On air: Should Iranians accept the election result?

IRANWith thousands taking to the streets acceptance may be a long way away. Whether you’re inside or outside Iran, will Iran’s interests and democracy be best served by prolonged protests and challenges, or by an acceptance of the result. It’s worth highlighting that according to official results, the election was not even particularly close.

107 Responses to “On air: Should Iranians accept the election result?”

  1. 1 steve
    June 15, 2009 at 15:11

    If Mousavi won, the policies of Iran would be the same. Just a nicer voice, that’s all. Whomever is president of iran is irelevant, the Mullahs are the ones that makes all of the policies there. There’s nothing to see here.

  2. 2 Julian Morrison
    June 15, 2009 at 15:31

    Democracy is more important than stability and more important in the long term than policy.

    • June 17, 2009 at 07:42

      Democracy is where elected representatives make laws for governing a State. Islamic belief is that all laws necessary for governing mankind are contained in the Koran as ordained by Allah and in Hadiths spoken by Prophet Mohammed.

      Democracy usurps the power of Allah as the sole law-maker. That is why democracy is repugnant to Islam. It is a western concept that will NEVER prevail in a true Muslim country. Human dignity and mutual respect can be achieved within the precincts of Islam. The West must understand this. In Iran, as in several other Muslim countries, it is the Western influence and meddling that is causing the clash and the strife.

      • 4 Ashley Balls
        June 22, 2009 at 06:29

        Here we go again.
        Everyone is entitled to their religious belief even those of us who are atheist. However, people of a religious persuasion have to accept that others seek to have an empirical basis for the existence of a diety. The notion that a book written by a committee 400 hundered years after the event or a story told to an illiterate shepherd who then allegedly writes it down can be the foundation of a religion followed by millions is unusual. What makes it stranger is that for Christians numerous iterations have developed. Islam too has numerous iterations but unlike many belief structures is frozen in the 8th Century and its perpetuation is based on an unquesitoning and ongoing belief. This is unfortunate and may well explain why a culture (of 1+ Billion people) that gave the entire world modern mathematics, medicine and astonomy now produces fewer books per annum than Portugal.
        Cultures develop by unceasing enquiry, not enslavement. The concept of democracy threatens Isalm – and it should. When the culture of ‘control’ is removed – and it will be – there will be a solid future for those who choose to follow Isalm.

  3. 5 Andy
    June 15, 2009 at 15:31

    If the elected candidate was actually the one in charge of the country then a rigged election would be a real problem. At the moment however Iran is merely masquerading as a democracy and until that changes all talk of elections in Iran is completely meaningless.

  4. 7 Roy, Washington DC
    June 15, 2009 at 15:31

    I’ve heard secondhand reports that ballot boxes across Iran were ordered to be burned. This seems extremely suspicious, and it makes me wonder if Ahmadinejad is up to something.

    • June 15, 2009 at 17:03

      Don’t believe every second hand report you hear hear after elections, sometimes it is the proud ego of a candidate who lost that and cannot concede defeat that creates the picture of the snatched ballot boxes. Other times, ballot boxes do get snatched!

  5. 9 Chus_m3
    June 15, 2009 at 15:32

    altought i am agree with steve i think this elections have been manipulated as in all regimens occurs.

  6. June 15, 2009 at 15:39

    lol, you know I can’t help but to imagine what Iranian TV and leaders were saying after the 2000 and the 2004 elections here in the US.

  7. June 15, 2009 at 15:40

    For the stability of Iran, the Iranians should accept the election results. It’s in nobody’s interest that the country should plunge in chaos just for the sake of a president who by all means remains powerless in face of the might of the religious leaders who decide the fundamental policies.

    For a real change, the reformists should from now endeavour to convert the supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who is favoured by the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei ) to adopt their reformist ideas and to make of the hardliner and conservative politicians a slim minority.

    Whatever, the Iranians seem to be lured into thinking that change can be with a new president. But as a fact, the situation in Iran will be the same as long as the supreme leader always has the final decision which goes with his religious convictions rather than adopting a modern approach to day-to-day affairs.

    • 12 Ashley Balls
      June 22, 2009 at 06:34

      This is not about stability but control. Almost all the 2000 voters in London were exit polled with some 90% approx voting for change yet the result shows 80% voting for the incumbent. This has to be quesitonned as left as it is the whole legitimacy of the Iranian state becomes dubious. Protest is a right – not a privilege.

  8. June 15, 2009 at 15:41

    No they should not just accept the results. All I have heard about was the Majority of people in that country were in favor of Mousavi. They should make a demand of recount. Let the governement there know that the people want REAL change.
    I agree with the post above from Steve. The policies would have been the same just a nicer voice.
    Their President is just like ours. A puppet. Iran has the religious people who tell the their president what to do, We have the Banking industries telling our President what to do.

    • 14 Heidi
      June 15, 2009 at 21:24

      oh give me a break! The Pres. of the U.S. is hardly the same! A pawn of the banking industry? Riiiight! …they merely have capital, same as Big Oil and Big Pharma etc. , but there is not one single controlling interest for whom the US Presidency is merey a Pawn or a puppet.

      They are entitled to their say and they seem to hold greater sway than such, but to believe in conspiracy theories that say the banks or the Shriners or Big Oil run this country is to consign yourself to a sad exhalation…and you may as well move somewhere that lives that way since you’re apparently resigned to it.

  9. 15 Jennifer
    June 15, 2009 at 15:43

    Re: Will Iran’s interests and democracy be best served by prolonged protests and challenges, or by an acceptance of the result.

    The results can be interpreted in two ways. 1. Ahmadinejad won the election on the up and up. If that’s true, then much of what we see/hear about him being disliked must be untrue. His worrisome statements apparently then reflect those of his people too. 2. If Ahmadinejad did not honestly win the election but stole it, it proves that he will do whatever needs to be done to maintain his part of the power.

    If Mousavi had been “elected”, would Iran’s relations with the US be much different than they are now? I don’t think so.

    The journey to where we are is moot; the results are and will be the same.

    Does Iran want democracy? What are it’s intentions and interests? Those are interesting questions.

  10. 16 VictorK
    June 15, 2009 at 15:43

    Time to sit, listen, and hear from the only people whose opinion on this matters: Iranians.

  11. 17 Meir Avrahami
    June 15, 2009 at 15:44

    Question is to what extent was there ballot rigging?

    None the less the fundamental question remains how can a man who belittles the Holocaust & more than hints at his wish to go a long way to finishing the job be able to have run for re-election with any following what so ever?

    • June 15, 2009 at 16:40

      Well, this is Iran, not your country. One can hold such views and still get a following in any nation. The question is, did he or did he not win, regardless of what he believe happened some 60 years ago.
      Just because a chap belittles Holocaust doesnt make hime a loser.

  12. 19 SUE
    June 15, 2009 at 15:44

    If the incumbents had won fairly, why would they want to silence the opposition (not that they should be burning cars in the street–those car owners are not the enemy) and arrest those who ask for an independent inquiry? I wouldn’t be so sure that the opposition would have changed nothing. They would have been required to change things, and how will the Mullahs ever lose their power except by a greater power in the government? These are very complex issues.

  13. 20 Dan
    June 15, 2009 at 15:44

    It seems to me that there are irregularities. By Iranian law the results are not supposed to be announced for 3 days.
    Ahmadinejad announced himself the overwhelming winner almost immediatly and then announced he could not guarantee the safety of Mousavi.
    How can any nation now believe what Iran says about its nuclear program and ambitions as the system is in full rot.

  14. 21 patti in cape coral
    June 15, 2009 at 15:45

    In the end, what choice do they have? I saw the coverage of the brutality by the Iranian police. This kind of reminds me of the Zimbabwe election.

  15. 22 Steve/Oregon
    June 15, 2009 at 15:48

    The sheer fact that the populace feels that ahmandinajad had the elections speaks volumes about what kind of person he is. The iranian government should run a second election to show the good faith

  16. 23 Monica in DC
    June 15, 2009 at 15:51

    Probably not.. I think this mess was expected. What I didn’t see coming was the Ayatollah stepping in and demanding they look into possible fraud (which I think is good, if its legit and not just pandering). Maybe Steve is right… but maybe not, after all, the man’s wife was on the campaign trail and that is different.

  17. June 15, 2009 at 15:56

    Iranians sent a clear message of reform and engagement to the regime, which they chose to subvert and ignore. Of course the president is relevant. The cracks in the system are now open to the whole world. We see mullahs protesting the fraudulent election results and demanding change alongside the people of Iran.

    We all know now that there is not a single voice in Iran’s regime.

    And STRENGTH to all my friends out on the streets right now. Be safe.

  18. 25 Brian Foulkrod
    June 15, 2009 at 15:58

    The question isn’t whether they should accept the election results. Even if it mattered, the results were openly manipulated anyway.

    The real question is how long a revolution that overthrew one tyrant only to become another can survive. For historical guidance, John Adams was voted out after one term mostly on the Alien and Sedition act, where in France, the reign of terror never had to face an election. That post revolutionary power grab had to be destroyed.

    The revolutionary government has had decades to put itself up for change in open elections in a mockery of post revolutionary progress and moderation, and have now openly thrown down the gauntlet.

    The greatest test of legitimate leadership is its willingness to limit its own powers, and even be set aside for another.

  19. June 15, 2009 at 16:00

    ironically, last year when your program contacted me to speak about who really controls all aspects of the iranian society. i was ungraciously cut off, when i related that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controlled everything, so obama’s desire to dialogue with Ahmadinejad was pointless. you editors seemed to think some academic’s ivory tower platitudes about a potamkinist “non-religious” council being a power in iran was more important. this “election” proves my point: Ahmadinejad or Mousavi do not, and will not, have one speck of real power, only the ability of being the potamkin face iran’s sharia rulers wish to deceive the world with. let the pr campaign begin.

  20. 27 Muthee in Nairobi
    June 15, 2009 at 16:01

    Hi WHYS,

    Yes they should. I think people especially outsiders are believing Mousavi’s camp that the elections were rigged just because most have a bone to grind with Ahmadinejad over his past actions and outbursts. If the Iranian people want him, that’s fine and it should be fine with the world as well. If they think they will benefit through his hardliner stance on critical issues like nuclear capability development and peace in the in the Greater Middle East, that’s another issue altogether. And like Steve said, the Ayatollahs are the people who call the shots regardless of who is president. What I would not want to see is a situation where the Western yardstick {democracy} is used to measure a country’s election of leadership, only to turn around should the “wrong guys” get elected. Remember the Palestinian election?

  21. 28 Julia in Portland, OR
    June 15, 2009 at 16:02

    With the communications into/out of Iran being limited the way they are, I think it is critical to second guess the results.

    I think it was Euripides who said “Question everything. Learn something.”

  22. June 15, 2009 at 16:06

    In my opinion, those who decide what goes on Iraq and which way its policies should turn are not the presidents who are elected after a few years, but some behind-the-scene God fathers whose position will never be up for elections.
    However, my advice to Iranians as to all aggrieved democrats is that: they should head to the tribunals, courts or whatever alternative the law opens to them. It has happened before in many places where people who go out on such protests are attacked by the police (or supporters of the other party). Some get arrested; some get brutalized and even killed.
    If it is finally proven that Ahmedinijjad won, then let him be. That is the beauty of democracy sometimes the ‘other’ candidate wins, sometimes they lose.
    Such is life!

  23. 30 Kelly
    June 15, 2009 at 16:07

    That’s the thing though. The results weren’t close – and all indications were that they should have been, at least in certain areas. There is plenty of evidence that the results were just plain made up.

  24. June 15, 2009 at 16:11

    No, no, no. The results of Presidential election of 12e June in Iran was fabricated it is Kristal clear that from the 45 million people who came to vote the majority was sympathizing with the reformer Mousavi and Karroubi.

    There most be a new faior and transparant Presidential election in Iran

  25. June 15, 2009 at 16:19

    Ros I dont think they have a choice. The continued protests I feel will die down once Iranians realise there wont be a change. I smell a rat in that election but who runs Iran and vetoes the presidency Mr Ayatollah and I feel he could side with Ahamedinajad who he sees “stands up” to the west and ignites Iranian pride as opposed to reformist Mossavi.

  26. 33 Roberto
    June 15, 2009 at 16:22

    RE “” It’s worth highlighting that according to official results, the election was not even particularly close. “”

    —————- Officials and experts are increasely held in contempt worldwide.

    People have an innate sense of wrongdoing. The Iranians are going to have to sort this thing out as they’ve been walking a tightrope for years by poor governance.

  27. 34 Andre
    June 15, 2009 at 16:28

    I believe that the Iranian people should accept the election result. The only time election results should be nullified should be when it can be demonstrably shown that the results of the election have been determined by a force other than the majority of the electorate. In the current Iranian election there is a lot of noise but little real evidence of election rigging on a scale great enough to change the results.

    Westerns might be puzzled about why Iranians reelected the “hardline” President Ahmadinejad but, the truth is, we do not have to know. Remember, in 2004 many Europeans and Asians confidently thought that John Kerry would be elected president of the USA – over George Bush; well, we all know who who that time.

    Maybe he looks after some key interests of quieter, more rural people; perhaps Iranians want a leader that can stand up to the U.N. Security Council and Israel. Perhaps the Mullahs pulled some strings for him – whatever the reason it appears that a majority of the votes cast are valid and, if so, then President Ahmadinejad has been reelected comfortably.

    Elections are curious things and one of the great dangers in a democracy are for the losing side to claim that everything is corrupt without evidence. People will have no faith in a democratic government if everytime it wins it is immediately accused of electoral fraud of such dimensions that it changed the results. Without absolute proof of such allegations claims of election frauds should not be pursued in public media but rather through the mechanisms provided by the state to protect the rights of all citizens.

    • 35 Afya (USA)
      June 15, 2009 at 17:47

      I don’t think people are particularly doubting that Ahmedinijad had significant support among many people in the electorate, however, I think that question is whether only 30% supported Moussavi and 60+ % supported Ahmedinijad. That’s where the fishiness comes in. Were the ex-pat Iranian votes even counted?

      I think everyone, in expressing their thoughts, should not make blanket statements one way or the other. But to say that fraud didn’t occur in the face of results numbers that are suspect at least, I think is unwise.

  28. June 15, 2009 at 16:46

    No, they should not if they believe that the election was stolen. But then, Americans should take note that if we had responded by defending democracy in a similar way after Al Gore’s victory in the 2000 election, many of the events of the past 8 years might not have happened. Though that being said, if one is truly a supporter of democracy, then one must be willing to lose a vote, too.

  29. 37 Afya (USA)
    June 15, 2009 at 16:48

    On the surface, this elections looks really fishy. I think the Iranian Regime goofed when they declared Ahmenijad the winner by such a large margin, and so quickly. I think had they given him a “squeak by” victory, we wouldn’t be as skeptical and protests would be less pronounced. I think that the Iranians should protest peacefully to call significant attention to the matter, wait for the results of the “investigation” to be released and then let it go this time…not because its right, but because the struggle for freedom will take time. It will happen. See the collapse of the Soviet Union, South African apartheid and the US Civil Rights Movement. They shall overcome!

  30. 38 Dave in Florida
    June 15, 2009 at 16:50

    Not Iranian…? Then your response is second-hand gossip.

  31. 39 Ibrahim in UK
    June 15, 2009 at 16:54

    I think the result itself is a red herring. The winner is limited in what changes he can make since the Supreme Leader holds the power.
    It does, however, present an opportunity for people to vent their anger and frustration with the regime using the election result as an excuse. It will be interesting to see how the regime and Iran as a whole reacts to this unprecedented level of open defiance, it could define their future.

  32. 40 viola
    June 15, 2009 at 16:57

    No. Iranians, as everyone should use their legal system. If the system doesn’t work, the Ayatollahs should acknowledge that and call for the necessary changes.

    one thing: The Ayatollahs having final say in elections reminds me of the U.S. Supreme Court deciding the outcome of of some close presidential elections. The legal estate seems to be the final arbiter in the U.S., while the religious estate has it in Iran.


  33. 41 deryck/trinidad
    June 15, 2009 at 17:04

    The Iranians should accept the results if and until they get substantiation of the election being rigged.

    Iran has approximately 72 million people and the protests contained thousands of people. This is just a tiny percentage of the entire population(less than 1%). If, in my opinion Mousavi genuinely won there would be mass uprisings across the entire country not.

  34. 42 Vijay
    June 15, 2009 at 17:08

    Should Iranians accept the election result?

    Yes,They should accept the election result ,the so called “urban elite” in Tehran have to release that they are in a minority,it is the rural masses who are in control , their will was exerted in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

    Just because some Iranians surf the internet are on facebook and twitter doesnt mean they are entitled to rule the country.

    Maybe they should look at what happened to those counter revolutionary rich spoilt kids with a sense of entitlement who decided to take on the Chinese regime 20 years ago, they were wrong, no one supported them ,they got shot.

    The peoples will is for the present regime

    It doesn’t matter which Iranian government is elected they will develop nuclear power,even exiled supporters of the late Shah are in favour

  35. 43 emmanuel formely of makerere university
    June 15, 2009 at 17:14

    Does huge turnouts at political rallies, extended media coverage and hype mean that one candidate is more popular?, no!. I believe President Ahmedinajad won the election, but since his hardline stands do not auger well with some powers, the popular belief is that he won unfairly. I concur with Muthee’s view that the western viewpoint should not be used as the yardstick to gauge a countrie’s level of democracy. The same thing happened in my own country during the last elections, one would have thought that the current president did not have any supporters. I however urge calm as violence only results in more division

  36. 44 deryck/trinidad
    June 15, 2009 at 17:21

    The hype and buzz on the internet and on twitter generated a perception that the majority of Iranians supported Mousavi, but when you delved into the (twitterers)many were foreigners. When I tried to ask those purporting to be from Iran if there was any inkling of proof that the election was rigged I came up empty.

    I find it disturbing that people could act on anecdotal evidence and come to conclusions without verifiable evidence especially those in the West. This isn’t logical thinking, this is mass hysteria.

  37. 45 Vijay
    June 15, 2009 at 17:28

    I wonder if the people demonstrating in streets of Tehran are morally the descendants of the CIA agent provocateurs and their rent -a-mob that over threw Mossadegh in the 1953 Iranian coup.

  38. 46 Andrew in Australia
    June 15, 2009 at 17:38

    Even if the vote was rigged I don’t see how the people in Iran could possibly have any input into an investigation. Isn’t that the nature of politics and ‘elections’ in such countries?

  39. 47 Joseph A. Migliore
    June 15, 2009 at 17:46

    I believe the Iranian election resultus should stand.

    There is another side to Iranian politics that is rarely portrayed in Western media, we all see the interviews from Tehran, the university students, the intellectuals, who would have choosen Mousavi, but the majority of voters, are outside the cities, in rural areas, they are the Islamists, who support Ahmadinejad.

    I think that the result of the Iranian elections, reflect the support that the majority of Iranians have for “Islamic principles” and for Ahmadinejad, they value having a strong leader who is supportive of their values — contrary to the Western perception of who we feel should be the Iranian president. Obviously, Mousavi would have been a preferred choice to win, but, for Western strategic interests.

    Whether the elections were fair and accurate are difficult to determine from outside of Tehran, but I feel that there is a hidden side to the Iranian population, supportive of Ahmadinejad’s political ideals. The population is divide, even among Iranian women.

  40. June 15, 2009 at 17:50

    I’m back to make another comment. Many people say that this is just the “urban elite”. You could not be more wrong. It is people in many places all over the country. The people on the streets today were civil servants, receptionists, accountants, students. The urban elite wouldn’t bother putting their lives on the line if they were alone.

  41. 49 patti in cape coral
    June 15, 2009 at 17:53

    I thought the majority of Iranians supported Mousavi? or is it just us in the west who like him? In any case, if the majority of Iranians did not agree, how would they fight it?

  42. 50 nora
    June 15, 2009 at 17:56

    When Richard Nixon walked away with 97% of the electoral vote in 1972, the students who voted for McGovern and filled the streets were ignored. Two years later, Nixon was impeached for his criminal administration.

    The beauty of an awake populace is not always acknowledged in the vote count, but Iranians are in the street for the great heart of yearning to grow their culture, not just their politics.

  43. June 15, 2009 at 17:58

    From the bits of news seeping out of Iran, it seems the revolutionary government might be more dictatorial than any in Iran had guessed… even to the point of fixing an election… or maybe two. Sounds like Ahmedinajad might have benefitted twice over.

    The problem is that “not accepting the election results” will chance to kill those who value change enough to stand up to the dictatorship… not good if one supports progress toward fair and free elections.

    On the flip side, the government has the power (and uses it) to imprison whoever they want, when they want, for as long as they want… meaning “accepting the results” won’t protect those who support free and fair elections.

    Ultimately, it is up to the Iranian people. I support them, no matter their choice of action or in-action. It is a frightening circumstance and I am sorry they must endure the repercussions… there will certainly be repercussions.

  44. 52 Bruno
    June 15, 2009 at 18:15

    No, absolutely not !

    How come the last time there was a massive participation ( 80% ) Kathami won by a landslide and now when the participation is even greater ( 85% ) the opposite happen ? Do you think Iranians would have switched from the most moderate president of modern Iran history, to one of the most extremist in such a short time ?

    I think not.

    This election was stolen, plain ans simple ! The iranian people must now stand firmly to reclaim what is rightifully theirs !

  45. June 15, 2009 at 18:17

    Americans were stupid not to take to streets en masse when Bush stole both elections. Iranians are the smart ones.

  46. June 15, 2009 at 18:18

    If any of the leaders is elected by the people using democracy, I would say we should have to accept the results.

  47. 55 joe in corvallis, or
    June 15, 2009 at 18:21

    this is a time to consider this option. non-violent resistance.

    here is an excellent link to similar situations through recent history.

    non violence works well and is better then violent revolution because of the excuse violence leaves for pointing fingers and keeping positions.

    Iran could be a perfect example of how non-violent change can happen.

  48. 56 Ramesh, India
    June 15, 2009 at 18:21

    In muslim countries(except Turkey and a a couple of others) democracy is a myth. These countries need imposing rulers. Else, these nations would be disintegrated. Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan are fine examples. Once Iraq used to be a very secular country but under saddam hussain! About Iranians, if they really want real democracy, they should fight for it. Remember they had overthrown the Shah?

  49. June 15, 2009 at 18:22

    The West in my opinion is trying to manipulate poor Iranians to believe that Amadinajad does not mean well for them .
    Lets face it, Iran has never had it so good economically and politically.
    I believe this is the time for Iranians to accept the man who refuses to be a puppet to the West.
    Stand Up and act right. If i were an Iranian, i would have voted for Amadinajad. Congratulations.
    I love his guts.

    • 58 Afya (USA)
      June 15, 2009 at 19:05

      Why do you believe this? Who is “The West” that you are talking about? I am an American, and I have no interest in manipulaing poor Iranians. I have a degree in Political Science and International Relations and just happen to be interested in watching the democratic process in Iran and elsewhere. It sounds like you are being contrary just for the sake of being contrary and are “anti-west” in your views, whatever the topic may be.

      We doubt that Ahmedinijad won by such an overwhelming landslide and it has nothing to do with being from the West.

  50. 59 Tom K in Mpls
    June 15, 2009 at 18:26

    There is only one way to develop and grow. Accept it. The instability and division has always been the problem in Iran. It does not matter why they are divided.

  51. June 15, 2009 at 18:28

    Not just Tehran protesting. Tweets coming in from many cities all over Iran, massive protests all over.

    Gun shots cae form Basij. AP photographer.

  52. June 15, 2009 at 18:33

    This Iranian election was free and fair and could not have been rigged when comparison to the election that brought Bush to power the second time.
    Please let Iranians be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    • 62 Afya (USA)
      June 16, 2009 at 16:06


      With all due respect, please do not throw stones at the US political/electoral system….Nigeria is certainly not known for being a beacon of political freedom and fairness and like every other country is certainly not free from corruption. Again, I’m not saying that the Iranian elections were rigged, I’m just saying that I doubt that Ahmedinijad won by such a large margin. Your anti-western sentiments are evident.

      By the way, how can you, from Nigeria assert without a doubt that the Iranian elections COULD NOT have possibly been rigged?

  53. 63 Keyvan in San Francisco
    June 15, 2009 at 18:33

    How can anyone suggest to the youth of the Iran that were given hope for even modest change, their vote was disposable?

    It is the shamelessness of a mathematically impossible margin of victory that should be an insult to all Iranians regardless of who they voted for.

    If this election stands, then what is the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mugabe or Mubark or Qaddafi?

    I hope the well-to-do Iranians that hope and support change do not retreat and hide behind the walls of their villas and complain at their parties. If you retreat into silence from such blatant thievery of people’s will, then how can you look yourself in the mirror. What is the difference between you and the Mullahs and their cabal that can live unconscionably knowing that the majority of their countrymen did not want them in office.

    I beg the world and the Iranian diaspora to support the youth and middle class of Iran that can not wait and watch their lives waste away under this heartless regime. Do not accept this result. Inform all your friends of this electoral crime.

    The people of Iran deserve better than these hypocritical men of “God”.

  54. June 15, 2009 at 18:40

    This Iranian election was free and fair and could not have been rigged when compared to the election that brought George Bush to power the second time in America.
    Please let Iranians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  55. 65 Osa
    June 15, 2009 at 18:42

    The people of Iran should abide by the result of the election and stop the demonstrations. The margin between the candidates is very wide which shows that the election reflected the will of the people.
    Iranians should move on with their lives.

  56. 66 James Brady
    June 15, 2009 at 18:42

    Hi All!

    when you see on the television tens of thousands of people in the streets who are out supporting Ahmedinjad – are they forced to be there? I guess they are there because they voted and their choice won the election!

    When we see students and other protesters on our tv’s throwing rocks and what ever they can pick up at the police, what does the world expect the police to do? We have witnessed gross violence on public demonstrations in Greece, America, Italy, where were all these whining voices then?

    the western powers are innately anti-ahmedinijad and I believe that this is the agenda of current coverage.

    unfortunately, there are some very weak arguments being put forward on tonight’s show

    • 67 Afya (USA)
      June 16, 2009 at 16:16


      I hope you saw the subsequent protests w/hundreds of thousands of Mossavi supporters the next day.

      True, media can twist things anyway they want, but if the elections were fair, why cut off cell phone, close foreign tv networks, kill students?

      “Western Powers ae innately anti-Ahmedinihad”….Really? Innately? C’mon…stop generalizing. It doesn’t help the debate at all.

  57. 68 David M in SJ
    June 15, 2009 at 18:48

    The issues with Iran go far beyond the election itself and even beyond Iran itself. The election may have finally woken up the Iranians to the problems in their own society and their own psyches and that those problems were (and are) not imposed by other societies outside of Iran (like the US). Iranians have a difficult time accepting that they might have been wrong (as in the Iranian Revolution) and, so, would rather blame the problems they create for themselves on influences from others.

  58. 69 oscar carballo
    June 15, 2009 at 18:50

    He won, but opposers have all the right to protest, if that’s what they want to, and their government must let them do so.

  59. June 15, 2009 at 18:56

    It is claimed that Ahmadinejad won the city of Tabriz with 57%. His main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is an Azeri from Azerbaijan province, of which Tabriz is the capital. … It is claimed that cleric Mehdi Karoubi…received 320,000 votes…even losing in Luristan. He is a Lur… Mohsen Rezaie, who polled very badly and seems not to have been at all popular, is alleged to have received 670,000 votes, twice as much as Karoubi. … Ahmadinejad’s numbers were fairly standard across Iran’s provinces. In past elections there have been substantial ethnic and provincial variations. … The Electoral Commission is supposed to wait three days before certifying the results of the election…

  60. 71 James Brady
    June 15, 2009 at 18:57

    Hi again,

    My comment appears so negative and wasn’t meant to!

    Love the ‘World, Have your Say’ by the way – and Ros is a great host!!

    James, Berlin, Germany

  61. 72 Keyvan in San Francisco
    June 15, 2009 at 18:59

    Dear James Brady and Dear Mary

    Every instrument of power supports Mr. Ahmadinejad. Yes the supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad are bussed for free and given food and stipends for attending staged political rallies.

    Mary, this election was a farce. What is worse that letting people vote and then coming out with a comically untrue results.

    Please do not excuse this electoral crime because of grievances with the west and the recent elections in US. Yes, George Bush stole the 2000 election and the US responded 8 years later by electing one Barak Obama.

    Again, the result of the election based on the demographic make up of the country does not make any sense whatsoever. It is that simple. How can Mussavi have done so poorly in his hometown in a country that supports it local politicians fiercely.

    • 73 Jim Newman
      June 16, 2009 at 18:19

      Hello again
      And hello Keyvan. Your quite right. Maybe the next election or the election after that, in Iran, will balance the books in a similar way.

  62. 74 Rick
    June 15, 2009 at 19:00

    They should really protest the absolute authority the Mullahs have on the country. The real power is an un-elected dictatorship.

  63. June 15, 2009 at 19:11

    Hello this is Emily moderating the blog. A few of you have posted comments that are too long. Please limit yourself to one or two short paragraphs at the most. Thank you.

    • 76 Dennis Junior
      June 15, 2009 at 22:13

      @ Emily and the WHYS Team!

      I usually keep my comments short and sweet (and simple)…

      ~Dennis Junior~

  64. 77 Dinka Aliap-Kampala
    June 15, 2009 at 19:39

    Hi Ros.Iranian results taken me back on what Mamar Khadhafi of Libya said before taking over UA chairmanship that ONE PARTY SYSTEM is BETTER THAN MULTI-PARTY/BI-PARTY SYSTEM in term of development,peace,stability & unity of the country and the people should follow his example(one party system).

  65. 78 kiprop in kenya
    June 15, 2009 at 19:42

    i think ahmedinajad won but people did not expect it. thus musavees supporters are protesting.

  66. 79 Harry
    June 15, 2009 at 19:43

    I would love to hear an explaination by Ahmadinejad supporters how arresting over 100 of the opposition legislators is acceptable political behavior.

  67. 80 Marco Polsen
    June 15, 2009 at 20:19

    Hi there –

    any chance for you to post the podcast soon? Friday’s show hasn’t been been published neither has today’s (so far)! Please don’t forget your listeners/subscribers who follow you loyally. Thx. MP

    • June 16, 2009 at 12:13

      Hi Marco,

      yes we’re having some technical difficulties with uploading the podcasts at the moment. But don’t worry, as soon as that’s fixed (fingers crossed) we’ll put those previous shows online.


  68. 82 Shafi India/Bahrain
    June 15, 2009 at 20:31

    salaam all…

    I think the media speculated the whole situation wrongly by just seeing some rallys in Tehran and conjured the picture of Ahmadinajad losing election big time… But like most nations, real population lives in small towns and villages where the situation is different. Since whole world speculated that Ahmadinajad is set to lose, supporters of mosavi just couldn’t accept the real outcome. Every loser inelection calls for re election and other allegations. we heard this in madagaskar and in some african country elections also. But reality is Ahmadinajad has won big time. Supporters of mosavi are going through the same phase as Susane Boyle went after losing her contest. Its the adverse outcome effect that we are seeing in the form of these protest rallies.

  69. 83 Andre
    June 15, 2009 at 21:04

    There has to be proof, not supposition, to overturn the result of a democratic election. I personally do not like Ahmadinejad as long as the results say that he won and there is no evidence that he cheated on masse … well, then he won!

  70. 84 Thomas Murray
    June 15, 2009 at 21:22

    I’ve been resting in bed with a fractured collar-bone so I’ve been pigging out on all the news channels.

    Long story short, it’s in Iran’s best interests to accept the election.

    Tehran, like other modern cosmopolitan capitols, tends to support more liberal issues than in the hinterlands.

    But that’s how George Bush was re-elected in 2004. John Kerry, his opponent, won huge numbers in New York and LA/San Francisco-dominated California, but Bush won over the rural areas in the states where — like in Iran — the day-to-day subsistence living tends to make people more conservative, more wary of the type of change that could adversely affect their quality of life.

    Like Bush, that’s where Ahmadinajad won.

    Unlike Bush, Ahmadinajad won by a decisive margin — nearly 2’3rds of the vote I hear. Bush LOST the popular vote, but won the electoral college. A complicated subject, but my time’s almost up.

    BTW, a med student at the local coffee house said my range of motion in my arm looks remarkably good. Cheers!

  71. 85 Yola
    June 15, 2009 at 21:41

    well educated Iranians leave Iran in their thousands for hated West to make decent living. Seems like voting with their feet. Nobody can beat that.

    • 86 Jim Newman
      June 16, 2009 at 20:52

      Hello again
      There are still about 40000000 Iranians who have not left.
      I’m afraid that you must accept that education is not everything and that humanity counts as well.

  72. 87 Dennis Junior
    June 15, 2009 at 22:11

    Hi, I think that the Iranian citizenry should not accept the
    election results…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  73. 88 Elias
    June 15, 2009 at 22:19

    There is no doubt the election may well have been rigged, it should not come as a surprise as men in power like the meglomaniac leader of Iran may well have doctored the results in his favour. Had he won by a small margin it could well have avoided the controversy of a rigged election. If he genuinely won by the large margin he should submit to another and not worry about the result, however it must be done in a way with independent moniters to satisfy th Iranian people.

  74. June 16, 2009 at 02:34

    There is planned a global solidarity event June 26th supporting jailed, tortured unionists calling for the immediate and unconditional release of jailed trade union members and leaders including:

    * Mansour Osanloo,
    * Ebrahim Madadi,
    * Farzad Kamangar.

    The global rallies will also call for the annulment of the one year prison sentences recently handed down against the five leaders of the Haft Tapeh Sugarworkers’ Union, as well as the release of trade unionists arrested in Tehran on May Day.



  75. 90 Meghan, Portland, OR
    June 16, 2009 at 03:59

    This entire election has the notes of a badly played farce. If someone were to rig an election in this day and age, they really should have kept it as a closer race. Then they shouldn’t have cracked down so hard on protesters, or made their control over the communications so clear and tight. If this had happened in America, yes, there would have been as massive, though probably not as peacefully attempted protest. If we had suddenly found ourselves unable to access the internet, make telephone calls, receive television broadcasts in 2000 or 2004, there would have been no question that something was being pulled and there would have been demonstrated outrage.

  76. 91 Jim Newman
    June 16, 2009 at 09:37

    Hello again
    As there was such a massive turn-out for the election that Ahmadinejad won by a handsome majority, I should imagine that the Iranians do accept the result. I think it is very bad sportsmanship for the minority not to accept the result and cause so much trouble. Even if there had been irregularities I doubt very much if they could account for a 60 to 30 majority.- practically 100%. The loosers should have the decency to wait until a full investigation into the count is finished.
    The USA, being the great champions of democracy and peace, should be very happy that elections were held at all.
    Instead all we hear from Washington are a few mealy mouthed comments.

  77. 92 Brian Foulkrod
    June 16, 2009 at 09:50

    There is no comparison between the Bush elections and this (and no, I never considered voting for Bush, so don’t read ahead, please).

    Democracy works like this:

    Secret ballot means I vote in private.
    Fair and open election means all parties involved witness the count to verify the total (which is how and why the U.S. elections were questioned and legally contested without bloodshed).

    The letter (made public) to the Supreme Leader by the opposition questioned why they were not allowed access to witness the count (as is required by their own election laws). This and protest from some in the clerical circles forced the Supreme Leader to ask for an “investigation”.

    I also don’t remember phone service and internet cut off, foreign journalists arrested, sent packing after their visas were revoked or left hoping the angry mob would chase U.S. secret service from attacking. We have the luxury of living under a system that was founded in a way admitting it was flawed, and constructed to improve over time. Our political history has as much in common with post revolutionary Iran as it does with the French Reign of Terror.

    We may have reason to feel shame over our election results, but demonizing our open system only glorifies and justifies the torture the Iranians have to live with.

    They overthrew one tyrant only to land under the boot of another.

  78. 93 David
    June 16, 2009 at 11:56

    Actually, it is pathetic to hear educated people say “we know the election was rigged” You are not even in Iran, then how do you know?!

    In your views, did Iran allow democratic elections? I still do not understand what democrasy is. Can some one tell me please.

  79. 94 Mohammed Ali
    June 16, 2009 at 16:16

    Let the Iranians accept the right results. If the first results are not true, then let them look for the true.

    • 95 Dennis Junior
      June 17, 2009 at 04:20

      That is very true and accurate….I want the Iranians and the International Community to accept the ACCURATE elections results…

  80. 96 Elias
    June 16, 2009 at 17:18

    To accept the result is to admit the election was fair and honest which is not acceptable to the many demonstrators who believe it was not.
    In order to satisfy the Iranian people, another election with independant monitors should take place so there can be no argument as to the result. The wide margin of some 60% of the votes in favour for Mr. Ahmedinejad should if true should be enough for him to be confident in winning again. Should he not agree would be to admit the possibility that the election was rigged.

  81. 97 Kurt From Oregon
    June 16, 2009 at 18:24

    Can anyone address the accusations against Mousavi that were made earlier in the program? I feel the media I’ve listened to paint a picture of Mousavi as an innocent old man. I’d like to hear the whole story if there is any truth to it.

  82. 98 Tobias Huelswitt
    June 16, 2009 at 18:32

    What kind of discussion is it on air right now? It sounds like BBC is discussing whether there IS a dictatorship in Iran at all! Absurd.

  83. 99 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    June 16, 2009 at 19:25

    I felt a cold shudder when your guest said the Iranian authorities are closing down communications, “as if they were planning something they didn’t want the world to see.”

    I heard those words from Tienanmen Square, on a day that gave way to a dark and dreadful night, when hopes and bodies were flattened under tank treads.

    Let’s hope that such a barbarous spectacle will not be repeated, and that the good people of Iran, whatever their politics, will not succumb to dark depravity. In the end, the world always sees, and the soul always knows.

    San Francisco

  84. 100 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    June 17, 2009 at 00:12

    The saddest aspect of the failed Iranian election is that Iranians and the world at large will never know who actually won the election.

    I believe that George W. Bush stole the American election that brought him to power. It is to America’s shame that it returned him to power in a fair election four years later.

    It is to America’s credit that it’s electorate brought Obama to power in the last election. Whatever toxic history there might be between Iran and the USA, I believe that the vast majority of Americans wish the Iranian people well, and hope they can overcome their current bad government just as we Americans overcame our bad government.

    It was, of course, easier for us Americans because, whatever the failings of democracy, we actually have it. Current events in Iran prove that Iran does not.

    But one can hope.

  85. 101 Andre
    June 17, 2009 at 00:38

    It is too easy to oppose President Ahmadinejad based on our general dislike of his policies. The west must realize that electorates can choose their leaders based on all sorts of criteria – the economy, foreign affairs, perception of standing up for the country’s interests etcetera. In the current Iranian election we have a suspicion but not proof of electoral fraud. Many close elections have been like that – for example the USA (specifically Florida in 2000). Millions of people thought that Al Gore had won the State of Florida and therefore, won the election. The Supreme Court chose otherwise. We did not riot in the streets and advocate the overthrow of the government.

    Let us give Iranians the chance to work out their electoral problems themselves. Yes, I am not a fan of the current Iranian president but that does not mean that he should not get due process. America and/or the U.N. should not attempt to bully Iran into choosing the president that we want. Let us applaud Iran for holding a democratic election and asking the Iranian government for permission for the U.N. to check out the validity of the election. If the election is invalid – we need to hold another election under U.N. supervision. President Obama is absolutely correct not to say that the election is either illegitimate or fraudulent when he cannot know this.

  86. 102 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    June 17, 2009 at 00:41

    @Vijay: You said: “I wonder if the people demonstrating in streets of Tehran are morally the descendants of the CIA agent provocateurs and their rent -a-mob that over threw Mossadegh in the 1953 Iranian coup.”

    Why don’t you just get over it? Whatever the USA government’s transgressions in 1953, the American people have moved on. Most of us weren’t even born in 1953. We are into Obama’s message of change, hope and reconciliation. Most Iranians were born after the Islamic Revolution. All of us would be better served by moving on, not by rehashing past grievances rendered obsolete by current events. Do you still want to rant about the Crusades? Do you still want to avenge yourself against people who mean you and yours no harm? To what end?

    Go ahead and keep on screaming “Death to America.” But understand that modern day Americans mean the Iranian people no harm, and are wishing them well in their current efforts of self-determination.

  87. 103 Dennis Junior
    June 17, 2009 at 04:23

    I have a “?” to ask: How can Iran’s Interior Ministry staff and its associates can count “the number” of votes that were received on Election Day in a window of 3 hours?

    ~Dennis Junior~

  88. 104 jillian
    June 17, 2009 at 11:14

    Directly after the elections and before the results were annouced there were complaints about the voting venues being closed early leaving many thousands unable to cast their votes. If this was the case, a recount would be worthless. If a rerun of the election is held the result would not necessarily be different.

  89. 105 jillian
    June 17, 2009 at 14:30

    After the voting closed but before the results were officially announced it was reported that thousands were unable to vote because the voting venues had closed well before the official closing time. If this was so and another election is called it would not necessarily make any difference to the result. Either Ahmedinejad won or he didn’t.

  90. 106 Vijay
    June 17, 2009 at 18:24

    @donnamarie in switzerland

    Barack Obama and Ban ki Moon have taken a wait and see stance without a rush to judgement about who won or lost an election in Iran.

    There are parts of the world where history and its interpretation are important.
    I didn’t mention the US backing of the Shahs brutal regime,Iran-Contra or the US backing of Saddam Hussein in the war against Iran in which hundreds of thousands of people died.

    We are in a unipolar world where the USA is the hegemonic power a position it reached by the out competing the British Empire and defeating the Soviet Union and that didn’t happen by accident or providence.Monroe doctrine and manifest destiny
    I don’t get where you got “The Crusades” , “avenge yourself” or “Death to America” from or how you can make a sweeping characterisation about the whole of th USAs population(all 300million)intention towards Iran.

  91. 107 john in Germany
    June 19, 2009 at 10:41

    The Worlds press is gagged. No neutral observers were allowed.
    750 Complaints have been made about the election.
    Would You?.

    John in Germany

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