June 23, 2009

Are we worried?

Iran's Guardian Council has asked for an extra five days to review the election (full text here). The Guardian Council had previously said the election was just fine, there having been "no major polling irregularities."

So what's happening? Maybe, they are cooking up an explanation. Maybe there is behind the scenes quarreling. Or maybe, there is some sad guy sitting there filling in the extra ballots to justify Ahmadinejad's supposed victory. Here's what the conversation was probably like:

Scene: a smoke filled room, loads of empty candy packets and empty coffee cups.

Boss: How are the ballot papers coming along?

Sad dude: Fine.

Boss: When will those 20 million papers be ready?

Sad dude: Soon

Boss: How soon is "soon"?

Sad dude: Next week

Boss: Are you nuts? What am I gonna tell the Ayatollah?

Sad dude: Five more days?

Boss: Let me see what I can do. By the way, no need to put "Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," just put "Ahmadinejad"

Sad dude: Now you tell me

Posted by Howard Baskerville at June 23, 2009 2:47 PM

The international community appears to be endorsing Ahmenijad's reelection.

Turkey, Afghanistan, China, Brazil, Venezuela and many other countries have endorsed Ahmenijad as the victor. Russia's most recent statements suggests that Russia is following suit. Russia wouldn't do this unless they had some confidence that Khamenei would win.

So far PM Maliki and the Najaf Marjeya have refused to endorse Ahmenijad. If they endorse Ahmenijad too, then I suspect the international community will unite behind Ahmenijad

So far the US, EU, India, Australia and Japan have not endorsed Ahmenijad's reelection. Does anyone know where South Korea, Thailand and Mexico are on the Iranian election?

Has Khamenei already won? Or is it too soon to state this definitively?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at June 23, 2009 3:28 PM

Venezuela's endorsement can be safely ignored as far as reading the international community is concerned. Chavez is developing close ties with the government in Tehran, and I would expect that his endorsement would be as automatic as that of Lebanese Hezbollah. The others can't be so readily dismissed, particularly those of Russia and China (which are fairly large countries with some pull internationally).

As for the three that you asked about, I don't know where they stand officially but I'd hazard a guess that -

South Korea probably opposes the results for two reasons. First, they're a relatively free nation with a Western-style successful democracy and endorsing an obviously rigged election causes the population at large to sour on the party in power. Second, there are indications that North Korea has been involved in Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, and anything involving nukes and North Korea is a cause of serious concern in Seoul.

Mexico probably has more pressing concerns than Iran at the moment, but Mexico's close proximity to the US coupled with the obvious vote rigging leads me to suspect that the government in Mexico City would refuse to endorse for the time being.

Posted by: junior Author Profile Page at June 24, 2009 11:40 AM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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