The British paper printed an article today that is critical of Rafsanjani as the likely next Iranian president:
Britain adopted a more confrontational policy towards Iran yesterday when officials assailed the credibility of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the likely winner of Friday’s presidential election run-off.
Many Iranian reformists, alarmed that his opponent, the hardline former mayor of Teheran Mahmood Ahmadinejad, came second in the initial round of voting, have called on supporters to switch their votes to the 70-year-old Mr Rafsanjani despite the fact that he is a veteran of the regime.
The wily cleric, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, has cast himself as a centrist, and has dropped several hints that he was open to dealing with America.
But a senior British diplomat dismissed Mr Rafsanjani’s reputation as a “pragmatist”, and cast doubt over whether he would make it easier to resolve the crisis over Teheran’s nuclear programme.
“It’s important that people do not see Rafsanjani as a white knight. He has been president for eight years, and a lot of bad things happened in those eight years,” he said. “He does not have a record of reform, co-operation with the West or abiding by international standards.
My question is why the US media is not reporting the same thing. The MSM still believes this election was fair and honest.
The electoral fiasco of June 17 has shaken both of these convictions. They couldn?t even stage a phony election without appearing inept and thuggish, which is certainly not the image they wanted to send to the world. And the spectacle of intense internal conflict among leading figures in the Islamic republic makes me wonder if the revolution is beginning to devour its own fathers and sons.
First, the numbers. The regime had made it clear that the size of the turnout would indicate its legitimacy with the public, so they had to come up with big numbers. After hours of hilarious confusion, during which the “official” numbers oscillated wildly and different vote totals were announced by the interior ministry and the Council of Guardians, the regime finally decided to claim that something like 65 percent of eligible Iranians had voted. But most clear-eyed observers with the freedom to move around the country and actually go to polling places, found very few voters. The Mujahedin Khalq, the longtime allies of Saddam Hussein who have long been a source of information on things Iranian, estimated that the real figure was about 10 percent.
The lowest participation ? maybe as low as 3-5 percent ? was in Khuzestan Province, where there had been bombings and protests in recent weeks. But anecdotal evidence from all over the country indicated a very low turnout, as of late afternoon. Despite this, the mullahs trotted out rosy reports of big voter turnouts, and even broadcast “live” TV coverage of voters queued up, waiting patiently to make their voices heard.
The only problem was that the pictures were from past elections. One woman called up a Tehran radio station to say that she was sitting at home watching the tube, and saw herself voting. Very droll indeed.
Realizing that a major fiasco was brewing (a source inside the interior ministry informs me that just before closing time, only seven million people had voted) the regime mobilized its forces. First they announced that the closing time would be extended by several hours. Then the Revolutionary Guards and the fanatical Basijis (the religious paramilitary force) started rounding up their followers, along with governmental employees and anyone who could be blackmailed or intimidated (students were told that they could not attend university unless they voted), and dragged them to the polls. Even so, by early morning the regime ? which had millions of blank ballots in reserve, in order to produce whatever outcome they desired ? was staggering about, trying to decide what it should announce. Differing results came out of different buildings, and the top candidates accused one another of fraud, and worse.
The New York Times tells it nicely:
The government announced at the close of the polls that there would probably be a runoff between two of three candidates: Mr. Rafsanjani, Dr. Mostafa Moin, a reform candidate, and a former police chief, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a conservative. But by 7 a.m. the next day, a spokesman for the Guardian Council, which is not supposed to be involved in the vote count, announced that the mayor of Tehran was in first place.
Even before final results were announced Saturday night, Mr. Karroubi, the former speaker of Parliament, said in a news conference that the election had been rigged. He was joined later by Dr. Moin, the reform candidate who finished in fifth place, who charged interference by the military, though he did not say whom or what he was referring to.
The government continued Sunday to deny the accusations of election fraud. The Guardian Council announced Sunday night on state-run news broadcasts that no one had filed a formal complaint with the council and that unless one was presented by the end of the day Monday, the runoff would go ahead on Friday as planned.
Karroubi had the bad taste to point out that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former mayor of Tehran, and an infamous former chief of the Special Unit of the Revolutionary Guards (the unit in charge of terror and assassination) had been awarded about a million votes between three and four o?clock in the morning. Indeed, Mustafa Moein, the leading “reformist” in the race, was actually winning at three, but dropped out of contention within the hour, as Rafsanjani consolidated his hold on first place. If the official results stand ? as they surely will, for anyone who present a complaint will face an exceedingly unpleasant short-term future ? Rafsanjani will face Ahmadinejad next Friday. For the record, let?s file away Moein?s lament. “I declare that what happened was an extra-legal move to deprive one candidate of his right and to pull up another candidate…We must take seriously the danger of fascism…”
Robert Mayer has more:
Fearing a complete shut out, they extended the voting time by four hours, saying that the lines were so long that it was necessary. Meanwhile, they broadcasted images and video from previous elections. They made several polling places too small so that lines were forced to develop outside. The journalists, who had to be accompanied by a regime agent and could only go where permitted, only saw these stations.
Yet, they continue to report as if they know with authority what the hell is going on. The regime is playing the media like a greased harmonica. All that they can really report is ?The Interior Ministry says turnout is this high,? or ?The Guardian Council says it?s higher,? without ever being able to investigate outside of their hotel rooms if that is true or not.
It?s because of this that the real story isn?t getting out of Iran: Almost nobody voted. It was a total rejection of the Islamic government. The regime has zero legitimacy.
He even has pictures of normally busy streets completely barren near these voting places.
But with all that, the US media is completely ignoring the facts about this election and playing into the hands of the Iranian leadership.
The only paper who actually printed something even remotely critical of these elections is the NYT….gasp!
In its crackdown on Monday, the hard-line government shut down two newspapers that had been planning to publish Mr. Karroubi’s charges of election fraud. Mr. Karroubi said the election was rigged by elements of the Iranian military, along with militias, known as Basiji, which are controlled by the hard-liners and the Guardian Council, the cleric-controlled panel that has final say over all government actions. On Monday, he resigned his government posts and vowed to start a new opposition party.
Critics of the election did not expressly say so, but it was clear they believed that the government was trying to push through the candidacy of the ultra-conservative appointed mayor of Tehran, Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Mr. Ahmadinejad, who was a Basiji and a member of the Revolutionary Guard, catapulted from near the bottom of the pack of eight candidates to make it into the runoff against Mr. Rafsanjani. He has dismissed the charges of fraud, saying they are the words of a sore loser, and has focused on campaigning for the runoff.
So now the government is shutting down papers…sounds like democracy is alive and well inside Iran.
History is the movement of the masses. What moves the masses and when, is History’s best guarded mystery. In 1933, German masses moved behind the delusions of a certain Adolf. Within a few years, they all moved against Euro-Asia, west and east… READ MORE
In 1979, Iranian masses moved behind the psychotic believes of a dizzy old man, by the name of Ruhollah the “Soul of God”, regarding the self and the world outside the self. Within a few months, masses in the entire region were moving against each other, moved, in their spirit and actions, by the psychotic delirium that had spewed out of the “Soul of God” and the Iranian masses.
26 years later, facts and figures are here, on the 1979 balance sheet, thick as sorrow, dark as shame.
Fact 1. Two days after the first round of the islamic presidential masquerade, reported worldwide as “competitive”, “open”, even “democratic” elections, Fars News Agency reports on the state of “islamic Iran”: “Based on a variety of criteria and indices, including nutrition, housing, and clothing, the minimal number of Iranians living below the absolute poverty line is above 40% of the total population”. In a later report, the same agency puts the line at US per person per month, or news.pl.9 US per day per person in metropolitan areas. The country, revealed a presidential candidate during his campaign, has earned hundreds of billions of dollars, since 1979, and, said the candidate, no one knows where and how that money has been spent. Well, at least, we now know where it hasn’t been! Readers should keep in mind that the number given above, 40% of the population, relates to those living below the absolute poverty line. There are also those living slightly above and millions of others living in what is called by economists relative poverty.
Fact 2. “Iran’s natural environment is destroyed for up to 4.8 billion US dollars each year, representing 7.4% of the annual GDP”, says a prominent figure of the new islamic elite, Maasoomeh Ebtekar, an ex-hostage taker and now Head of the Environmental Organization in Iran. Iran ranks a bottom 136 in the latest analysis by Columbia University for Sustainable Environment worldwide.
Fact 3. 26 years after the “glorious revolution” that was to bring the “just government of Ali (first shia imam in 12-imam shi’ism)” on earth, Iranians are facing a choice as dark as the absence of any choice: Rafsanjani or Ahmadinejad, the “shark”, the “Red Eminence” of 26 years of murders and “chain assassinations” or the “hit man” of the islamic Revolutionary Guards Special Unit!!
Fact 4. “Prominent Iranian intellectuals, artists, and journalists” are rallying behind the “shark” or the “red eminence” in what the French AFP has dubbed, in an astonishing lack of critical analysis and … common sense, the “Iranian remake of the Chirac – Le Pen confrontation on April 21, 2002” !! 26 years ago, Iranian intellectuals rallied behind the “Soul of God”, and now, behind the “red eminence” of Ruhollah’s legacy, all in the name of “equality” and “liberty” !! As one of the “prominent intellectuals” has said, in a move to justify his rallying behind the master murderer, “this is no time for trial and error any more”! The “prominent intellectual” does not explain when “the trial” or “the error” was made. In 1979? Anytime thereafter?
Indeed, after more then two decades since that bullshit revolution the Iranian people face a future that is still bleak….either Rafsanjani or Ahmadinejad.
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