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Speech by Former Interior Minister Detailing Election Fraud Released

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles

09 Dec 2010 15:0020 Comments

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.

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20 Comments

That's it? How about addressing the issue of ballot-box by ballot-box results, which were never challenged in a meaningful way by Mousavi observers.

Anyway, for those interested in reading an analysis on how the 2009 election was not rigged, read the following:

http://brillwebsite.com/writings/iran2009election.html

After reading this, as well as this:

http://www.raceforiran.com/wikileaks-and-the-2009-iranian-presidential-election

You're likely to conclude that Muhammad doesn't deserve much credibility as an independent analyst, with his continuos cry of "rigged". He's a political partisan with a seditious bend. Fairly common in one form or other among the self-exiled diaspora.

Pirouz / December 9, 2010 10:20 PM

well during this time people realized that even if we prove or elections fraud, it does not change the fact that the Islamic Republic is an unethical system as a whole and not reformable by these people on power (these kinds of reformists). The unfolding debates over the past year have demonstrated that even many within Islamic Green on power are close-minded conservatives whose interest are not inline with people demands.

Anonymous / December 9, 2010 10:46 PM

@ Pirouz

Please keep reading your KayhanNews and RajaNews. TB articles are too rich for your taste. That is why you are vomiting too much nonsense here.

Instead of criticizing "Muhammad" as you put is, or putting links from here and there, you might want to conjure your intellectual curusity and come up with an article that explains your point of view from your OWN research and analysis. I am sure TB would post it and then we decide what you have got to say, until then, dont forget to go to mosque.

Agnostic / December 9, 2010 10:53 PM

This article is based on the observations of an Iranian politician from the heart of the regime. It also provides a link to a video showing another Iranian from the heart of the regime, this time explicitly admitting election fraud.

The first article suggested by Pirouz is written by an American who suddenly popped into the limelight after the 2009 elections. There is no indication of who he is and what his expertise is. He has never visited Iran and cannot prove a knowledge of Iran beyond last year's elections. His website is obscure and offers no biography.

The second article suggested by Pirouz is written by the American I just described, on a website run by former Bush administration, CIA and WINEP employees. They are also American and their knowledge of Iran is limited to being wined and dined by Ahmadinejad in Tehran. In fact, one of them was working for WINEP when the organisation was actively working against the Khatami administration.

Interpret as you wish.

Pak / December 9, 2010 10:57 PM

Mr Mark Pyrouz, funny to see you're still unemployed and spending your days praising Ahmadnejad on the Internet. What a fulfilling life you must have.

Eric Brill is an idiot who has never set foot in Iran.

Pirouz-Bi_Kar / December 9, 2010 10:57 PM

There is a special place reserved in hell for these lying, stealing b---rds

Anonymous / December 9, 2010 11:11 PM

Even actual cases of fraud in the past election cannot justify the presence in the helm of a package of incompetence. If a leader or a candidate for leadership fails to manage a victorius maneuver of a crisis, what other tests of this leadership can we think of? Fraud or no fraud, the right man is on the job.

Ekbatana / December 9, 2010 11:49 PM

Given the huge amount of info that Mohtashamipour discusses in these videos, this is pretty sloppy summarizing!

Banafsheh / December 10, 2010 1:38 AM

The whole system is fraudulent and rotten to the core. Why are we trying to justify it in favor of one or the other? Iran needs a complete overhaul and a government of the people. The Barbaric Republic belongs in the garbage of history. We need new ideas, leadership, direction and an organized effort. Are we going to argue about a failed system forever?

Niloofar / December 10, 2010 7:48 AM

Well, Muhammad, the new International Peace Institute poll on Iran public opinion is out. Guess what? Like all previous pollssince the election, this Sept 2010 poll reflects roughly the same percentages as that of the election when respondents were asked who they voted for in the 2009 election. This one was within 5% of the official tally in favor of Ahmadinejad and within 1% of the official tally for Mousavi. Moreover, the poll reflects a solid majority in favor of Islamic Republic governance.

Read it and weep, Muhammad:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/65872019/Iran-Public-Opinion-2010

Pirouz / December 10, 2010 11:39 AM

Sadly, that poll suffers in the same way as previous polls: the pollsters asked the question "Do most people that live in the area where you live feel free to express their political opinions?", to which 42% said "No".

Polls such as this need to be anonymous (i.e., not conducted by telephone, at the very least!) then it might be possible to take them seriously.

Persian Umpire had a poll of their own:
http://www.persianumpire.com/2009/10/07/fear-factor/

Ian / December 10, 2010 3:43 PM

Mark Pyruz (aka Pirouz) is a Bay Area Iranian whose support for Khamenei and Ahmadinejad sick. Hey, loser, if you love the IRI so much why don't go there... instead of sitting at your lame IT job in Northern Californian spouting idiotic nationalist crap.

Cyrus Safdari / December 10, 2010 6:52 PM

Pirooz:

First of all, an imbecile like you does not understand the difference between reporting on something and analyzing it and taking position. As I understand it, Sahimi is merely reporting and summarizing what Mohtashamipour has said. You are opposed to reporting, because it destroys whatever you are trying to sell to people regarding Ahmadinejad?

Second of all, just read your own idiotic post again: A poll taken by foreigners from outside country, calling the citizens of a nation living under most difficult conditions and with a long tradition of believing in conspiracy theories is a reliable gauge of what they think? It is no wonder you are a moron. Should you not look for a real job, rather than inserting moronic comments in the cyberspace?

And who the hell is Eric Brill? Brill and others do not have the figgiest idea about Iran's internal politics and dynamics. They have a formalistic and legalistic view of what happened. They never address a simple question: In a country in which committing fraud in the elections, overturning the results if the system did not like it, etc., is routine, and in a system in which the organ that supervises the elections is one side of the election, or in other words, it has a vested interested in seeing that its side win, how can you trust that system?

And, aside from anything else, why would people re-elect someone that, if nothing else, has completely messed up the economy, and has isolated Iran internationally?

Vaez / December 10, 2010 6:52 PM

@ Pirouz

I am just curios and dont want to assume anything about you and your posts. You have all rights to say what you say but at the same time you are gonna be hold accountbale for your statements. Is that fair?
Now.
i am just wondering if you can tell us whether you see yourself a sympathizer with IR current administration foreign and domestic policies? That would really help because there are some people that like to support Iran no matter who is running it. Are you one of these kind of people?

Agnostic / December 10, 2010 10:18 PM

I have checked out Eric A. Brill's qualifications (J.D., Harvard), and personally asked him whether he was retained by anyone in connection with his articles. On both counts he checks out. He did not rely on client privilege in the second matter.

I should state that I disagree with his views in very many respects, but there has been some comment so I thought it would be helpful to provide some clarity. I believe his comments should be treated as sincere, although (as I say) I do disagree with him.

As to the election polls, I have my own conspiracy theory related to the fact that the pre-2009 election poll (63% or so in favour of AN) corresponded to the so-called "count" announced by AN & Co. after the election, and wonder whether the tail wagged the dog.

Ian / December 10, 2010 10:19 PM

The person posting under the psuedonym of Cyrus Safdari is not the real Cyrus Safdari and should be ignored.

Cyrus / December 11, 2010 12:08 AM

They knew they were going to lose.

They planned ahead to steal the votes.

They knew they had to plan to crush the protests before the entire regime fell apart.

They knew all of this ahead of the elections and prepared for all of the outcomes that we went through.

What does that tell you?

They are essentially saying that Iran belongs to them and they don't care what others may think.

Mohammad Alireza / December 11, 2010 12:27 AM

It is intersting how in a rejectionist stance, so many of them did not vote, and later they want to own up to it, to appropriate the elections. "return my vote..." , although they did not participate in the elections....

Karim / December 12, 2010 12:29 PM

Mr Sahimi,

All the points that you have raised are merely just more circumstantial evidence and is hardly "...another convincing array of evidence..." as you have put it.

Personally i believe that the IRGC were very much capable to orchestrate fraud during the election. However what i am sick of is hearing people in the reformist camp beating the drum without any hard evidence. I remember that Mousavi mentioned that he had hard proof... well release it!

Until then stop your whinging and get on with it!

Carlos / December 13, 2010 3:27 AM

The new poll suggests that the election results was in line with people's wishes, so no fraud.

For those that dispute the poll outcomes, ask yourself this:

1) If they were afraid, why not just refuse to answer?

2) If they were giving false information, why do the results of all 3 major polls match the official results? Why 60% for Ahmadenijad rather than 100%?

M. Ali / December 13, 2010 10:40 AM