Obama on the Iranian elections
Praising tobacco control legislation in the Rose Garden today, President Barack Obama took a final question about the Iranian elections. From the pool report filed by Hearst’s Chuck Lewis: "We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran and obviously, after the speech that I made in Cairo, we tried ...
Praising tobacco control legislation in the Rose Garden today, President Barack Obama took a final question about the Iranian elections. From the pool report filed by Hearst's Chuck Lewis:
Praising tobacco control legislation in the Rose Garden today, President Barack Obama took a final question about the Iranian elections. From the pool report filed by Hearst’s Chuck Lewis:
"We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran and obviously, after the speech that I made in Cairo, we tried to send a clear message that we think there’s a possibility of change. And ultimately, the election is for the Iranians to decide. But just as what has been true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran as well, is that you’re seeing people looking at new possiblities. And whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact that there’s been a robust debate hopefully will help advance our ability to engage them in new ways.”
UPDATE: At 4pm EST, both the Mousavi and Ahmadinejad camps are declaring victory. With Iranian state news agency IRNA declaring Ahmadinejad the victor, "this is going to get dirty," says the National Iranian American Council’s Trita Parsi. Official results are not expected until Saturday.
Update II: As of 1am Tehran time, a U.S.-based Iranian academic reading Iranian coverage of the returns notes: "In less than one hour, the officials in Iran have counted 35% of the voting places in Iran. The news is that Ahmadinejad has received 68%, Mousavi 28% and others are distant 3rd, and 4th. Amazing speed according to previous election!
"In the last election, the initial patterns did not hold up. It is strange that the officials had said that they would not announce any results until 4 AM, but they made the first announcement at about 1 AM. It is FAR from over though. THIS was according to IRINN (Iranian CNN in Persian). Stay tuned."
Update III: As of 1:48am Tehran time, he adds, "Of 47.3% voting booths (15 million votes):
"IRINN is the source and it may change… Mousavi people are gearing up
to contest it as they already have declared victory. This could
Update IV: Results as of 2:47 AM Tehran time: "More than 21 million votes counted (61% of all voting booths)
"One of Mousavi’s spokespersons, Saeed Shariati, just told BBC Persian that the results announced so far only reflect the present administration’s views. These results are either the results of cheating or are psychological warfare mounted by this administration against Mousavi. He said he hopes this is only their way of spoiling the sweet moment of victory for Mousavi and at the end of the day we have a clear victor, who is Mr. Mousavi.
"Ahmadinejad’s headquarter has declared victory, even though about 40% of the votes have not been counted, according to his own Interior
"This is getting interesting, to say the least."
Another source says that Rafsanjani and Mousavi apparently held a meeting with Khamenei.
Update V: At about 7:30am Tehran time, the U.S.-based Iranian academic writes, "I have been exchanging emails, phone calls, and been in touch with
young, old, men, women, …and been in touch with people from inside
each campaign (AN and Mousavi). These numbers have surprised even the
supporters of AN. What is more, the journalists are saying in the
Interior Ministry there has been no explanations, no interviews, just
reading the numbers to journalists. It is mind-boggling at this point.
It is not over by any means; unless reformers want to lay down and
He later adds, "The loser either way is Khamenie (if there is a widespread belief that this was rigged). However, I cannot believe given the scope of participation that it would be such a blow out (even as the percentage of booths has nothing to do with the percentage of the vote give because the size of these booths are not the same). However, no one I know can believe these numbers. Something does not add up."
Another Washington-based Iran watcher said at about 11pm EST that Iranian-state-officials are claiming vote counts in the Iranian city of Isfahan show Ahmadinejad winning 3-1. Which would seem a bit absurd – or else a total contrary result from what pre-election reporting indicated. He said there seems to be a waiting for two things: what Mousavi says, and what Rafsanjani says.
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