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Iranian Election: Will A Recount Matter?

June 16, 2009

In Iran, progress is being made towards a clarification of the election results. From the Economist:

Iran’s powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to recount disputed votes from Friday’s presidential poll.

It is far too soon to tell if this move is simply a mechanism to diffuse the momentum of the protesters or if it is a legitimate effort to rectify problems with the election. One thing is certain, however…there are plenty of eyes watching, all around the world.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne is reporting from Tehran and he is skeptical that the recount, even if it logistically possible and is done impartially, will satisfy either side in the debate. He gives an excellent explanation of the ever-shifting dynamic in the middle of the confusion:

I get the impression that the establishment in Tehran is deeply divided. For example, the influential speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani – no softie himself – has in effect criticised President Ahmadinejad by condemning the Interior Ministry, which is loyal to him, for its part in a raid on student dormitories on Sunday night.
The demonstrations are now threatening the whole Islamic Republic. Its very survival is at risk.
So people must be worried. They must think they have fallen asleep and woken up again in 1979, because this is an eerie re-run of the events before the Islamic Revolution that brought them to power.

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