16 Jun 2009
There's something fishy about the election results in Iran. It's odd that President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad won the elections by almost a "two to one margin," says Pepe Escobar, given the energy of the "green revolution."
But the results are even more surprising given the timeline of the vote counting.
Polling booths closed at 22h00 on election day on Friday, 12 June 2009 and results declaring Ahmedinejad the victor were announced at 02h00 on Saturday morning, just four hours later.
Is it plausible that counting the 46 million votes cast in this election could be finalized just four hours after polling stations closed, particularly as votes were hand counted?
With respect to the legal provisions for the vote in Iran, says Escobar, the Ministry of Interior Affairs has three days to do the counting. The votes have to be certified and then the results sent to the supreme leader, who approves them, before they are finally publicly released.
For more of Escobar's commentary on the Iranian Election, please click here.
Editor's Note: In an update of this story, the BBC reported on 16 June 2009 that Iran announced a re-count of the election results. For more information on this new development, please click here. You may also be interested in this superb analysis of the evolving situation in Iran from Asia Times Online, "Khamenei Rides a Storm in a Tea Cup." It reveals much about the real center of power in Iran.