The Presidential elections in Iran did not promise to have an extraordinary outcome about 1 month ago. However, Mr. Mousavi managed to convince the people of Iran that he was an alternative to the nutcase Ahmadinjad. Instead of the poor voter turnout of 2005 when roughly 52% of the eligible population voted, there was a voter turnout of about 81%. With an increase of that size, one would expect that the people were voting for a change in their President. Imagine their surprise when it was announced that Ahmadinejad had won by a landslide – one that in fact seemed impossible.
Mousavi’s and Khourabi’s supporters are absolutely furious. They took to the streets in protest. To them it seems that there has been a coup engineered by Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei. A lot of things are happening behind the scenes yet at the same time the Basiji have been out in force killing the people who have been protesting. To date the official death toll is at least 7 – it should be at least 10 times that number according to eye-witness accounts.
So, what exactly is happening in Iran at the moment? Personally, I think that this is a protest that is the same size as events back in 1979. It is not a few thousand, or a few hundred, or even hundreds of thousands, for it is more likely that over 1 million people have taken to the streets in protest over the election results. The constant demand from the people is “Where’s my vote”.
Despite the fact that the Iranian regime has tried to prevent news from leaking to the world at large, the Iranians have used other resources to get out their message, including videos on Youtube that show the extent of the bashing, death, and damage that has been done by the Basij. It seems that some of the Police and the Revolutionary Guard are on the side of the people and they are not taking action against them. However, Ahmadinejad has imported Hezbollah from Lebanon to take on the work of the Basiji.
As a result of the information flow there are many good sites that have provided up to the minute news about what is happening, including graphic footage. The Christian Monitor has a good analysis from an expert on Iranian elections, which indicates that the figures were purely made up when Ahmadinejad was named the winner. You can read the article here.
Andrew Sullivan from the Atlantic has also been doing a good job covering the situation. You can find up to the minute information from Sullivan here. Another one who is doing an excellent job (even better than Sulivan is Nico from the Huffington Post. (I normally do not read the HuffPo but the quality of Nico’s work on this subject is excellent and he deserves a pat on the back for his dedication).