office of the Ministry of Interior contacted the Minister and the latter called Mr. Khatami, who urged that the counting must go on according to the law.

Early in the morning, Khatami went to the Ministry of Interior to supervise the counting process in person. The first official results announced by the Ministry of Interior placed Karoubi on top, ahead of Rafsanjani and Ghalibaf. However, the Guardian Council, who did not expect the Ministry to disobey the Leader's wish, announced its own result in which Rafsanjani was on the top, followed by Ahmadinejad.

As the discrepancy emerged, the same person called the Ministry again, this time using a threatening language, to deliever the message that if the Minister would not give in to the order, dangerous consequences would face Iranian nation, and the families of the Minister and even the President. Khatami was contacted again. He returned to the Ministry, and after discussing the issue with Mr. Lari (the Minister of Interior) they decided to act as per the Leader's order.

It is also said that some among the fundamentalist camp had the view that Ahmadinejad must be announced as the absolute winner in the first round. However, for yet unknown reasons, this view was not acted upon.

Currently, the fundamentalist hardliners are certain that Ahmadinejad will be announced as the winner in the run-off on Friday. Basijis are on alert to take necessary action in case of any unrest. The Iranian police are aware of this plan and it is said that the meeting between Ghalibaf and Rafsanjani a couple of nights ago revolved around this issue. A 'legal coup' is underway. Rafsanjani is well aware of this course of events and is trying to prevent the coup to happen. But he is also aware that he himself is not safe.
What the hardliners are up to now?
I have received reports from a number of towns that Basij (Sepah's militia) are active there trying to encourage people to vote for Ahmadi Nejad on Friday. This is done in a variety of ways including offering poeple money and clothes and provoking their "sense of dignity". These reports come from these Iranian towns: Klardasht, Lahijan, Asataneh, Birjand, Neyshabour, Garmsar, Varamin, and Zanjan. In one case, I am told, that Basijis personally approach peoples' houses, asking for the 'man/elder of the household' to come to talk to them. Then, they go on to give advise to the men that if they feel responsible for their family members, especially their women (Namouss) they must vote for Ahmadi Nejad, who will, they claim, protect their honour.

It now seems that Basijis have been perfectly organized and directed from since well prior to the election. The leaders of this organized move are said to be among the top ranking military officials, including General (Basjij) Firouz Abadi (head of the Iranian amred forces and the closest military man to Khamenei) , and General (Basiji) Alireza Afshar and Mehdi Chamran (former deputy to Firouz Abadi and the current head of Tehran council). Also, in another front, there are reports of Imams in mosques preaching the prayers as to the importance 'Islamic task' of voting for Ahmadi Nejad.

Karoubi - who lost in the first round - revealed that he had asked the Ministry of Interior on Friday not to extend the election time for more than two hours. But he was told that the Ministry was "under pressure" to extend the time until 11pm (which it did). It is said that a top ranking military officer had contacted both Khatami and Lari (minister of Interior), advising them not to "stand on the way of the will of the Supreme Leader" on this issue.
Why are some voting for Ahmedinejah?
From what I see, I believe Rafsanjani has little chance of winning the second round of the election on Friday - unless a miracle happens. Ahmadi Nejad camp is much more active these days. Especially in remote towns and villages. But this does not mean all of his votes will come from those areas. He generally has support among people who do not trust Rafsanjani and his policies. Thus, many of those who will vote for Ahmadi Nejad, will do so not because they are in love with him, but because they simply hate Rafsanjani.