Iran’s election results set off alarm bells

An expert on Iran points out the inconsistencies

Juan Cole, the author of Engaging the Muslim World and a professor of history at the University of Michigan, argues there are at least six reasons to doubt the official narrative that has Mahmoud Ahmadinejad emerging as the winner of Iran’s presidential election. According to the certified results, Ahmadinejad won in Tabriz, the capital of Azerbeijan province, from which Mir Hossein Mousavi hails and where he is popular. Ahmadinejad is also said to have won in Tehran, where opposition to his rule is thought to be widespread. Furthermore, Mehdi Karoubi, a reformist candidate, received less than one per cent of the popular vote after getting 17 per cent in 2005, while Mohsen Rezaie, a less popular candidate, got nearly twice as many votes. Ahmadinejad’s support was also strong across the country, even though there were strong ethnic and provincial variations in the past. And, finally, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was suprisingly anxious to certify the results, eschewing the normal three-day waiting period to adjudicate any irregularities.

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