The energized movement for social and political change in Iran has just been squelched.

The government declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the big winner of the election.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini apparently has
released a statement calling the results “final” and hailing the
election as a legitimization of the regime and its elections.

That’s patently absurd.

Turnout for this election was at an all-time high of 82 percent. But it was over before it began.

The scale of Ahmadinejad’s victory — he took nearly
twice as many votes as former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi with
counting almost complete after Friday’s poll — upset widespread
expectations that the race would at least go to a second round…

Mousavi protested against what he said were many obvious violations.

“I’m warning I will not surrender to this dangerous charade. The
result of such performance by some officials will jeopardize the
pillars of the Islamic Republic and will establish tyranny,” Mousavi
said in a statement made available to Reuters.

Analysts call this ’staggering’.

KARIM SADJAPOUR, ANALYST AT CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR
INTERNATIONAL PEACE: “I don’t think anyone anticipated this level of
fraudulence. This was a selection, not an election. At least
authoritarian regimes like Syria and Egypt have no democratic
pretences. In retrospect it appears this entire campaign was a show:
(Supreme Leader) Ayatollah (Ali) Khamenei wasn’t ever going to let
Ahmadinejad lose.” ….

ALI ANSARI, DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTE FOR IRANIAN STUDIES AT UNIVERSITY
OF ST ANDREWS IN SCOTLAND: “The election results are incredible. It’s
just nonsense … If it was a genuine election landslide, surely people
should be out on the streets in euphoria…”

People, mostly young and very active people working for a democratic Iran, are out in the streets alright.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....