Khamenei orders mullahs to probe vote count

posted at 8:47 am on June 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The protests and violence over last week’s elections in Iran have made an impact on the mullahs who clumsily appointed Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to another term as their mouthpiece.  In an attempt to mollify Iranians taking to the streets over the ridiculous vote tallies published by the government, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly recommended a Guardian Council probe into election irregularities.  They’re playing for time (via King Banaian):

Iran’s supreme leader ordered an investigation Monday into claims of fraud in the country’s presidential election, marking a turnaround by Iran’s most powerful figure and offering hope to opposition forces who have waged street clashes to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the powerful Guardian Council to examine the allegations by opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims widespread vote rigging and fraud in Friday’s election, state television reported.

“Issues must be pursued through a legal channel,” state TV quoted Mr. Khamenei as saying. The supreme leader said he has “insisted that the Guardian Council carefully probe this letter.” The day after the election, Mr. Khamenei urged the nation to unite behind Mr. Ahmadinejad and called the result a “divine assessment.”

So much for divine intervention.  Khamenei and the GC may need to find a way out of their predicament, and this could be the first signal that Ahmadinejad might have to go under the bus.  If the level of anger and unrest grows in Iran, the people will want to see some heads on spikes (perhaps literally), and the mullahs will want to ensure that theirs are not among them.

Of course, that’s why they have Ahmadinejad in the first place.  The mullahs use the president and the assembly for two reasons.  It gives the illusion of participatory democracy in a country strictly run by a panel of theocrats, which keeps the pressure off of the mullahs most of the time.   When the pressure becomes too intense, as it appears to be getting at the moment, this mechanism also provides handy patsies to toss to the crowds.

Don’t forget that the mullahs hand-picked these candidates from the beginning, including Mirhossein Mousavi, who apparently was meant to be a credibility-boosting loser for the Guardian Council but won a lot more votes than they had guessed he would.  The mullahs can put Mousavi in the office and still run the country just as they have done since 1979, as long as they don’t provoke a revolution by sticking with an unpopular mouthpiece and a badly-rigged election.  If the “probe” itself doesn’t calm the situation, the mullahs will discover (and undoubtedly “prove”) that Ahmadinejad corrupted the election, have him arrested, and likely executed quickly to sate the mobs — and to distract them from the real corruption in Iran.

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I love this from Fox News:

“Scuffles broke out as Ahmadinejad supporters, riding motorbikes and armed with sticks, attacked the demonstrators along the route.”

Ahmadinejad supporters on motorbikes armed with sticks – yea that’s what they were…

Mr_Magoo on June 15, 2009 at 11:45 AM

So let me get this straight – the guy who hand-picked the candidates for this “election”, and rigged the final outcome to give his candidate a landslide victory, is now ordering a “probe” into the election? Let’s just save a bunch of time and trot out Jimmy Carter now to “certify” the results – it’ll be the same outcome.

This is nothing more than Iran doing their part to “legitimize” Achmendinijad. Obama’s media is already working overtime on that on this side of the world. Clearly the talking points have gone out.

Gator Country on June 15, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Examine Khamenei’s photograph. Does he look oddly familiar? Perhaps a relative of Senators Specter and Snow?

Mason on June 15, 2009 at 12:17 PM

The Obama administration has secured the release of O.J. Simpson to assist in this important investigation, “To find the real votes.”

Once he has completed the mission he will be released to Bermuda, where he hopes to open a cutlery shop someday.

reaganaut on June 15, 2009 at 1:03 PM

A couple of days ago he called Ahmadinejad’s ‘victory’ the product of a divine assessment. How can he now say he got that wrong and retain any credibility with his ‘base’?
Khameni blinked. Divine dudes don’t blink. This is the beginning of the end, at the least.
ProfessorMiao on June 15, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Khackamamie’s base are Muslims. They believe whatever stupid things the mullahs tell them.

Right_of_Attila on June 15, 2009 at 2:42 PM

The more turmoil in Iran the better.

NoDonkey on June 15, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Perhaps so far as Persian secular revolutionaries want chaos in order to move through cover of violent distractions, IF they want that.

But not the better for the region necessarily. Terrorists flourish in chaos. They could overload and spill over worse into Iraq than ever since Hussein’s downfall.

maverick muse on June 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

how many Iranians there are who care enough about liberty to protect the liberties of those with whom they disagree. Jews, Christians, political opponents, the citizens of nearby states, to name just a few examples.

Loxodonta on June 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM

When your own world, neighborhood and apartment house is overrun by terrorists and violence, rudimentary survival overwhelms global concerns, particularly if you are responsible for the immediate security of your loved ones, and you don’t even have a voice concerning your well being, let alone the well being of people in other countries.

The Persians I heard of from my American friends living/working in Iran were the most civilized of people, the Good Samaritan sort of people who made certain to inform the Americans when to stay indoors and hide, and brought them groceries while the revolutionary thugs were our in force looking for targets to whip, beat, imprison or murder. The Persian I once worked with who escaped Iran when Khomeini took possession of that country was very cosmopolitan and behaved with the fair play of an egalitarian at work and at dinner parties.

I can hardly expect an entire nation of people to be so good or so bad as their leaders. After all, it would not be “kind” for God to judge all Americans by the likes of Obama’s administration. But so far as Iran is concerned, those I knew represented my own generation and my elders during the Carter administration. And as much as America has changed for the worse given progressive Socialism, as beautiful a land as Iran is, the Persians have been overrun by the likes of their terrorists at Mosques, in government, and everywhere for at least half a century. (I’ve already discussed Iran’s turmoils that Kermit Roosevelt promoted on another thread.)

I will note again that for any improvements towards human rights to be regained in Iran, it must come through the united force of the Iranian people. For any revolution to claim civilized intent to improve human rights, it must respect the women’s rights, not as property owned by men. And the last generation of women who were NOT impeded by nationalized Sharian law are the mothers of today’s young adults who are themselves disenfranchised.

But who are these Iranian children now grown into adults? Khomeini and Khameini have twisted everyone’s lives, dictating the education and all protocol modes of expression. This generation may be fighting against theocracy, but they’ve already been raised within it. America has no research reporters informing America as to what the score is, what the Iranian voters demands are, or their wish list.

So I agree with you; how would any American really know whom to “trust”, especially since Iranians all know better than to trust the CIA America that shifts per administration. The only single administration to maintain an established alliance with a Muslim people throughout his administration was President G.W. BUSH. But in so doing, it cost the possessions and lives of Iraq’s Christian population, a price America appears willing to pay (Clinton/Bush/Obama).

maverick muse on June 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM

he most certainly could not have done anything on his own without those who helped to organize the revolution who in turn were snuffed out if Khomeini didn’t “trust” them to obey without flinching.maverick muse @9:53 a.m.

Khomeini got exactly what he wanted. Ghotbzadeh did not.
myrenovations on June 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Thank you for supplying a name to represent the many that Khomeini outed at his first opportunity, as every pirate captain does to any who may threaten in competition to lead.

maverick muse on June 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM

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

Obama is a menace to our security.

elduende on June 15, 2009 at 4:48 PM

4. whataloadacrap08:

So Iran had an election, huh? Big deal! Stop deluding yourself about these 12th Century savages. They’re playing a zero sum game of global domination while we’re splitting Clintonesque hairs over the definition of the word “is”!
Iran is an islamic theocracy run in tandem by fascist clerics drooling over the legalities of buggering underage family members, and a bug eyed “Twelver” intent upon triggering a global nuclear war that will usher in a new era of Mohammedan supremacy in the world.
And guess what folks, the Iranian population supports these whackos! Abdullah Six-Pack is sucking this Koranic crap up by the freakin’ barrel full. The riots in TerrorRan aren’t the birth pangs of “freedom”, they’re an Islamic fist-fight over who gets the honor of blowing your infidel carcasses to little itzy-bitzy pieces of goop.
“Hope and Change” my a$$!
Jun 15, 2009 – 4:28 am

AMERICAN VETERAN on June 16, 2009 at 3:33 AM