Riots in Tehran as Thug-In-Chief declares victory
- Photos: Iran Votes: Tehran
- Iran: Ahmadinejad’s Palace Coup
- Peanut Khadr Â “in Love”
- US Rejects Ahmadinejad’s Victory Claim
- Liveleak video: Police and protestors in Iran
- I cannot make this crap up:Obama “excited” by Iran’s robust election debate
The ongoing lack of American support for the forces opposing the mullahcracy in Iran is unconscionable. Instead of making nice with the regime, the President should be reaching out to these people. Instead of defending the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab in the United States, which no one is disputing, he should be defending the right of Muslim womenÂ notÂ to wear the hijab in Iran. “Riots erupt in Tehran as Iranian President Ahmadinejad declares victory,” by Borzou Daragahi in theÂ Los Angeles Times, June 13 (thanks to JW):
Reporting from Tehran — Huge swaths of the capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early morning Sunday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second four-year term amid allegations of widespread fraud and a strident challenge of the vote results by his main challenger, who was reportedly placed under house arrest.
As Ahmadinejad promised a “bright and glorious future” for Iran in a televised address, supporters of his reformist rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi clashed with police and militiamen in riot gear and throughout Tehran in the most serious clashes in the capital since a student uprising 10 years ago.
Searing smoke and the smell of burning trash bins and tear gas filled the night sky. Protesters poured into key squares around the capital, burning tires, erecting banners and hurling stones at riot police on motorcycles, who responded with truncheons.
- A slightly different view:Â
Why it’s best that Ahmadinejad won
In an article written on Friday during the elections, Daniel Pipes explains why it was best that MahmoudÂ Ahmadinejad be the winner:
TheÂ rahbarÂ controls key institutions (foreign policy, the military, law enforcement, the justice system) of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In contrast, the president primarily concerns himself with the softer domains such as economics and education. (A contrast I discussed in 2003 at “The Iranian President’s Power.”) More from Carl in J’lem>>
In the same streets and squares where young Iranians were dancing and waving green banners in support of Mousavi days ago, baton-wielding police chased and beat mobs of hundreds of demonstrators chanting, “Down with dictatorship!” and “Give me my vote back!
Official results released by the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of the incumbent president, showed Ahmadinejad with more than 63% of the vote, a surprise performance given turnout figures of 80% and city dwellers mostly opposed to Ahmadinejad massing in lines for hours. Mousavi received 35% of the vote, according to the results.
Both Mousavi and fellow reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi strongly disputed the results in public statements.
Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament, called the results “engineered” and “ridiculous.”
Mousavi, after security forces prevented journalists from attending an early afternoon news conference he tried to hold, released a statement alleging a conspiracy to manipulate the vote results, which he claimed showed he was the winner. “I will not submit to this dangerous charade,” he insisted.
He had submitted a long list of alleged irregularities, including thousands of his poll monitors being barred from the voting stations, the previous night. Iran allows no independent observers to monitor the vote.
As the day drew to a close, both campaigns reported that the candidates were under house arrest. The offices of Mousavi and Karroubi had been shuttered earlier, as were affiliated websites that had emerged as critical information tools in the face of the Ahmadinejad camp’s sway over state-controlled broadcasting….
Passing drivers honked in support.Â A woman with her head scarf ripped off screamed defiantly at the stunned security officers who had just beaten her.Â Riot police chased demonstrators and some passersby down streets, beating and bloodying those who refused to move, and running off as the demonstrators fought back with rocks.
Shopkeepers urged panicked pedestrians into their stores for protection, in one instance locking the gate as a group of black-clad truncheon-wielding riot police approached menacingly.
“It’s a fraud,” said one female Mousavi supporter, who declined to give her name. “I can’t believe it. Last night we celebrated victory. And this morning Ahmadinejad was the winner.”
On a side street near northwest Tehran’s Mohseni SquareÂ a group of helmeted hard-line Ansar Hezbollah militiamen, on motorcycles rhythmically beat their batons on their riot shields as they prepared to attack a gathering crowd of protesters.
“God is great!” they chanted. “God praise Hezbollah!”..