Passport

The latest from Iran

The big Iran news today is that the Guardian Council, the clerical body that oversees elections and is controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has agreed to recount certain ballots disputed by Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign. This is, of course, a ruse — a delaying tactic meant to divide the opposition by peeling off ...

584872_090616_medvedev22.jpg
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) shakes hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Yekaterinburg on June 16, 2009 during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. Russia hosted the second day of a key security summit seen as a counter to US power with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, making his first foreign trip since his disputed re-election, in attendance. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL / VLADIMIR RODIONOV (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The big Iran news today is that the Guardian Council, the clerical body that oversees elections and is controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has agreed to recount certain ballots disputed by Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign.

This is, of course, a ruse — a delaying tactic meant to divide the opposition by peeling off its most moderate members. Mousavi wants a complete annulment of Friday’s official results.

Also of note: Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani — who has congratulated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his “victory” — blamed the interior ministry for the recent attacks on students at Tehran University.

Hossein Ali Montazeri — Iran’s most prominent “dissident ayatollah” — is now telling the protesters to use peaceful means to express their grievances. I’m not sure how influential Montazeri, once thought to be Khomenei’s heir, really is today, but his opinion surely carries some weight. There’s still no word from Rafsanjani. [UPDATE: Translation of Montazeri’s statement.]

Finally, I’m sad to learn that reformist cleric Mohammad Ali Abtahi has reportedly been arrested. I’ve been reading his blog sporadically for years, but it seems to be offline now. Abtahi, a former Khatami deputy who backed Karroubi in these elections, was frequently quoted in the Western press.

It will be interesting to see what happens during today’s dueling demonstrations, and whether Mousavi’s call for a general strike is being observed. State media has called on Iranians to protest against “outlaws,” and Mousavi is reportedly telling his supporters not to demonstrate today. Still, that’s what he said yesterday — and people came out in droves anyway. It’s not clear to what extent he controls this movement.

One ominous sign that Ahmadinejad thinks he has this situation under control? He went ahead with a planned trip to Russia despite the unrest back home. I see that he met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Perhaps the two of them compared notes on how to steal an election?

VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola