According to leaked results of the actual vote in Iran over the weekend, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came in 3rd place, not first as originally reported.
The statistics, circulated on Iranian blogs and websites, claimed Mr Mousavi had won 19.1 million votes while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won only 5.7 million.
The two other candidates, reformist Mehdi Karoubi and hardliner Mohsen Rezai, won 13.4 million and 3.7 million respectively. The authenticity of the leaked figures could not be confirmed.
Mr Mousavi has accused Iran’s government of “fraud” after Mr Ahmadinejad was declared on Saturday to have 62.6 per cent of the vote, making him the landslide winner. The capital has been rocked by disturbances for the last three days.
No wonder they’re rioting.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports today that a public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election. Why this is news I have no idea. Didn’t Sadam Hussein get reelected by 98% of Iraqis a few years ago? Was that supposed to reflect genuine love for the dictator? Of course not. We didn’t believe it then and we don’t now.
Since polling is so rare in Iran, those who were asked how they would vote were no doubt wondering who was really asking the question. Was it a polling company or was it the Iranian government? Clearly, fear played a part in the results of the poll.
I’m afraid none of this will end peacefully anytime soon. As of this writing, people are being gunned down in Tehran.