Sunday, June 14, 2009

Admadinejad's landslide victory triggers street riots in Tehran

On June 12, 2009, Presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi flashes a victory sign after casting his vote during the Iranian presidential election in southern Tehran June 12, 2009 [Agencies].

Iran's President and presidential candidate for Iranian election Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds his passport up as he arrives to cast his ballot during Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009 [Agencies].

On the day of elections, Iran's interior ministry said that President Admadinejah had taken a commanding lead with nearly 70 percent of all votes counted. However, his rival, Presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, still countered that he was the clear victor.

At the close of the day, and post election, what is now deemed in Tehran a controversial election, prompted rioting in the streets.

"Opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed with police in the heart of Iran's capital Saturday, pelting them with rocks and setting fires in the worst unrest in Tehran in a decade. They accused the hard-line president of using fraud to steal election victory from his reformist rival. The brazen and angry confrontations — including stunning scenes of masked rioters tangling with black-clad police — pushed the self-styled reformist movement closer to a possible moment of truth: Whether to continue defying Iran's powerful security forces or, as they often have before, retreat into quiet dismay and frustration over losing more ground to the Islamic establishment." (AP, 2009).

The Iranian government on Saturday declared victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the nation's hotly-disputed presidential election, triggering mass opposition protests.

The response from the U.S. government was a refusal to accept President Ahmadinejad's claim of a landslide re-election victory. In the interim, the official position of the United States, though past Iranian elections were deemed fair, is that it will explore allegations of election fraud. Accordingly, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that she hopes "the outcome reflects the 'genuine will and desire' of Iranian voters. At a joint appearance with Clinton, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said his country was 'deeply concerned' by reports of irregularities in the election" (AP, 2009).

From the U.S. perspective, no doubt a primary concern was the loss of a potential presidency in Mirhossein Mousavi, which could have served to present a more pro-American government as opposed to the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Iran's Ahmadinejad, rival both claim election win, (Agencies/Xinhua), June 13, 2009.

Ali Akbar Dareini, Disputed Iran Election Prompts Rioting, June 13, 2009.

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