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June 25, 2009

Claim: Run-Off Vote (Do-Over Election) a Possible Compromise in Iran?

An Iranian living in Germany says that's the rumor:

There is a possibility, and I am saying a possibility, for a compromise on the election result among the involved parties in Iran in the next couple of days. I received a call from Iran late last night indicating that there is a possibility for a runoff between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad.

He lists reasons that support this idea, such as the Guardian Council admitting that three million phantom votes were cast -- which seems an extraordinary admission, offered for the purpose of an Emergency Button should it become necessary to reverse their conclusions and state that the election was too close to call.

The Washington Post also reports more unconfirmed rumors of Rasfajani's bid to oust Khamenei. This claim has some specific details.

According to a well-placed source in the holy city of Qom, Rafsanjani is working furiously behind the scenes to call for an emergency meeting of the Khobregan, or Assembly of Experts--the elite all-cleric body that can unseat the Supreme Leader or dilute his prerogatives. The juridical case against Khamenei would involve several counts. First, he would be charged with countenancing a coup d'état--albeit a bloodless one--without consulting with the Khobregan. Second, he would stand accused of deceitfully plotting to oust Rafsanjani--who is the Khobregan chairman and nominally the country's third-most-important authority--from his positions of power. Third, he would be said to have threatened the very stability of the republic with his ambition and recklessness.

Rafsanjani's purported plan is to replace Khamenei's one-person dictatorship with a Leadership Council composed of three or more high-ranking clerics; this formula was proposed and then abandoned in 1989 by several prominent clerics. Rafsanjani will likely recommend giving a seat to Khamenei on the council to prevent a violent backlash by his fanatic loyalists.

As is usual, this is rumor-type stuff and can't be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Mousavi speaks out again, slamming Iran's "leaders." This is a read-the-whole-thing thing, but I'll quote the highlights.

After days of relative quiet, Mir-Hossein Mousavi launched a broadside against the Iranian leadership in comments published today, suggesting that the political rift over the country's disputed presidential election is far from over. ...

He slammed state-controlled broadcast outlets, which have intensified a media blitz against him and his supporters with allegations that recent unrest over the disputed June 12 presidential election was instigated by Iran's international rivals. And he vowed to pursue his quest to have President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection annulled.

"I am not only prepared to respond to all these allegations but am ready to show how election fraudsters joined those who are truly behind the recent riots and shed the blood of people," he said in comments that appeared on his website and were distributed to supporters via e-mail. "I am not prepared to give up under the pressure of threats or personal interest."

Mousavi's forceful remarks appeared to show that he was willing to risk his standing as a pillar of the Islamic Republic to take on Iran's powerful leadership, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. And they seemed aimed at securing his position at the head of a broad and youthful movement seeking reform.

At least some of his comments were apparently delivered in a meeting Wednesday with a group of 70 social scientists, who were later arrested and taken to an unknown location.

Khamenei vowed Wednesday that he would not reconsider the lopsided official results, which have spurred infighting among the Islamic Republic's elite and street violence between pro-government forces and demonstrators.

Though the cleric is usually considered beyond public reproach, Mousavi seemed more than willing to take on Khamenei, who broke with tradition by openly taking sides in the country's factional political rows.

"The leadership's support to the government under normal circumstances is helpful," Mousavi said. "However, if the leadership and the president are the same, it will not be in the interests of the country."

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posted by Ace at 02:28 PM

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