Khamenei: Rigging? What rigging?

posted at 8:46 am on June 19, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Many of us wondered why the Iranian regime decided to rig the election so obviously that it would almost certainly result in an eruption of anger from the people of Iran and condemnation around the world.  Today, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei offered an answer to that question — and a warning to his subjects:

Iran’s supreme leader said Friday that the country’s disputed presidential vote had not been rigged, sternly warning protesters of a crackdown if they continue massive demonstrations demanding a new election.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sided with hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offered no concessions to the opposition. He effectively closed any chance for a new vote by calling the June 12 election an “absolute victory.”

The speech created a stark choice for candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters: Drop their demands for a new vote or take to the streets again in blatant defiance of the man endowed with virtually limitless powers under Iran’s constitution. …

“If the difference was 100,000 or 500,000 or 1 million, well, one may say fraud could have happened. But how can one rig 11 million votes?” Khamenei asked during Friday prayers at Tehran University.

Well, that question has already been answered, which was that the results could have been pre-determined.  The Guardian (UK) reported on Monday that the mullahs had sent the results to the polling stations ahead of the ballots, a nifty trick that allows any recount to substantiate itself.  If that happened, then the wide gap would allow Khamenei to make exactly this argument — that no one could question a landslide result.

The ultimatum was not unexpected.  Most people knew that the Friday prayers would be a line in the sand, although perhaps some held out hope for a more conciliatory approach from Khamenei. Instead, he doubled down on his infallibility, as well as his absolute power.  In fact, Khamenei reminded his subjects where the real power lies:

He stressed that the four candidates were part of the country’s Islamic system and reminded listeners that Mousavi was prime minister of Iran when Khamenei was president in the 1980s.

“All of them belong to the system. It was a competition within the ruling system,” he said.

We have made this point a number of times, and it bears repeating once again: Mousavi was a candidate approved by the mullahs.  He’s part of the “ruling system,” not a “governing system.”  While he may have some stylistic differences with Ahmadinejad, Mousavi takes his orders from the same people as Ahmadinejad, which means that a Mousavi win would not make a tremendous difference in Iranian policy.  Barack Obama was correct when he pointed this out earlier this week.

However, the people of Iran also clearly understand this.  The crisis has moved beyond Mousavi, and Khamenei knows that.  The people in the street may shout Mousavi’s name, but their protests have evolved into a protest against being ruled and not governed.  Mousavi could choose to join that fight, or he could choose to remain within the ruling system, but the people on the street now may choose to fight absolute rule without him.  Khamenei can’t back down without losing his conceit of infallibility in temporal matters, and if the Iranians refuse to return to the yoke of tyranny, then this will get ugly very, very quickly.


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In his speech today, Khamenei blamed Obama and the Zionists, “who control the evil media,” (very original your Ugliness). He warned the protesters that, “if political groups want to ignore the law and break it, they will be responsible for the blood and violence.” This comment was followed by “death to Israel” chants from the crowd of (god, these people are so redundant). Then he said that Obama sends mix messages and Iran would not negotiate with the US anytime soon: “Obama said that he waits to see what would be the results of the protests then he sends letters that he is ready for an honorable dialogue. To which of these utterance we suppose to believe?”

Obviously the NoBama Desmond’s “Switzerland” strategy has failed. I really think the US (and the UN) missed a great opportunity here by not standing strong with the protesters. The momentum is now lost. I ask: where is the ObamaFail hashtag on teitter?

“The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind”

Michelle Dubois on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM

I wish someone would ask Barry who MLK would support.

JiangxiDad on June 19, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Doesn’t matter. MLK wasn’t The One.

Loxodonta on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM

40 million hand written ballots counted in four and a half hours.

Anyone who believes that wears tin-foil underware, or jackboots.

Limerick on June 19, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Or a turban.

MarkTheGreat on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Just for fun, wouldn’t it be possible to drop the senile peanut-farmer in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Tehran?

PimFortuynsGhost on June 19, 2009 at 9:45 AM

The crowd would probably rip him to shreds. But the Mullahs might have a chance of surviving if they pick Jimmuh for their new leader–he’d keep Iran’s nuclear program going, and try to smash Israel. They could do worse.

JiangxiDad on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM

JiangxiDad on June 19, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Ogabe couldn’t care less. Now, the pedophile Franklin Marshall Davis–that, to Ogabe, is a real role model.

PimFortuynsGhost on June 19, 2009 at 9:49 AM

But how can one rig 11 million votes?

The same way you rig 1 vote?

Is this guy more clueless than Obama?

Abby Adams on June 19, 2009 at 9:49 AM

But how can one rig 11 million votes?

Dear Leader is sending a “fact” finding mission over to Iran right now.

rbj on June 19, 2009 at 9:50 AM

40 million hand written ballots counted in four and a half hours.

Anyone who believes that wears tin-foil underware, or jackboots.

Limerick on June 19, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Maybe all of Mousavi’s votes were lost by the US Postal Service.

Loxodonta on June 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Kissinger was on Greta and he said “even tho I supported McCain” he thought what Obama was saying (or not saying) was right.

B Man on June 19, 2009 at 9:40 AM

And I would have agreed up until today. The not unexpected way the rigged election was affirmed (along with the threat for civil crackdowns on protests) changes the dynamic and it is time for the pathetic loser in the White House to do something. The time for worry about fanning anti-American sentiment in Iran is over. The US should symbolically join the voices of freedom at the barricades. Sadly I think this president is going to turn the volume on the stereo up so that he isn’t able to hear those voices.

highhopes on June 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

And I would have agreed up until today. The not unexpected way the rigged election was affirmed (along with the threat for civil crackdowns on protests) changes the dynamic and it is time for the pathetic loser in the White House to do something. The time for worry about fanning anti-American sentiment in Iran is over. The US should symbolically join the voices of freedom at the barricades. Sadly I think this president is going to turn the volume on the stereo up so that he isn’t able to hear those voices.

highhopes on June 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Yup… Hamlet is now in charge.

Pianobuff on June 19, 2009 at 9:53 AM

All malicious men believe they are doing what is best for others. Especially tyrannts. The real difference between Barney Fife and Obama is not intent but recognition of ones imperfections.

A tyrannt always knows what’s best.

shick on June 19, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Obama doing what he thinks is “best for others” is just the PR. He’s proving time and again that the most important thing in the world to him is his ego, and that the greatest enemy is anything that challenges or undermines that ego.

I don’t think Obama would care one bit if half the world was nuked or if half the population starved to death because of his policies if the alternative to that was suffering even a slight ego bruise. Obama’s inflated ego and belief in himself as being a mythical godlike figure transcends all.

That is a dangerous personality to have in a leader. Every other notable tyrant in world history had a similar makeup: Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, etc…

wildcat84 on June 19, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Maybe all of Mousavi’s votes were lost by the US Postal Service.

Loxodonta on June 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Accounting error in Turbo-tax.

highhopes on June 19, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Time to rig some ayatollahs to some streetlamps.

They say: “Hang the will of the people!”

Time for the people to return the favor.

With rope.

profitsbeard on June 19, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Now, the pedophile Franklin Marshall Davis–that, to Ogabe, is a real role model.

PimFortuynsGhost on June 19, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Not Barry’s first brush with pedophilia. Are you aware his brother “Samson” is a pedophile?

JiangxiDad on June 19, 2009 at 9:55 AM

With rope.

profitsbeard on June 19, 2009 at 9:54 AM

No offense intended to your screen name, but they could always hang them by their beards.

JiangxiDad on June 19, 2009 at 9:56 AM

He’s GOT to say something good today.
Even the people who were willing to live with him being silent are now demanding it.

B Man on June 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM

That’s because he knew it was an empty threat or a demand he deliver himself to be arrested. Mousavi is a rallying point at this moment and to exile him would merely add fuel to the fire not quell the protests.

highhopes on June 19, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Yes… they really cannot touch Mousavi right now without inflaming the situation.

Illinidiva on June 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM

But how can one rig 11 million votes?

Allow me to illustrate:

“The results are in. I got 10 million votes. My opponent got 1 million votes. Anyone who questions the results can speak with the people in the complaint department – those fellows in the uniforms with big guns.”

See?

Daggett on June 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Or a turban.

MarkTheGreat on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Funny you mention this. I pretty much equate turbans, the beards, and the sacks they make women wear as being the modern equivalent of the nazi swastika and the concentration camp stars.

wildcat84 on June 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM

That is a dangerous personality to have in a leader. Every other notable tyrant in world history had a similar makeup: Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, etc…

wildcat84 on June 19, 2009 at 9:53 AM

What is dangerous is that America elected a personality with a cult following, not a President. Like Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin; Obama doesn’t govern by the rule of law but, rather, by personality.

It is never a good thing when the personality is bigger than the office. George Washington understood this and though he used his followers to political advantage, he also knew where to draw the line and did such things as limit himself to two terms and refuse to be crowned king. Obama has no such filters and would already have planned out his coronation.

highhopes on June 19, 2009 at 9:59 AM

As to Mousavi being part of the ruling system, Yeltsin too was part of the ruling system before he reinvented himself. The idea that Mousavi would seize the moment and reinvent himself as actual democratic reformer is not at all far fetched and should be supported.

Personally I am just really glad Obama wasn’t president when the iron curtain came down. US support then was critical.

kittysaidwoof on June 19, 2009 at 10:01 AM

JiangxiDad at 9:56 AM-

No offense intended to your screen name…

My screen name is supposed to be an offense … to these mullahs, and all of their ilk.

…hang them by their beards.

Only if said beards were long enough to wrap around their crooked necks at least once… wouldn’t want them getting off with just a close shave.

profitsbeard on June 19, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Could someone ask Evan Thomas if this his idea of God-like behavior by The Won?

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2009 at 10:09 AM

That is a dangerous personality to have in a leader. Every other notable tyrant in world history had a similar makeup: Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, etc…

wildcat84 on June 19, 2009 at 9:53 AM

I’m not going to disagree with you. Instead I’ll listen to Living Colour’s Cult of Personality.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – (followed by guitar riff)

shick on June 19, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Wow, this is an Iran article.From the picture I thought we were still discussing David Letterman.

Jeff from WI on June 19, 2009 at 10:29 AM

So, the scam worked! Now they know where the danger to the regime lies.

OldEnglish on June 19, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Headlines this morning: Khameini blames US and Zionists.
Also the headline for any day in the past 30 years.

Give Khameini credit: he at least understands that if you have to tell a blatant lie, you might as well tell a really big one. Why claim you squeaked out a win by 10,000, when you can claim a win by millions?

tom on June 19, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Headlines this morning: Khameini blames US and Zionists.

So childish. Kids in Iran tell their teachers that a Jew stole their homework.

JiangxiDad on June 19, 2009 at 10:46 AM

This is shaping up to be a repeat of the events that led to the Iranian Revolution. The Shah did the very same thing in order to prop up his regime. Next step will be the arrests of prominent figures.

highhopes on June 19, 2009 at 9:44 AM

However, the revolution elements had Khomeni cooling his heels in Paris, waiting to swoop in and fill the vacuum. I don’t see Mousavi as being that charismatic leader,…however, his wife is the real rock star in the movement. I’ve read several accounts that the mullah’s biggest mistake was allowing her to gain recognition and become a Sarah Palin like figure. Wouldn’t that be something?

a capella on June 19, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Yawn…

…after what they did to the our beloved Shah this is exactly what they (the ruling thugs and the people who were duped into supporting them in the 70s) deserve.

Sadley, this time there isn’t millions upon million of dollars being pumped into the bank account of the opposition by by Jimmy Peanut Farmer and subversive U.S. foriegn policy trying to destabalize the region to undermine the USSR available to help the opposition.

Sorry to see so many of their children (now the 20 something youth) suffer since it was their parents who helped turn iran into a sh!thole, but this is a lesson they need to learn and i hope its a bitter bitter pill.

Also please lets not forget these idiots are demonstrating to get another one of the thugs appointed to the puppet slot.

That would be like Americans demonstrating and engaging in civil disobediance to replace David “Internet Astroturfer” Axelrod with Rahm *F@ck You We Won” Emmanuel.

The morons are being played again, only this time its not kissinger planning it out but a bunch of guys with beards and towels on their heads who call themselves the Supremes or something…poor DIana Ross, she should ask for royalties.

Freedom…if you are not willing to die for it, you don’t deserve it.

BillaryMcBush on June 19, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Doesn’t matter. MLK wasn’t The One

MLK would not have supported “The One” either.

If MLK wasn’t assassinated by that nutjob, he probably would have been our first black president.

Wolftech on June 19, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I think that the whole opposition movement is sort of provacative in the way that they’re handling things. They’re using the same tactics that was used against the the Shah thirty years ago… Implying that the Khameni regime basically had become like the Shah’s.

Illinidiva on June 19, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Wonder how much force the mullahs will use to maintain power, and will the army stand with them?

GarandFan on June 19, 2009 at 11:42 AM

CNN (kaff*hak) reports that not just Mousavi didn’t attend….Rafsanjani was absent also.

Limerick on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM

If Rafanjani really wanted, he could initiate an all out civil war in Iran.

ernesto on June 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Khamenei is a lying pile of camel dung. He knows the election was rigged, most likely because he sanctioned it. All the more reason why the old bag of gas should be ousted from power by the Iranian people.

pilamaye on June 19, 2009 at 12:16 PM

And now only 6% of Israelis see him as being pro-Israel.

Pianobuff on June 19, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Yet many Jewish Americans voted for him anyway. That’s something that will forever confound me.

Liberty or Death on June 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Khamenei today announced that he admires Barbara Boxer and the way she attacked that General. He also thought Dave’s 14 year old rape joke was hilarious. Says it happens every day there. He also says he enjoys eating out at the Olive Garden.

Jeff from WI on June 19, 2009 at 2:15 PM

There was a report on Fox News a few days ago showing a document supposedly leaked from the Iranian Interior Ministry, which showed an unofficial vote count with Mousavi winning with over 19 million votes, and Ahmadinejad coming in THIRD with less than 6 million votes.

I have no idea how reliable that document may be, but if the regime really knew that Ahmadinejad had lost badly, they may have decided to concoct a bald-faced lie as the only way to save Ahmadinejad.

But if Ahmadinejad had really lost by over 13 million votes, or a 3-to-1 margin, no wonder the protestors are so numerous and so sure of having been cheated–they would probably know by word-of-mouth how their friends and neighbors voted, and that the great majority of the country is on their side.

If the regime is aware of those results, would they dare to shoot the protestors with more than 3/4 of the country massed against them? Could some of the soldiers be convinced to join the protestors as the “wave of the future”, or would they stick to the diehard regime and only postpone an inevitable popular uprising?

Steve Z on June 19, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Apparently, they found ballot boxes on the road, so this has to be the most incompetent election cover-up evah.

Illinidiva on June 19, 2009 at 2:47 PM

There was a report on Fox News a few days ago showing a document supposedly leaked from the Iranian Interior Ministry, which showed an unofficial vote count with Mousavi winning with over 19 million votes, and Ahmadinejad coming in THIRD with less than 6 million votes.

I have no idea how reliable that document may be, but if the regime really knew that Ahmadinejad had lost badly, they may have decided to concoct a bald-faced lie as the only way to save Ahmadinejad.

But if Ahmadinejad had really lost by over 13 million votes, or a 3-to-1 margin, no wonder the protestors are so numerous and so sure of having been cheated–they would probably know by word-of-mouth how their friends and neighbors voted, and that the great majority of the country is on their side.

If the regime is aware of those results, would they dare to shoot the protestors with more than 3/4 of the country massed against them? Could some of the soldiers be convinced to join the protestors as the “wave of the future”, or would they stick to the diehard regime and only postpone an inevitable popular uprising?

Steve Z on June 19, 2009 at 2:28 PM

MSNBC reported that actually the REAL winner was Obama due to his, “almost god like demeanor”.

Jeff from WI on June 19, 2009 at 2:49 PM

“…a Mousavi win would not make a tremendous difference in Iranian policy. Barack Obama was correct when he pointed this out earlier this week.”

Then this…

“…on Fox News last night, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, noting that he was a McCain supporter, said that he thinks “the president has handled this well” ~ Henry Kissinger

So Ed; you, Henry and BHO are on the same page with respect to the present diplomacy?

Geezer on June 19, 2009 at 5:26 PM

When one rules with the power of GOD who needs to count votes anyway? God told them who was going to win and by how much! Allah be praised!

conservativecaveman on June 19, 2009 at 9:40 PM

My humble thought expressed and with all respect for and by those on the ground…in Teheran today.

“Mousavi is not Khomeini, and Khamenei is not the Shah.

Meaning, Khomeini would not hesitate to lead his followers to “martyrdom” in bloodshed and the Shah did not have the stomach for mass bloodshed.

This time the religious zealots are the ones holding power…”

A conundrum that the people of Iran face today and especially tomorrow!

“Allah-o Akbar…”
Shout it from the rooftops…!

Geezer on June 19, 2009 at 11:29 PM

“Allah-o Akbar…”

In the very midst of the dark night…over and over and over …again and again …again…!

Makes yah feel like a “homeless boy” were ever the hell you are…

Can you imagine total whinning shit like this… when you’re tryin’ to get some zzz’s…!

“Allah-o Akbar…”
“Allah-o Akbar…”
“Allah-o Akbar…”

Continue the use from the rooftops…
Yes…!

In the street…!
Hoooaaah…!~

Geezer on June 19, 2009 at 11:57 PM

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