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Iran Roundup

As you certainly have heard, Iran is in the grip of some serious social unrest following an election that may or may not have been stolen by Ahmadinejad. Here's just a little link roundup to get you up to speed.First, make sure you're up on how Iranian politics works by consulting this chart I posted about last week. Then, here are just a few of the many American commentators on why the election results are almost certainly fraudulent:Laura Rosen writes at The New Yorker that: "What is most shocking is not the fraud itself, but that it was brazen and entirely without pretext. The final figures put Mousavi's vote below thirty-five per cent, and not because of a split among reformists; they have Karroubi pulling less than one per cent of the vote. To announce a result this improbable, and to do it while locking down the Interior Ministry, sending squads of Revolutionary Guards into the streets, blacking out Internet and cell-phone communication, and shuttering the headquarters of the rival candidates, sends a chilling message to the people of Iran."Gary Sick writes at TPM that "the willingness of the regime simply to ignore reality and fabricate election results without the slightest effort to conceal the fraud represents a historic shift in Iran's Islamic revolution. All previous leaders at least paid lip service to the voice of the Iranian people. This suggests that Iran's leaders are aware of the fact that they have lost credibility in the eyes of many (most?) of their countrymen, so they are dispensing with even the pretense of popular legitimacy in favor of raw power."And Juan Cole at Informed Consent compiles a list of evidence that the election was stolen, including: "It is claimed that Ahmadinejad won the city of Tabriz with 57%. His main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is an Azeri from Azerbaijan province, of which Tabriz is the capital. Mousavi, according to such polls as exist in Iran and widespread anecdotal evidence, did better in cities and is popular in Azerbaijan. Certainly, his rallies there were very well attended. So for an Azeri urban center to go so heavily for Ahmadinejad just makes no sense."Here are the official results by province, whether or not they are to be believed.Protests by Mousavi's supporters have filled the streets since the results were announced. Photos here and here.Today, it was announced that the Supreme Leader has ordered that the election results be examined for any fraud. It seems to me unlikely that the Guardian Council is going to find anything wrong with the election results that the Supreme Leader has already blessed, but rather use this as another piece of evidence that the elections were fair. People's protests like this usually need some aspect of the armed services to get behind them, and from what I've read, it doesn't sound like the Republican Guard are particularly sympathetic.Finally, you can follow Mousavi's Twitter feed here.Photo by Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images via The New York Times

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