U.S. analysts find it “not credible” that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.
Hot Air has tons of updates at the link above, and a video of the protest.
In the Iranian capital’s most serious unrest for 10 years, thousands of liberals who claimed the election had been rigged vented their fury in running battles with police.
They fought officers armed with batons and stun grenades, set fire to police vehicles and threw stones at government buildings.
I saw police in camouflage uniforms and black flak jackets respond by firing the grenades from motorcycles into a crowd that chanted “Down with the dictator” and denounced what it called a stolen election.
In a stand-off near the interior ministry, which oversaw the count, opposition supporters formed barricades of burning tyres, sending plumes of smoke over the city. Helmeted police chased protesters who became detached from the main group and beat them with truncheons.
Hot Air linked to this BBC video, in which protests cry for freedom are beaten by police: (H/T Hot Air)
The Obama administration would not describe the outcome as legitimate or illegitimate or deem a victory by Mousavi as necessarily better.
“We’re not going to characterize what would have been a better or worse scenario,” the official said. “We will deal with this as it is, not as we wish it to be.
And they also report on the Republican response, which is quite different:
“There appears to be pretty good evidence that this is a cooked election,” Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., told FOX News. “And the most depressing thing for me is we were going to see whether in fact the true leaders of this country, the religious leaders, were going to allow for a real election to have an expression of the people.
Michael Ledeen describes the atrocities:
- Mousavi and Karrubi, the two “reformist” candidates in Friday’s “elections” are under house arrest, along with dozens of their followers;
- “Reformist” journalists and activists have been rounded up and jailed;
- Cell phones (including, after a day’s delay, international cell phones) have been blocked, access to internet has been filtered, facebook is unreachable, and you can’t tweet (can the silencing of Western reporters be far behind?);
- In Tehran, student dormitories are surrounded by security forces.
The NYT reports on Obama’s response:
The Obama administration is determined to press on with efforts to engage the Iranian government, senior officials said Saturday, despite misgivings about irregularities in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…
Business as usual… just keep talking with them, and hope they will forgive us for all our misdeeds. There is not going to be a challenge to this coup from the White House… the Iranian people are on their own.
Hot Air has links to Twitter channels if you want to keep on top of the unfolding story.