Did Iran concoct election results before the election?

posted at 1:35 pm on June 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Guardian reports that several different sets of election figures now float around Iran, showing wildly different outcomes of the recently botched election.  One set, though appears to predate the election itself.  Did the Iranians model a landslide Ahmadinejad win and then send the figures to the polling stations?

Amid a swirl of rumour, two alternative sets of statistics purporting to represent the reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi as the “true” winner of Iran’s disputed presidential election have been circulating in Tehran.

Their authenticity is impossible to gauge. One set, attributed to an “informed source” in the interior ministry and appearing on Iranian opposition websites, shows Mousavi winning 21.3m votes, or 57.2% of the total – enough to give him outright victory without a second-round run-off. …

The figures have been accompanied by claims from unnamed interior ministry sources that fake statistics were fed into a software program and then distributed to vote counts among polling stations to produce a plausible outcome. The same sources have also claimed that the interior ministry’s statements announcing the results were prepared before Friday night’s count.

James Joyner wonders whether an actual Mousavi blowout didn’t prompt the immediate crackdown on protests:

Only time will tell if these claims are genuine, but a blowout this size would certainly explain why the Iranian government wasted no time in violently cracking down on peaceful protests. And it’s worth mentioning that the poll that my colleague Dave Schuler linked to earlier today showed Ahmadinejad with only 34% support with a 3.5% margin of error three weeks ago, so 28% for Ahmadinejad is not outside the realm of possibility.

In Iran’s case, the quick oppression would have come regardless of how big Mousavi won, but the Iranians may have had a pretty good idea of the scale of the protests ahead of time.  I doubt that we’ll ever get a straight story on the actual results; if the mullahs are even barely sentient, they would have tubed the evidence of fraud after committing it.  The only numbers that they will produce will be the official numbers from the election, whether they were pre-programmed or not, unless they get to the last extremity and frame Ahmadinejad for the fraud.

This is the danger for despots when they conduct elections as covers for their tyranny and/or oppression.  Ukraine’s ruling class had a firm grip on power until they botched the effort to rig an election, and they touched off a grassroots revolution that put them out of power.  Elections offer some hope of self-determination, and when they get exposed as frauds, the disillusionment leads to a rage that would have taken years to build, if ever.  Hopefully, the Iranian mullahs will learn this lesson the hard way.

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“Did Iran concoct election results before the election?”

I don’t know.

Kevin M on June 15, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Obama To Talk About Iran At 5pm?

MB4 on June 15, 2009 at 2:33 PM

$10 (donated to the artillery charity of your choice) if Barry doesn’t say…

1. It is none of our business

2. We embrace the Iranian people as we drive by.

Limerick on June 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM

What’s fascinating is that you all are following the cable news, as though that is legitimate.

I lost faith in them.

Journalism, real journalism, doesn’t exist right now.

We don’t even know how votes are counted there.

There are no facts.

AnninCA on June 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Kevin M on June 15, 2009 at 2:35 PM

I don’t believe he was asking you directly.

lorien1973 on June 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

There are no facts.

AnninCA on June 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Written like the newspeak writer you are, tokyoroseann.

FAILED TROLL.

JiangxiDad on June 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

the regular army won’t move it’ll be the Pasdaran and their surrogates like the Basij militas that are actually on the streets with orders not to shoot yet. There are also radio reports that have been twittered that there are Arabs working in the Basij cracking heads. Palestinians, Lebanese Hezbollah, and even one that suggested some Venezuelan thugs there (that one rumor was out yesterday)

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Yeah, so far Iran’s regular army has been sitting this out… and I can see a situation where they will use the “irregulars” to forment chaos, then send in the regulars to impose martial law…. essentialy using their own violence as the excuse to crush dissent.

But that depends on the Army staying loyal to the present regime… or whether some enterprising General can see this as a way to gain power (think Napoleon and his “whiff of grapeshot”).

Its possible that this was planned ahead of time…

Buts its also possible that they got caught by events, suddenly realized they were going to lose the election, stuffed the ballot box in a hurry… and were not ready for the now happening protests.

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Limerick on June 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Lim, did you email me?

upinak on June 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

What’s fascinating is that you all are following the cable news, as though that is legitimate.

There you have it folks. AnninCA just disavowed CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and several others. Remember that when she reaches into the magic bag of facts and figures.

Limerick on June 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Lim, did you email me?

upinak on June 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Twice…once last night, once today. ‘Z’

Limerick on June 15, 2009 at 2:42 PM

The world is upside down.

LA has more injuries and more dangerous riots than in Iran.

faraway on June 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Lim tankies… just “checkin”.

upinak on June 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Limerick on June 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

I was hired to keep track of her, so I’ll save her comment. You enjoy yourself.

JiangxiDad on June 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Did Iran concoct election results before the election?

Of course they did!!!

n0doz on June 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

The world is upside down.

LA has more injuries and more dangerous riots than in Iran.

faraway on June 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Are you trying to draw any equivalencies? Do the riots in LA somehow justify the repression in Tehran, since there is bad stuff happening in lots of places? Does the fact that we have riots in the US excuse the gov’t in Iraq?

JiangxiDad on June 15, 2009 at 2:46 PM

given the brain power of our cuurent admin, maybe it’s best if we just wait and see…

We know for sure what ever this administration does will be the wrong thing to do. They are so very good at making bad decisions then making worse ones to cover them up.

Franklyn on June 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

No what I was trying to say is the Army is unreliable and will most likely not follow orders.

The Pasdaran on the other hand (the revolutionary guard) is the real source of power and since I think it is they and not the mullahs that have conducted this coup, they will kill whomever gets in their way. The Guard also controls groups like the Basij and Ansar al Heabollah that are on the streets alongside the police right now. They have been ordered not to shoot yet. Which is why Mousavi has told his supporters not to use violence to provoke the regime to further violence because it’ll be a blood bath.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 2:48 PM

It COULD be that this is simply a highly divided country.

AnninCA on June 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

A highly divided country? With hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of unarmed Iranian citizens being bullied and murdered by the government. Yes, it does look that way.
What would a Democrat who cares about international and national security suggest we do?

Loxodonta on June 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1192872/Guantanamo-4-hit-shops-day-freedom.html

booter on June 15, 2009 at 1:43 PM

That made me very angry at this president’s continued pattern of appeasement to Islamic thugs.

Loxodonta on June 15, 2009 at 2:54 PM

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I see what your saying… but…

The regular Army still exists, and still has a lot of pride in its Persian heritage.

The Army is the Wild Card IMO.

It could just sit it out.
It could side with the existing Gov.

or… it “could”, as history has shown in other situation, end up with parts of it supporting the “revolution”.

I’m thinking Naval Infantry during the Russian Rev

It becomes a question of how soon, or if, a Persian General can stomach Arabic Hez and Hamas thugs KILLING citizens.

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I’m not sure. I don’t think Iran is perpetually doomed to be a fanatical Islamic state. It was once a strategic and military ally of the US, and no threat to Israel. I’m not saying that results in Iran today will lead to that type of situation anytime soon, or that Obama will do anything right with respect to Iran, but a friendly Persia as a counterweight to other regional forces is ok.

JiangxiDad on June 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Yeah Iran was our great mideast Ally until Carter sold them out and now they are not. That being said do you think it will be easier to get regime change in Iran now or when they get nukes? Oh and lets make believe we actually have a real president serving US interests and not his ego.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Lox.. what is the first initial of your name?

upinak on June 15, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Does ACORN have a franchise in Tehran?

BobMbx on June 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Lets hope R13. If the Army gets sick of the violence they could move against the IRGC and then its really on, although the regular army is made up of consripts while the Guard are hardened. Then add this into the mix how long before military on military violence erupts before the regime picks a fight with the Israelis or us in the gulf?

interesting stuff brother.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Lets hope R13. If the Army gets sick of the violence they could move against the IRGC and then its really on, although the regular army is made up of consripts while the Guard are hardened. Then add this into the mix how long before military on military violence erupts before the regime picks a fight with the Israelis or us in the gulf?

interesting stuff brother.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Worse, what happens if they pick a fight, and P.BO back down?

Count to 10 on June 15, 2009 at 3:04 PM

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

The only thing I know about Iran that makes it much different from other muslim countries in the region is that is has a pre-islamic historical past that was great. Because the majority is Persian, well-educated, and familiar with the west, they have a different mindset than the “arab street.” I don’t know if the typical Persian cares much about the Palis, and the cynical game the arabs are playing with them over Israel. I don’t know if the typical Persian cares one way or the other about Israel. I don’t know if the typical Persian isn’t more interested in America than in arab stuff. So I don’t know if the typical Persian is interested in being a nuclear armed regional power, except perhaps for balance of power reasons. I don’t think I answered your question, but Iran is a historical player in the region, along with Russia and Turkey. Sooner or later, that will reassert itself, and they will need alliances with people like us.

JiangxiDad on June 15, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Count to 10 on June 15, 2009 at 3:04 PM

OMG! That hadn’t even ocurred to me. I keep thinking we’ll act rationally. Freaking nightmare this cretin in the white house!

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 3:09 PM

interesting stuff brother.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Yeah, if the IRGC and the Regular army threw down it would be really interesting.

Iran Iraq war ended in 1988… so over 20 years ago… and the Iranian regular army pretty much sucked back then… wave attacks by lightly armed troops would essentialy run the Iraqi armor out of ammo… so neither group really has large amounts of combat Vets left, although there are reports the IRGC were supporting and training some of the insurgents in Iraq… and of course Hez and Hamas…

By Western Standards Iran’s Regular Army is pretty much a joke… but… IRGC is trained in assymetric warfare, which you realy don’t want to unleash on your own country.

Add in we really don’t know how much Command and Control the Government has over various troops… and…

We live in interesting times, as in the Chinese curse…

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 3:14 PM

We live in interesting times, as in the Chinese curse…

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 3:14 PM

That was a given after Nov. 4.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Pictures

MB4 on June 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM

We live in interesting times, as in the Chinese curse…

Romeo13 on June 15, 2009 at 3:14 PM

A well written and produced movie is interesting.

This…this is damned dangerous.

We now have an Iranian lunatic who will claim to have a mandate (and I don’t mean a date with a guy…well…maybe in his case) to eradicate Israel from “the face of the planet”, a POTUS who has shown great indifference to the future of Israel bordering on abandonment, and a growing sense of “on our own” in Israel.

If somebody twitches the wrong way…look out.

BobMbx on June 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

BobMbx on June 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Hah! throw in Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and AlQaeda on Israels borders, The Arab backed Sunnis and the Iranian backed Shiite in Iraq about to throw down, The North Korean weapons bazaar in Damascus, the afghan theater going down the crapper, the Pakistani implosion, and the DPRK nuclear saber rattling, and the strategic retrenchment we have faced in 5 months (5!) due to the reckless cowardice of Obama and one twitch is going to be the least of the planets problems. The Israelis are going to move and it’ll be more than a twitch.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

As Prof. Jacobsen asked over at Legal Insurrection, did ACORN have a branch office in Tehran? Blatant electoral fraud also set off the Phillipines in the mid-80’s. It hasn’t seem to do much here in the U.S. yet, though it should when we have areas reporting more votes than registered voters and the left fighting all attempts at voter verification.

Wolf Howling on June 15, 2009 at 3:42 PM

JiangxiDad on June 15, 2009 at 3:06 PM

You know that has me thinking do you think its in the interest of the Arabs that we mend fences with the Iranians. Would we need them and their oil as much if we had Iran in our corner again? How do you think China views a US/Iranian thaw? A US Iranian may not be in the interests of many players allied or adversary.

Interesting stuff to ponder.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Here is what I was looking for

John Bolton explains what is really going on in Iran.

faraway on June 15, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Hard-liners like Ahmadinejad want to continue Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and boast about “wiping Israel off the map.” By contrast, the moderates want to continue Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs but remain silent, thus more effectively deluding many willing Westerners.

faraway on June 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Peanut Carter probably thinks Ahmahnutjob is misunderstood like his other buddies Hugo and Fidel (and dirt-napping Yasser).

viking01 on June 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM

upinak on June 15, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Sorry for the delayed response, was troll hunting elsewhere. If you got a name in my email, it is incorrect, and I am closing that account this week anyway. So, will email the address after I set up new account.

Loxodonta on June 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Why would the Mullahs want to rig the election? They chose all the candidates and they retain ultimate power no matter who is in office.
percysunshine on June 15, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Answer: To uncover centers of unrest – the leaders, supporters, spies – and them eliminate them. This is how it works elsewhere. Once the core of the internal opposition is eliminated, then the rulers are free to move on with more extreme measures.

Keep in mind the Iranian leaders think wholesale maryterdom is a good thing – the more of their population that dies in the “good” fight against “evil” the better.

This so-called election is nothing more than the precursor to allow Iran to nuke Israel, Rome and NYC without fear of internal unrest.

Friendly21 on June 15, 2009 at 4:23 PM

The people that did this to their own are the people Obama trusts with a nuke.

http://twitpic.com/7hlsf

Obama is a menace to our security.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 4:47 PM

faraway on June 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Here’s the next part of Bolton’s analysis that faraway left out:

In fact, with careful outside support, the post-election outrage in Iran, with time, could grow
suffieciently to reverse the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and replace it with a system of representative government. What may be the most positive outcome from what the defeated Mousavi called this “dangerous charade” is that Iranians — and Westerners — will now realize there can be no true democracy as long as the Islamic Revolution remains in power.

Vera71 on June 15, 2009 at 7:35 PM