The Iranian regime has begun its partial recount in the presidential election that created an eruption in unrest.  Don’t think for a moment that the mullahs will leave this to chance, though.  In the first reports from the review, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reports that Ahmadinejad has increased his lead over Mirhossein Mousavi:

A partial recount of Iran’s disputed election won by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began on Monday, but one defeated reformist candidate said an annulment of the poll was “the only way to regain the people’s trust.”

In a sign that the process would not put into question Ahmadinejad’s victory, IRNA news agency said recounting so far in one Tehran district gave him more votes than in the June 12 poll that unleashed the worst unrest since the 1979 revolution.

Witnesses reported an increased police presence in some Tehran squares ahead of the expected announcement of the recount outcome later on Monday.One witness said dozens of riot police vehicles were driving toward southern Tehran.

Pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karoubi, fourth in the official count, reiterated his call for the vote to be annulled in a letter to Iran’s top legislative body, the Guardian Council, which is recounting a random 10 percent of the votes.

This time, the regime knows what will happen when it announces that they’re sticking with their original story.  They want to have their assets in place to contain the rage that will once again erupt, especially if they try to tell Iranians that they undercounted Ahmadinejad’s votes the first time around.  When they roll out that conclusion, look for the lid to blow once again in Iran.

The mullahs are doing nothing but compounding their problem.  They have lost legitimacy with the Iranian public, thanks to the clumsy attempt at election rigging, which exposed the supposed holy men as liars.  Combined with the claim of divine judgment by the supposedly infallible Supreme Leader, the entire religious raison d’être of the regime has collapsed.  The use of the Basij to beat dissenters only underscored their loss of legitimacy.  Now they’re busily making up another result, and this time explicitly will make it stick by force.

An immediate annulment and revote would have avoided all of this.  That option disappeared the moment that Ali Khamenei declared Ahmadinejad’s “victory” divine.  Iran has now explicitly become a police state, and the mullahs no longer religious figures but simply greedy, grasping tyrants clinging to power.  That is in itself a revolution, and one that has a finite limit to its existence.