Speech by Former Interior Minister Detailing Election Fraud Released
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles
09 Dec 2010 15:00
Comprehensive report on disappearing ballot forms, back-room vote "count" emerges.
[ dispatch ] Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour was minister of the interior in Mir Hossein Mousavi's cabinet in the 1980s. He was also Iran's ambassador to Syria. Last year, he headed the Committee for Protecting the People's Vote, organized to help prevent fraud in the June 12, 2009, presidential election. In a speech recently released in five parts on YouTube, he describes why he, the Reformists, Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi believe that large-scale fraud took place in last year's elections. Briefly,
(a) The Interior Ministry published more than 59 million forms for voting, whereas the government had announced that the number of eligible voters was a little over 46 million.
(b) Despite the 13 million excess forms, many voting stations around the country announced during the morning of June 12, or by noon at the latest, that they had run out of forms. For example, 2.45 million people were eligible to vote in East Azerbaijan and the Interior Ministry sent 2.65 forms there, yet within just a couple of hours of the polls opening in Tabriz, the polling stations declared that they did not have any forms. Mohtashamipour explains that they had to announce that they had run out of voting forms because they had already stuffed the voting boxes with fraudulent votes and were afraid that if voting continued, the number of votes would far exceed the number of eligible voters.
(c) Beginning on Thursday, June 11, the Ministry of Communications cut off all links between cells phones of the monitors of the Mousavi-Karroubi camp that were supposed to monitor the polling stations and report fraud and their campaign headquarters, as well as the headquarters of Committee for Protecting People's Votes. This is consistent with what an IRGC commander stated in a speech in Mashhad a few months after the voting.
(d) At 4 p.m. on June 12, five hours before voting ended, Raja News, a political website run by allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced that he had been reelected with 63 percent of the vote, the same percentages that the Ministry of Interior and the Guardian Council announced in the next several days.
(e) According to the law, when vote counting at the Interior Ministry begins, the candidates' monitors must be present. But Mousavi's and Karroubi's monitors were barred for many hours from the ministry building during the evening of June 12. By the time they were finally allowed in, the national television network was already broadcasting statistics of votes that had supposedly been counted, though the location where votes are officially tabulated was not showing any vote count at all.
Altogether, Mohtashamipour presents yet another convincing array of evidence that large-scale fraud took place in last year's election.
Update: A few days ago, in a debate at the University of Lorestan between Dr. Ali Shakouri Rad, a member of the central committee of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Iran's largest reformist group, and Ahmadinejad supporter Abdolreza Davari, former director of IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) Shakouri Rad -- who was arrested briefly but then released two months ago -- stated that on the afternoon of election day,
both Majles Speaker Ali Larijani and his brother Sadegh Larijani, chief of the judiciary, called Mousavi to congratulate him on his victory. According to Shakouri Rad's account Mohsen Rezaei, the conservative candidate in the election, also called Mousavi to congratulate him. Shakouri Rad was consequently arrested today.