Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Breaking - Vote Recount in Iran, Too Little Too Late

The Telegraph is reporting that the Guardian Council, in an obvious bid to find something to stop the protests now spinning out of control, has just announced that it will allow a limited recount of ballots in "disputed areas." I doubt seriously that this will do anything to mollify the Mousavi camp. Their charge is that the numbers were cooked across Iran and that vote fraud took place on a massive scale. If what is coming across twitter is accurate, their demand will be for scrapping the election and a revote.

As I wrote below, this is a no-win situation for Iran's mullahocracy. Khameini already tipped his hand when he did not wait the three days provided for vote counting under Iranian law to verify the vote and announce the results. Then he referred to the landslide as a "divine" gift, thus invoking the legitimacy of his religion to further sanctify the vote. Even if no revolution occurs and this peters out, there is no question that this series of events will work a fundamental change in the relationship between the Iranians and their government. The mullahocracy will have lost much, if not all of its legitimacy. And now, backtracking, Khameini appears both dishonest and weak - two historically fatal flaws for a repressive and autocratic ruler.

Blood has already been spilled and protestors are dead. Soon, a tipping point will be reached. Unlike the failed protests of a decade ago, these involve not just university students, the protests are not merely in Tehran, and they are not merely in the Universities. It will be much harder, it would seem, for the IRGC to quell these protests should that be what the regime opts to do. But if the protests go unabated for much longer, that may be the only option that the mullahocracy has left.

Update: Iran specialist Michael Ledeen has his assessment of the situation at PJM that I strongly recommend. As he sees it, we are at the tipping point, with the only question being whether the populace of Iran can become sufficiently organized. Interestingly, he sees the defections as coming from the IRGC, not just the Army, and moreover, as the hammer that the regime will/has turned to being Hezbollah. Read his article here. Also for a good roll-up, see Memorandum.

Previous Posts:

The Fog Of War - & Twitter
Chants Of Deat To Khameini
Iran Buys Time, Obama Votes Present, Iraq's Status Is Recognized
Heating Up In Iran
Tehran Is Burning; What Will The Iranian Army Do? (Updated)
The Mad Mullah's Man Wins Again - For Now
The Next Moves In An Existential Chess Match (Background On Iran's Theocracy)

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