Iran: Guardian Council Confirm Election Results, Rafsanjani Falls in Line, Sunday, UCI, & more

1. Guardian Council Confirms Ahmadinejad’s Victory: “The secretary of the Guardian Council in a letter to the interior minister announced the final decision of the Council… and declares the approval of the accuracy of the results of… the presidential election,” the state broadcaster said. A partial recount of the election carried out on Monday showed no irregularities in the vote, Iran’s English-language Press TV television station added, according to Reuters news agency.

2. Rafsanjani Falls in Line: Associated Press: For the first time since the election, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani spoke publicly about the unrest, claiming that “suspicious hands” were trying to open rifts between the people and the Islamic system. Professor Juan Cole: “Rafsanjani has clearly decided to defer to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on handling the outcome of the elections, and has come out as critical of the crowd politics and occasional turbulence they produced. As a multi-billionaire and man of the establishment, he may well have been frightened that the massive street rallies for Mousavi a week ago signalled a danger to the status quo, which he is attempting to preserve. From Rafsanjani’s point of view, Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and others have been making a slow-motion coup, reducing the sigificance and openness of the of the system by excluding the reformists from running for office. Wanting to go back to 1997 is not the same as wanting a revolution.”

3. Sunday, First Demonstration “in days”: “About 5,000 protesters marched slowly and silently through Tehran on Sunday near a mosque where the government was allowing a demonstration for the first time in days. Authorities were riding on motorcycles alongside the marchers, who are telling each other to walk slowly and drag their feet. Police were telling the demonstrators to move faster. Some of the protesters were telling the police that they have the legal right to protest in peace. The marchers are walking from north to south down a major street, Shariati Street, near the Ghoba Mosque, where a memorial is being held in honor of a hero of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The gathering is officially meant to honor Mohammad Beheshti, who was killed in a bombing on this date 28 years ago. It follows two weeks of protests against the official results of the June 12 presidential elections, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won.”

4. Sunday Demonstration Broken Up: “Witnesses said riot police used tear gas and clubs to break up a crowd of up to 3,000 protesters who had gathered near north Tehran’s Ghoba Mosque in the country’s first major post-election unrest in four days.”

5. Don’t Assume Ahmadinejad Really Lost: [Baer, a former CIA field agent with much field experience in the Middle East is usually a good source which is why I wanted to post this piece of his.] “For too many years now, the Western media have looked at Iran through the narrow prism of Iran’s liberal middle class — an intelligentsia that is addicted to the Internet and American music and is more ready to talk to the Western press, including people with money to buy tickets to Paris or Los Angeles. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a terrific book, but does it represent the real Iran? (See pictures of Iran’s presidential election and its turbulent aftermath.) Before we settle on the narrative that there has been a hard-line takeover in Iran, an illegitimate coup d’état, we need to seriously consider the possibility that there has been a popular hard-line takeover, an electoral mandate for Ahmadinejad and his policies.”

6. More Focus on the Revolutionary Guards: “Eight of the 21 posts in the president’s cabinet are held by former members, according to Ali Alfoneh, an analyst at Washington’s American Enterprise Institute. Among them are Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli, whose agency ran the election, and Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar. Another five places are occupied by past Basij commanders. The state broadcasting arm is headed by Ezzatollah Zarghami, a former guard. At least one-third of Iran’s parliament members are former guards, according to Nader. Under Ahmadinejad’s predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, 65, only three ministers had belonged to the guards or Basij.”

7. Bon Jovi and Andy in Solidarity with Protesters in Iran: “Stand by Me”

8. iPouya on the UCI Teach-in: I went to Saturday’s UCI teach-in and there was one thing during the open mic session near the end that I think specifically warrants address. An Iranian man went up and said that he was baffled at the fact that all those Americans who were honking in the streets of Irvine in solidarity with the street vigils and demonstrations on Irvine’s street corners failed to show up to the teach-in. He argued that all of the world’s population should be concerned about what’s happening in Iran and that, at the least, those people who expressed concern through their car horns should have attended the teach-in at UCI.  I don’t mean to generalize (actually I do), but this is such typical Iranian rubbish. They expect the world to care about what they care about, but refuse to participate in anything that doesn’t concern Iran. In other words, these same people are indifferent about human rights in Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, China, you name it, but their egos tell them that the world should focus on Iran!  If they want non-Iranians to pay attention to Iran, then they must also form coalitions with other people struggling in the world.

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