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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Two Three must-read articles about Iran (plus $0.02 more)

Via the Huffington Post, this interview with a cleric from Qom will give you insight into the Iranian election (and much, much more) that you won't get anywhere else.

A second, more analytical piece, written by an Iranian friend of mine who went to Iran shortly before the elections and is still there, is here, and also well worth reading.

Finally, just one observation from me. You will have heard and read everywhere by now (for example, this news article and this editorial in today's San Jose Mercury News) about how "Iran's most powerful oversight council announced Monday that the number of votes recorded in 50 cities exceeded the number of eligible voters there by 3 million." The truth? Yes. The whole truth? Not quite. Because if you read the complete article in The New York Times, and manage to get down to the next to the last paragraph, you'll read this:

To vote, all citizens must show their shenasnameh, a wallet-sized folder holding all important documents, including birth certificates and proofs of marriage and divorce. Iranians can visit any polling site they choose to with their shenasnameh, which is why some districts end up with more ballots cast than eligible voters. People with summer or weekend houses, for example, often do not go home to vote.
Does that mean that "ballot stuffing" didn't occur? No. But it does mean that "shading the truth" most definitely did occur - in the pages and the airwaves of Western media, who failed to inform their readers and viewers that a vote total greater than the number of registered voters was not prima facie evidence of fraud.

Update: A third important article entitled "Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran’s Election?" Actually the "Has" would have been better replaced with the word "How."

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