Politics

Unrest in Iran

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And Their Fists Say

If you want a rundown of reasons to suspect that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in yesterday's Iranian election was fixed, Juan Cole makes the case here. Cent Uygur offers some similar thoughts here. In The New Yorker, Laura Secor writes that "dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying" the vote was stolen. Newsweek's Christopher Dickey, on the other hand, believes it was a more-or-less legitimate election in which western journalists mistook Mir Hossein Mousavi's articulate and educated supporters in northern Tehran for the voice of the people at large.

Mousavi himself clearly thinks the contest was rigged, and a lot of his supporters do as well:

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets of Tehran in protest against the outcome of the country's elections, in the biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution.

Riot police were deployed in the capital on Saturday after about 3,000 supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, a reformist candidate, rioted following the announcement of his defeat by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president….

Al Jazeera's Teymoor Nabili, reporting from Tehran, said major streets in the north of the city had come to a standstill.

The Iranian human rights activist Hadi Ghaemi offers some wise thoughts about the proper U.S. reaction here. Michael Totten has a bunch of links and video clips about the revolt here, and Smart Mobs is following the coverage in social media here. And BigSoccer.com, of all places, has a bunch of protest photos here. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised to see that at a soccer board -- it isn't the first time the sport has intersected with Iranian dissent.