What next for Iran? Your questions to Iranians

1 Iran7 people have been killed according to Iranian state radio and more protests are planned today. There could be more violence as Ahmadinejad supporters plan a demonstration at the same place as the pro Mousavis.

2 IranInternet sites and mobile phones have been blocked and as WHYS explained on air on Monday, despite calling 150 numbers in Iran, we couldn’t get through to anyone.

But it seems we might have better luck today as there is patchy coverage and some people are starting to get through.

Post your questions to people in Iran here.

96 Responses to “What next for Iran? Your questions to Iranians”

  1. 1 deryck/trinidad
    June 16, 2009 at 10:26

    To Iranians:

    1. What were the official figures of the results in the districts for the candidates?

    2. Besides gut feeling and the power of the crowd do you have any substantiation that the elections were rigged?

    • 2 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 15:41

      1. According to the initial results published initially by the Interior Ministry:
      َAhmadi Nezhad had a landslide victory in the opponents’ districts. But later they changed their affixed numbers to look like more or less a 50-50 situation in some cities like Tabriz which is considered the stronghold of Mousavi:

      So, now we have in Tabriz for instance:

      Ahamdi Nezhad: 435728
      Mousavi: 419983
      In the province of Eastern Azerbaijan (whose center is Tabriz):
      Ahamdi Nezhad: 1131111
      Mousavi: 819546

      In the province of Lorestan (The stronghold of Karoubi):
      Ahamdi Nezhad: 677829
      Karoubi: 44036
      Mousavi: 219156

    • 3 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 16:11

      2. I don’t know how mathematical of a proof you are looking for, but one problem is the candidate’s inspectors were not permitted to many sites, or being ousted from the election sites during the election or during the counting. Before the initial results came out also, all inspectors and even normal employees in the interior ministry was asked to leave.

      As for Mathematical reasoning, the problem is that it does not need rocket science to fabricate some numbers consistently. However, even from the published results, it seems that they haven’t done their best to fabricate the results. For instance during consecutive reports from the state TV, they once reduced the total number of votes for one of the candidates (Rezaei), or sometimes, the number of reported votes for each candidate did not sum up to the reported total. They refused to report the invalid ballots until the end too, which was unconventioanl.

      I should add the limited recount that the Gaurdian Council is pursuing does not resolve the issue either, because by now the government had enough time to replace the real votes with fake ones.

      Here you can find the file for the published results (moi:ministry of interior): The symbols in Farsi represent the name of provinces and cities: (The site may be down btw b/c of internet attacks)


    • 4 Azi
      June 16, 2009 at 21:12

      Just check the crowd who are protesting out and you’ll know what proof we have.

  2. 5 Ann
    June 16, 2009 at 10:38

    I would really like to ask the following question to some of the Iranian people who are not tweeterers, twitterers, bloggers or university educated English speakers….

    How do you feel about the results of the election in your country?

    • 6 Azd
      June 16, 2009 at 18:17

      They can have their voice to be heard. For example there was a celebration for Ahmadinezhad victory on Sunday for those people and the western media covers that perfectly. Also lots of Ahaminezhad supporters has access to internet.
      Ahmadinezhad government has the power right now, he has the TV, Radio, Media, and Internet with lots of websites (almost all of the the other candidates’ websites in Iran are banned!), he and his supporters can address the issue in Iran as they want.
      The point here is that the only media that Mousavi has is the presence of his supporters in the street! He does not have an official media, his websites are banned, his newspaper is banned. He can not come to the TV and tell what is happening. So how his supporters can object with the election result!!!???
      In addition, Ahmadinezhad’s supporters came to the street today and had a demonstration. The media in Iran is more than enough to reflect what his supporters are saying and thinking!

  3. 7 Cheryl Simonds
    June 16, 2009 at 10:45

    I am currently staying with friends in Germany who like to listen to spoken English via the internet. They have an internet radio but are unable to receive the BBC radio channels 1 – 4 on this, but are able to listen via the internet on the computer. Could you please explain the reason for not being able to receive BBC radio on their internet radio. My friend has previously contacted you, but has not received a reply. I would very much appreciate a response whilst I am still staying here, over the next 2-3 days. Many thanks. Chery Simonds

  4. 8 Ramesh, India
    June 16, 2009 at 11:49

    My question to the Iranians is what difference it would have made if Ahmadinejad has lost the election. I know the answer – Nothing! But I like to hear different views.
    Another question if possible. If Ahmadinejad is actually a pro american, what difference that fact may cause on your citizens?

    • 9 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 16:38

      The second part of my answer will be about the differences it will make for the world:

      Foreign affairs is perhaps the most important issue. I believe Obama much prefers to negotiate with a moderate figure like Mousavi rather than a Holocaust denier. That also helps Iran to take a new approach regarding its nuclear issue, at least to provide more transparency in his activities.

      Iranians want their respect back in the international community and Ahamdi Nezhad has crushed the Iranian pride and picture outside Iran, that it will be very hard for foreign governments to take positive steps toward Iran.

      • 10 Emily in Colorado
        June 18, 2009 at 23:12

        In response, in your eyes, how could Obama work best for the people of Iran while honoring your government and not ‘meddling’ where we dont need to interfere?
        -I have been thinking of how best to handle the situattion(though my power ends at the computer) and I was wondering where you stood on your idea. Should we not just let your government figure it out? I sthere anything that would defer from Iranian pride if the U.S. did try to step in?

    • 11 Azi
      June 16, 2009 at 21:09

      It’s not about Mousavi anymore. Our protests are because they dared to change our vote. It’s democracy that we are crying for. If you were an Iranian you would not believe that Ahmadinejad has won the election

  5. June 16, 2009 at 11:52

    Thank you a million times Ann… It does seem as if the supporters of Mr Mousavi are pretty much louder and better connected to the outside world, but does all of that mean that their numbers are superior to the numbers of Mr Nejad’s supporters, who are apparantly not hightly educated, not very well connected to the outside world, and do not speak pretty good English and that’s why their numbers do not count and we should just get over them and ignore them completely ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

    • 13 Azi
      June 16, 2009 at 21:15

      My dear Lubna
      Trust me this is not the first time we have lost an election. Have you ever heard anything? No. Because it was fair and square. But this time we can not let go because people were voting for Mousavi

    June 16, 2009 at 12:24

    I would like to ask Iranian citizens to remain calm and head the advice of their leaders. They are unwisely legimizing violence as a means of addressing dispute. Your current method of engagement has failed in many places to produce the desired results.

    It all looks as if a few citizens want to overthrow a leadership that surely will not take it sitting down. Such behavior here in Africa has left us loosers due to loss of life and destruction of national assets. Revolution is a process rather than a leap in a single day.

    End violence now and reform your country through peaceful means. Their current behavior is disgusting.

    • 15 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 17:12

      Dear Arthur,

      Thanks for your note. We completely understand your concern, and I can assure you so far that ordinary people who are protesting are wise enough to take wise peaceful actoins. Some of the violence you may have seen are by gangs hired by the government to create tension by putting on fire banks, etc. In some of the pictures reported you can see that the riot police itself is breaking the car/stores windows, and funny enough, today’s pro A.N. rally are supposedly for those whose properties have been damaged during the protests. It’s hard to believe, I know, but the current regime, which btw we are not looking for its overhaul–we just want our votes back—thinks he has no way back, so the current group in power will use everything in hand to crack down the protest, even by sending false images.

        June 16, 2009 at 18:31


        Thanks for clarity. I was very uprehensive when I saw those picks. They reminded me of what happened in my country three years ago when people went torching houses and maiming our countrymen.

        You live in a religeous country which we admire not because of leadership but because of the people, their culture, world heritage monuments. We care about Iran and we would not like to see it sink like Iraq.

        This time around, try to calm down and understand that, even if you think the establishment is hard headed, they have heard. I do not think that they do not have Iranian people in their heart. Your country is quite ahead. It is commendabel to hear a BBC reporter doing his job inside Iran and quite free unlike in China which has gone through a painful history but non the less is continuing to be a success on the world stage. I feel for you as individual and for the beauty of Iran. People first and government last.


    • 17 Emily in Colorado
      June 18, 2009 at 23:27

      If what they want is reform, how would you suggest would be the way to get the world attention needed and the BEST way to get a reform?

  7. 18 Shahid Ali
    June 16, 2009 at 12:41

    We know that Mahmood Ahmadenijad has won the election by huge support, all the western propaganda about the rigging election is a fraud!! they are using few people for their own interests,, the current protests are the result of the Ammerican dollars used to buy people in Iran. We know they (US)wont be success ful in their evil plans!! Long Live Iran
    Shahid Pakistan

    • 19 Samira
      June 16, 2009 at 19:27

      Dear Ali Shahid,

      What do you mean by we? You mean the people from Pakistan or…?
      I would like to draw your attention to the point that one day after election neither of the western and american channels had news about fraud election of iran and they just announced that Ahmadinejad had won. Afetr few days and after calm protest of Iranian they started to show real news.

      So you see that these propogandas from western media are even pro-Ahmadinejad.

      Secondly, I should inform you that Americans can not buy Iranian because 1.they have economical criises at the moment themselvs. 2. Iranian are patriot!

      thank you Iran will long live but we are looking for democratic lon live.

  8. 20 somayeh
    June 16, 2009 at 13:40

    I’m so sorry for all iranians.i witnessed such a vast bloodshed that i couldn’t describe.all around in Azadi streets and highways were countless numbers of people who were demonstrating silently.but at the end the riot police and pressure and hardliners shoved through the crowd and started shooting.12 shot dead.one girl shot in her head.there will be more BLOOD.

  9. June 16, 2009 at 13:42

    I think Lubna is right. The supporters of Mausavi could be young, educated, english-speaking and well-connected to the Internet, but the real big numbers could still be in favour of Ahmedenijjad.

    I understand that one-third of all elibible voters were born after 1979 revolution. Which means that the really young could be of a large number but only one-third. What about the two-thirds? Many of the two-thirds have voted too.

    Facebook and Texting can mostly reach only that young one-third, not the other two-thirds of the electorate, who may have been conditioned by the public media which is in government’s control. And voted for retaining Ahmednijjad.

    But being young, the one-third can throw things and hold demonstartions, and raise voice, which the others – even if majority – can’t. It has long been seen in history that the youth bring out the changes they want, by their active-work. So, its perhaps not who has the numbers, but who has the youth on their side who cause revolutions.

  10. 22 John in Salem
    June 16, 2009 at 14:13

    My question to Iranians~
    An announcement by Ayatollah Khamenei says that his office will look into alledged fraud at some polling stations, but most Western observers anticipate it will merely rubber-stamp the official results.
    Do you agree? What effect will a decision favorable to Ahmadinejad have on what is happening now?

    • 23 Hamid
      June 16, 2009 at 16:41

      Yes John. He is trying to buy time (10 days) so the urgency goes away and the protesters get demoralized. It is a show and people wont fall for it.


    • 24 azi
      June 16, 2009 at 21:22

      We are not hopefull that he will change anything. that’s why it’s crucial for all Iranians to keep protesting and not to give up until we get a rerun of the election.

  11. 25 Shannon in Ohio
    June 16, 2009 at 14:45

    Lubna and Ann both make excellent points. First-hand accounts of the protests seem to be coming almost exclusively from the well-educated and well-off. I am very interested in what professors and their students have to say, but I also want to hear what the guy who drives a bus has to say, what the woman who sells vegetables for a living has to say.

    The apparant class divisions between those who voted for Mr. Ahmadinejad and those who voted for Mr.Mousavi remind me a great deal of the outcomes of the past few U.S. presidential elections.

    The vast majority of people who voted for Bush in 2004 and McCain in 2008 had less education and money than those who voted for Kerry and Obama respectively. Here in the U.S. pundits have devoted a great deal of time to this subject, asking this question: Why are working class and poor people, be it in Iran or the U.S., on average, more conservative than their fellow citizens who are college-educated? Is this just a matter of being “less connected”? Does this still apply in a world full of cell phones and cyber cafes? I would be very interested to learn what Iranians from MANY DIFFERENT walks of life think about this.

    My heart goes out to all of the people of Iran. I hope the violence stops soon and some peaceful resolution can be achieved.

    • 26 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 17:40

      Dear Shannon,

      You have raised good points, but comparing the AMerican society with the Iranian one, is so inaccurate. Please see my replies to Lubna and Ann. Thanks 🙂

    • 27 Greg By The Sea
      June 17, 2009 at 19:21


      I really like the point you make … it is always good to see similarities be they good or bad. Similarities is what bring people together and differences, apart.

      Of course, Iran and America both have complex differences, but like you say it would be good to hear from the busdriver or produce peddler. I hope they are much more saavy than America’s rural poor who are overwhelmingly conservative and far on the right. I know this because I live in the rural South in the United States.

      I wonder too, if folks in Iran are fed up with the continuous loss of freedoms. I only pray this conflict stays a velvet/colour revolution and not turn into another bloody civil war. I can only hope the Iranian people continue to stand for freedom.


  12. June 16, 2009 at 14:46

    What can those of us living outside Iran do to support you? What do you need from us?

    • 29 Hamid
      June 16, 2009 at 16:39

      Thanks Tori for your support. The answer is Information. Share responsibly written news with less-informed non-Iranians and let them see that this is not a riot. This is a a protest against dictatorship and an effective coup in a peaceful way by the people of Iran. They want their vote back, and they should be respected and supported for that.


      • 30 Ramesh, India
        June 16, 2009 at 19:17

        Come on hamid. You sound ridiculous. You say you are not revolting against the current regime but want your votes back. and you call the current regime a dictatorship. Do you really expect a dictatorship to give back your voting right seeing your protest on WHYS? My advice to you is that if you really feel for your country, go there and fight for your cause.

  13. 31 patti in cape coral
    June 16, 2009 at 14:51

    My question for the Iranians is, would you trust the results of a recount. If the first result was fudged, couldn’t the second result be fudged? Do different people do the recount than the ones that did the original?

    Also, from what I have read, there is a supposed difference between the vote of well-educated Iranians that have more contact with the outside world and rural, isolated, less educated Iranians. What is Mr. Nejad offering that makes the “lesser educated” Iranians vote for him?

    • 32 Hamid
      June 16, 2009 at 16:35

      NO. The ballots have been in the possession of the Ahmadinejad government and will most likely have been tampered with. The only possibility is to have a fair election with neutral observers from outside Iran.


      • 33 Ramesh, India
        June 16, 2009 at 18:23

        Hamid, Why should there be observers in an election of your country? You don’t trust your govt? Then how can you say you are not revolting but just want your votes back. Rights come with responsibilities, I doubt.

    • 34 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 17:44

      Dear Patti,

      I agree with Hamid regarding your first point. Regarding your second point please read my replies to other comments above. Generally speaking the thing that uneducated people will definitely vote for A.N. is a wrong impression. Most these people actually remember Mousavi as a genuine supporter of the poor and rural communites during his term. He had a very social program back then focused on their needs. So, you, or the world, may not remember Mousavi, but Iranian people do.

  14. 35 Gary Paudler
    June 16, 2009 at 14:52

    If the presidential election in Iran was rigged, by what mechanism might that be confirmed? What process, institution or agency exists to determine that fairly and report it honestly? If the election was fair and the majority did vote for Ahmadinejad, then we would all be surprised, but in the absence of a reasonable process, what results should we expect from the protests? Does anybody really want change as a response to violent outrage? Is there anybody in Iran who can harness popular emotion and build democratic reform? It’s fun to watch, but what do we really expect? In the run-up to the Iraq War, millions of protesters mobilized to demonstrate against invading Iraq, to no effect. Our leaders, and Iran’s, seem immune to public sentiment; having a vote isn’t the same as having democracy.
    With the recent passing of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre,
    it’s not too hard to picture a violent crackdown in Iran by an autocratic and unaccountable regime.
    Listening yesterday, it was interesting to repeatedly hear that the rest of Iran is different from Tehran; that’s the point that had to be made when ill-informed, emotional, poorly-educated bumpkins in the hinterlands voted Bush into office twice. Or did they?

    Summerland, CA

    • 36 WhereIsMyVote?
      June 16, 2009 at 17:52

      You have raised good points guy. The system as it is will not accept fraud unless necessary. It will become necessary if the protest is big enough. So basically the governement has started a game that could end us up in a lose-lose situation, but unfortuantely with this move neither side can retract.
      Second, you say that the rest of Iran is different from Tehran. Well, first of all, all uprising movement start from Tehran because of its population, and its politicized atmosphere, like many other capitals. Second, your information is not true. Media here does not cover the protests in other parts of Iran, perhaps because all their reporter if not yet forced to leave the country, are in Tehran. But if you have an Iranian friend in facebook, you see movies shot from different cities of iran including Tanriz, Mashad, Kerman, SHiraz, and Isfahan. Especially in the latter two the plain cloth guards have attacked university dormitories which has cost several lives so far.

  15. 37 Brian from Ca.
    June 16, 2009 at 15:20

    Iran’s electorial process is controlled by the Ministry of the Interior under Gen. Mahsouli, a general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and a senior aide to Ahmadinejad. There is no independent electorial commission, no secret balloting, no observers, and no mechanism for verification. Ahmadinejad won all 30 provinces, and among all social and age catagories. His three rivals lost even in their hometowns. This “election” was a carefully crafted charade and we have been duped.
    The take away is the military-security elite controlling the Iranian state, operating under a religious disguise, are ever so much in charge.
    Jimmy Hoffa used to always win elections too.

  16. 39 umoh, amos (from Nigeria)
    June 16, 2009 at 15:29

    Hi WHYS,
    In my over 2 years of participating in WHYS, my computer has never given me an error page on your blog, except today. I have this difficulty for over 20 minutes, accessing this blog page on “What next for Iran?…”(a strange occurrence as it were).

    I have this strong believe that this blog is not subject to any manipulation from the Iranian Government in any form.

    I have 4 questions running through my mind and engaging our debate right here in our workplace. These are:

    (1) What will the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei do?
    (2) Will the anger and protests on the streets subside or grow into something much greater?
    (3) A solidarity march for both the presumed winner and loser is about now going on, with both having mammoth crowds. Is there any fear of a collision course between these 2 camps?
    (4) What degree of election monitoring was there in Iran during the course of the election itself?

  17. 40 Julia in Portland, Oregon
    June 16, 2009 at 15:38

    My Questions

    *In many civil disputes in many countries families become divided, are families in Iran becoming divided by opinions, with some family members pro Ahmadinejad and some against?

    **If you are a protester – what specific action or actions would bring about an end to the protests and a peaceful resolution to the dispute?

    ***If you are a protester – is there any way you could and will accept Ahmadinejad if there is a proven honest/legitimate election and he won?

    My best to the people of Iran. This is heartbreaking.

  18. 41 Brian from Ca.
    June 16, 2009 at 15:50

    My question to Iranians is, what will you do personally when the Israelis bomb the nuclear weapon production facilites which sadly seems inevitable?

    June 16, 2009 at 15:55

    This election was turned into a referendum on Ahmadinejad and in fact it appeared as if he had been connered. Secondly it was about the dress code for women and the rights for gays and homosexuals. However, as the few days to the polls approached only the last too issues took the center stage. I think this was confusing to voters and your guess is as good as mine about voter reaction because it was a farce from the word go if you look at Iran critically.

    The more salient issues like, economy, the nuclear issues and the peace in the Middle East questions were never addressed fully by both candidates hence the racket. At this opinion junction, its all about political power masquerading in the name of democracy. Given how Iran is run and who has authority, I do not see the need for hooliganism on your streets.

    Yes! This elections were a farce and that cannot be blamed on a single individual. Emotional democracy, is biased even if secret ballot was used.

  20. 43 Tom K in Mpls
    June 16, 2009 at 15:56

    1. Do you think it is wise to force Khomeini to decide against you by using violence?

    2. Why did you decide to use violence?

    3 Is it possible to work for peaceful change within the current system?

    4. When you attack officials, what kind of response do you expect?

    5 Do you think ‘the west’ really cares who is in power when there is no stability in your government?

    We in the US have seen rigged elections. There are two possible responses. Legal and illegal. If you choose illegal, you are part of the problem. When Bush Jr rigged the Florida vote with his brother Jeb, it was contested legally. When it was clear they had the power at the time there was no choice but to let it go. Learn by our example. As for his reelection, it was a vote of fear strengthened by the anti terror propaganda. Sadly it was very predictable.

    • 44 Hamid
      June 16, 2009 at 16:33

      Dear Tom,

      The violence is caused mainly by the regime. The great majority of people are simply peacefully protesting. The regime thugs in plain clothes set fire to buses and smash windows and doors and banks to discredit the movement.

      Besides, please keep in mind that there is no real possibility of following this in a legal way. The justice system and teh GUardian council who are in charge are fully in the hands of the leader who has decided to takes sides with AHmadinejad (in theory, he must remain neutral; this is the big contradiction in the constitution of the Islamic republic which is now playing out–an all-powerful figure who is supposed to act in good faith!)

      The only way is for people to show that they will stand on the streets and protest the stealing of their votes.

      • 45 Tom K in Mpls
        June 16, 2009 at 18:25

        Thanks for a rational answer on an emotional topic. You can see from my posts on related topics, I suspected what you say and believe you are correct. But you probably can’t prove anything. From what I see, the current system has multiple facets that can overrule or undermine each other at any time. Also there has never yet been any consensus on any policy, national or international.

        The only thing that Iranians seem to agree on is that ‘the west’ opposes them. This is a misinterpretation of the truth. ‘The west’ refuses to take them seriously until there is a stable, focused and reliable political system. Otherwise how can anyone expect any agreement to be respected?

  21. June 16, 2009 at 15:59

    How far are the supporters of Ahmadinejad willing to go?

    Is this really an issue over who the president is or a way to send a message to the supreme leader?

  22. 47 Anthony
    June 16, 2009 at 16:02

    Wow. I have mixed feelings, because it seems crazy to do all this, but then again if we (USA) had done the same in 2000, our country might be in MUCH better shape.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  23. 49 Steve in Boston
    June 16, 2009 at 16:34

    Question for Iranian protesters:

    “Who would you trust to oversee a vote recount?”

  24. 50 Ibrahim in UK
    June 16, 2009 at 16:53

    1. If the recount confirms that Ahmadinejad is the winner, will you be happy?

    2. If the recount confirms that there was fraud and Mousavi is declared winner, will you be happy?

    3. Some of the protesters were carrying placards in English. How much foreign involvement is there in organising and instigating these protests?

    • 51 NO to Coup d'etat
      June 16, 2009 at 17:54

      1. recouning is begger fraud! The ballet boxes are in the interior Ministry ( the number one ally of Ahmadinejad) and so far they have had enough time to generate the ballets as they want and replace everything. They have aisted the inspectors at 10 pm on the date of voting.

      2. Yes, people will be happy, because they do not want a regime change at moment, they try to avoid a revolution unless absolutly nesseacary. They are realistic and do not expect a radical change, gradual chaange would be more stable and lasting. Iranian people had a revoluttion just 30 years ago and they all know how costly it is.

      3. The reason they carry the English placards has nothing to do the involvment of West. The reason is people in Iran wants their voices to be heard! The world media has projected Ahmadinejad and his views as what Iran and Iranians think within the last 4 years and the West and Israel has taken much advantage of that. No one has asked Iranian people what they think and they want, instead they tried to change the public opinion about Iran and show iranian violent, and terrorists. Ahmadinejad does not represent Iranians, he is a a man who has found the power a fun thing and just wants to be famouse, he doesn’t care about Iran and Iranians. He is ready to open fire on the people aas he is doing and gives away the land and oil of Iran on sale, just for his own goals. He has hellusination and there is a lot of evidence, on the web (Siasi-90) . He is crazy!

  25. 52 Esau O. Dahnsaw
    June 16, 2009 at 16:55

    Its time for the truth to prevail in Iran.
    unofficially leaked results shows that President Ahmadenijed came third in the Electoral counts.
    According to the unofficial reports, Mosavi is the absolute winner of the elections with more than 67 percent of the vote in his favor and president Ahmadenijed receiving 5.7 percent.

    Call me to discuss this on air.

  26. 53 steve
    June 16, 2009 at 16:56

    I still think this is just a show. We’ll find out if there’s a “recount” and Mousavi either decides to step it up when the result comes back, or he gives in. The only chance here is if he’s gone from a “reformist” to a revolutionary. That could be the reason why he’s doing what he is now, but I have afeeling he is going to concede, so this is all just a show. But there is the possibility he might have changed into a revolutionary, which basically would be for regime change. However, given his past, as part of the Islamic Revolution, having been a Prime Minister of Iran, and prior reformist Presidents of Iran still pursued nuclear weapons, I don’t think it’s likely he is a revolutionary.

  27. 54 Tom D Ford
    June 16, 2009 at 16:57

    I have been paying attention to the news and talk about the Iranian election and while trying to sort through the reporting and propaganda it is not clear to me what has really gone on and what is a positive path forward for the Iranian people.

    And while I am very much for education I don’t consider it wise to consider uneducated people to be un-intelligent or stupid, quite often uneducated people are wise in ways that book learners are not. And I have experience of being around people with very high IQs who believe things that just are not true.

    Given all that, I agree with Ann about wanting to hear from all the different sides in Iran.

    Why are the Conservatives against progress, is it just fear or what?

    What could the Progressives do to help alleviate the fear that Conservatives feel against change?

    Anyway, I’m listening.

  28. 55 deryck/trinidad
    June 16, 2009 at 17:00


    I appreciate your provision of some figures to show that the election was a farce but I am a sceptic and non-believer by nature so I look forward to other independent sources verifying your anecdote.

  29. 56 Anthony
    June 16, 2009 at 17:14

    @ Esau O. Dahnsaw

    Yeah, but you said according to unofficial reports, so I wonder where these numbers are from. According to unofficial reports Obama is a Muslim Terrorist, there are WMD in Iraq, and Sadam was directly connected to Osama.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  30. 57 UMOH AMOS (Ondo State, Nigeria)
    June 16, 2009 at 17:15

    @ Ibrahim in UK

    I learnt a PARTIAL recount of votes has been proposed. One question strikes, HOW PARTIAL WILL BE PARTIAL VOTES recount be? What on earth stops a TOTAL RECOUNT to once and for all clarify all grey areas.

    Or are we trying to hide or conceal anything? Just a questio@ Ibrahim in UK

    I learnt a PARTIAL recount of votes has been proposed. One question strikes, HOW PARTIAL WILL BE PARTIAL VOTES recount be? Why make a PARTIAL recoutnt when you can recounts all (in the eyes of everyone)? What on earth stops a TOTAL RECOUNT to once and for all clarify all gray areas.??

    Or are we trying to hide or conceal anything??? Just a question

  31. 58 Tom D Ford
    June 16, 2009 at 17:19


    If I recall correctly, he was involved in the original revolution that threw out the Shah, and I wonder if his experience of how that revolution ended up being taken over by the extreme right Conservatives instead of tending to a more moderate center has him worried that any progress that has been made towards moderation since then might be lost if Iran was forced to move too fast towards the center and the Conservatives reacted with their traditional violent repressions.

    Just speculation on my part.

    It has been very rare historically that any revolution has been allowed to succeed and go in the direction that the revolutionaries want it to go. And given the alleged lopsided numbers that voted for continued Conservatism I would expect a huge backlash against any demand for rapid progress and/or new revolution. But then the young tend to feel immortal when it comes to taking chances with their lives, so it is going to be interesting to watch how this shakes out.

  32. 59 Chrissy in Portland
    June 16, 2009 at 17:56

    First of all, my heart goes out to the people of Iran. I would also like to say that I am feeling a sense of pride for the people (especially the women)who are standing up for what they believe in.

    My questions are:

    1) Today’s news reports are saying that there will be a partial recount. I’m unsure that it will do anything in the current situation. Do the people of Iran feel this will help bring about resolution or do they feel it’s being done to try to quiet the protesters?

    2) If it’s decided that Mr. Ahmadinejad is the winner of the election, what if anything can the current regime do to try to win over their opposition? At this point, would the people be willing to listen?

  33. 60 Anthony
    June 16, 2009 at 18:13

    It’s like anywhere else. The more liberal are younger, louder, and has their voice heard especially online. The more conservative are older and more silent.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  34. June 16, 2009 at 18:15

    The international community should stand firmly behind the Iranian people. Do not let them down.

  35. 62 Adam Harbin
    June 16, 2009 at 18:16

    If voter fraud is discovered, would Mahmoud Ahmadinejad face prosecution? What punishments could he or others involved face?

  36. June 16, 2009 at 18:21

    CCC, Kingston, Jamaica – Iran True Transparency

    The people of Iran at this point onward can only end up with True Transparency.

    The game is over for those that wish to control free people who already know that they are free. And the people of Iran are now free in Spirit and Mind so the Body must follow suit too.

    We are happy for the New Iran that will result for it will look like what freedom and real joy really is. Free people will never take less. Go Iran onward to freedom!

  37. 64 An iranian
    June 16, 2009 at 18:23

    some of you guys made good points about the probability of election results being true. but have you ever asked yourself if ahmadi nejad really won the election, why are they so afraid of doing it again. even if the people are wrong about the election results being manipulated, isn’t it necessary to answer to their doubts and try to make them trust. why the are attack people on the streets. and to those how called our class mates being paid by us dollars, my own family are on the street, please respect your people will, even if you are not agree with it.
    I do believe that mousavi has won the election by far and they humiliate people by the numbers they have announced.

  38. 65 Vijay
    June 16, 2009 at 18:28

    What next for Iran?

    Maybe the Iranians should stop fighting each other and unite against a foreign enemy like Sunnis,Iraqis ,Arabs, Americans or Communists.

    Maybe a partial invasion of a soft target like Afghanistan to stop the heroin trade which is affecting Iran seriously or they could say they need to secure their borders to stop illegal immigration.

  39. 66 viola
    June 16, 2009 at 18:29

    How big a part are private militias that back Ahmadinejad playing in the current crisis?

    How do Iranians feel about private militias? Approve or disapprove of them?

    I ask because I read a news report that said a militia that supports Ahmadinejad killed some protestors.


  40. 67 rob z.
    June 16, 2009 at 18:37

    The protests are a good thing,they mean that change is coming;maybe not as fast as most would like.But it will happen.
    But everyone must remember,patience and respect for all sides must maintained.

  41. 68 Payam
    June 16, 2009 at 18:40

    I think some part of the issue raises from the fact that there was a huge discrimination against reformists in the course of campaigning. Ahmadinejad had all the media and actually used his presidential power and resources against the reformists. Observing this unfairness during the campaign, and with no independent comittee overseeing the election process, no-one could believe that he didn’t cheat. Having this said, everyone who has lived in Iran could also feel how this regime acts when they want to force their will over people’s.

    June 16, 2009 at 18:43


    Thank you sister for raising the concern of how some people are sending very long posts. I was about to send you an appology yesterday because I felt touched by your concern but I could not send because of a power blackout when I was just finishing.

    I think I fall in this category and believe me sometimes I am very afraid not breech the rules because its good to have a standard and maintain the quality of the blog.
    I thank the BBC for providing this blog. To me this is democracy at work. I hope some governments will devote some time to see how democracy can work. It is a unifying blog where we feel like full citizens of the world.



  43. 70 Tom D Ford
    June 16, 2009 at 18:59

    I am not surprised about corruption, after all, in our US Bush v Gore election Conservative Republicans corrupted our US Supreme Court by involving it in a States Rights area in which they as part of the US Federal government had no jurisdiction.

    The thing is, what will the people of Iran do?

    I don’t see Ahmadinejad resigning because that would be sen as a capitulation to the protesters, so what else could he do to save face for both sides?

  44. 71 Nate, Portland OR
    June 16, 2009 at 19:11

    From my US perspective, Ahmadenijad (sp?) reminds me a bit of our George Bush Jr. Both have what appears to be a willfully ignorant, provincial and overly religious view on the world. Both have (had) a core of supporters who are largely ignorant not only of the outside world but of how their elected leader could effectively manage their governmental responsibilities. In Bush’s case it was blatant cronyism that put inept (e.g. FEMA and the Iraq reconstruction) and/or counter-productive (e.g. EPA and other regulatory agencies) people in charge. Ahmadenijad, meanwhile, seems to have no concept of how to run the economy and has more interest in haranguing the west than in cutting deals that can help both his people and ours.

    I don’t want to strain the comparison, but I think they are similar in their willful ignorance and hostile attitude towards outsiders and educated professionals. Admittedly both benefited greatly from inept and/or corrupt opposition.

    Obama was elected in large part by educated, knowledgeable people who want to respect other cultures and overcome differences. The segment of Iran that is risking their lives protesting this sham vote are the Iranian equivalent. If they can increase their influence in Iran, we’ll all be much better off. God bless all those brave souls fighting for representation in Iran.

    June 16, 2009 at 19:21

    @ Ros

    Mousavi was the first to anounce his victory before the electro commission did so. This was quickly followed by Ahmadinejad. This is ilegal and undemocratic for both of them to be their own referees thereby wagging the masses.

    It is in the interest of both candiates to calm their own citizen before too late.

  46. 73 Steve in Boston
    June 16, 2009 at 19:35

    A partial recount means they will now only count votes cast for Ahmadinejad.

    My guess is that this new method will confirm Ahmadinejad won by a landslide. 😛

    Ain’t democracy grand?

  47. 74 Ibrahim in UK
    June 16, 2009 at 19:44

    @ NO to Coup d’etat

    Thanks very much for answering my questions fully. From what I understand, the people want changes to the regime, not regime change, whether Mousavi is the winner or not, (but most expect that he would be the more likely candidate to bring about changes)

    @ UMOH AMOS (Ondo State, Nigeria)

    I presume a total recount would be more expensive. The quickest thing to do would probably be to recount the votes in the provinces which are most disputed to have been won by fraud e.g. in Mousavi’s home town Tabriz where Ahmadinejad won 57%. I am just assuming here. There could very well be sinister ploys or it could just be a matter of logisitcs or something else.

  48. 75 Marco Polsen
    June 16, 2009 at 20:47

    @ Emily from WHYS,

    I share your frustration with the broken podcast. Not all of us can follow you live or streaming and the podcast is our only link to the global discussion. I’m honestly a bit surprised that BBC has been unable to resolve whatever issue affects your podcast. With their broad offer and experienced staff, I wouldn’t expect an publishingh outage to last so long (esp. for a banner show like WHYS). Let us know if we can help in pressuring whoever is in charge of fixing the problem. All the best,


  49. 76 Rod Grover (Prague)
    June 16, 2009 at 21:28

    Monday morning I listened to a BBC interview with an American group who did polling research before the Iranian election that determined that Amadimijad had double the support of Musavi’s – more or less the election results. The spokesperson said that it was odd how FEW Western news agencies had called them about their results and I include the BBC among them. I think your journalists (incl. most Western media) have asked SPECIFIC questions to SPECIFIC people to that suit your democracy agenda and you have NOT really shown us the the true ideas held by Iranians. That Monday morning interview which I found so enlightening and informative has never been listed on your website. You have FAILED your mandate.

  50. June 17, 2009 at 01:05

    BBC, please allow me to have my say, respectfully.

    Pro-Mousavi protests= rich urbanites

    Most Iranians = religious, poor.

    A high turnout = a high turnout for Mahmoud

    The rich delusional liberal Iranians who are making us look very weak in the global stage should succumb to their next president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. You can’t have everything. If you don’t like it, leave the country, and please while you are at it, never mention any history or show pride in your background, just as to say ‘I’m Persian!’. I despise all of them; if Iran is bombed they will run away while the true Iranians will stay and fight.

    All of the men in these protests are truly feminists in my eyes, tweeting about the lack of freedom, preposterous!

  51. 78 Hamid
    June 17, 2009 at 04:13

    In response to many of the questions above, I will very briefly go over some facts
    0. The election process is run by Interior ministry (which is in full control of Ahmadinejad and) an Inspector appointed by Khamenei. In theory, the leader
    is above the political fray and hence his appointee will give legitimacy to the process. NOt this time: the leader had almost explicitly asked people to vote for Ahmadinejad and criticized his election rivals for exposing his government’s problems to the public.

    1. A majority of the election monitors appointed by the opposition candidates were shut out of the process. Given item 0 above, you can already see that the elections process can not be healthy as all the people involved in it root for a single candidate.

    2. There are only paper ballots in Iran, and experience has shown that it takes a couple of days for them to be counted. The results in previous elections have always come in province by province. This time around, the official news agency of Iran announced Ahmadinejad a winner in just about two hours after the last polls closed. This is ridiculous for those who have experienced Iranian elections before.

    continued below.

  52. 79 Hamid
    June 17, 2009 at 04:13

    3. The miracle of Ahmadinejad is that he won by at least a 2 to 1 margin in virtually all provinces and regions of Iran. If you are aware of the ethnic complexity of Iran and know their voting pattern in the past 30 years, you can only laugh at this. I give you examples:

    Kurdistan (as a minority) has always voted for the opposition candidate. This time: overwhelmingly for Ahamdinejad.
    Karroubi who was another reform candidate, an a prominent figure who some believed might even go to a run-off with Mousavi has won a ridiculously low number of votes. He is from Luristan and he managed to obtain LESS than 1 percent of the vote there! Who won by a great margin? Ahmadinejad.

    Mousavi lost his hometown to Ahmadinejad by great margin. This is simply unimaginable if you are an Iranian or if you know anything about these populous ethnic groups of Iran (Kurds, Lurs, Azeris).

    Rezai is from a small village of about 1000 people. He only obtained 30 votes there!
    Even though everyone knew Ahmadinejad’s suport was strong in the rural areas and poor in the urban setting, he has won both the rural and the urban vote with an almost identical margin!

    They simply had not thought the numbers through. Maybe next time they will get their numbers right, but I hope they won’t find the chance.

    continued below

  53. 80 Hamid
    June 17, 2009 at 04:14

    4. If you are confident that you are the legitimate winner of an election, why would you disable the SMS service nationally, disconnect internet, disrupt mobile service, disconnect land line connection to abroad, put large numbers of anti-riot police on the streets, arrest a large group of reformers, and attack the campaign offices of Mousavi?

    You know, we have had election sin Iran before, and the days after elections always looked normal; In fact a festive occasion. This atmosphere of fear and censorship was created to protect the results of the sham election.

    This is not a fraudulent election: it is in effect a coup against a government that has not even taken power. The Iranian people have very reasonable requests. They want their vote to count. And they don’t want liars, crooks, and dictators to steal an election in which they invested their hearts and minds,

    Unfortunately the main news sources are not presenting a coherent argument to convince the people of the world of this sham of an election. Blogs such as
    Juan Cole, Andrew Sullivan, The Lede at New York times, The huffingtonpost, etc are doing a much better job of bringing the truth to the rest of the world.

    Many thanks

  54. 81 aero
    June 17, 2009 at 04:33

    To the Iranians:

    Will there be a new revolution?

    Can Islam remain true to its principles while sharing time and space with secularism?

    Is it possible for moderate Islamic consciousness co-exist alongside the traditional hard-line awareness?

    Is there a fear of the end to the Islamic Republic in favor for the rise of a new secular Iran? if so, I could understand Ahmadinejad’s unwavering posture and the similar support by Iran’s supreme religious leader.

    How do Iranians define and view their role and place in the world today?

    What does Mousave want to do with Iran..What are his future views of Iran?

    What does Ahmadinejad want to do with Iran…What are his future views of Iran?

  55. 82 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 17, 2009 at 04:41

    Democracy sound like a tool to achieve the Western’s object in Iran. Any way its tough to govern with Democracy.

  56. 83 tanboontee
    June 17, 2009 at 05:26

    I have no particular question except one suggestion:

    Stay cool, violence does not help to alleviate or solve any problem, it can only aggravate the fragile situation. But sanity and calm will.

    Respect democracy, and let the democratic process gradually evolve to bear fruit by itself.
    (Tan Boon Tee)

  57. June 17, 2009 at 10:19

    Mousavis supporters should accept their defeat and allow peace to rain in their country (IRAN). beleif in Almighty ALLAH in their quest to serve their country.

  58. 85 Brian from Ca.
    June 17, 2009 at 10:50

    What should we do as Iran appears to be becoming an ideological military dictatorship?

  59. 86 Alassan Jallow
    June 17, 2009 at 12:39

    I think that the Iranian clerics will hold the power for a little while, but they will submit at the end, because the Iranian people is reclaiming its power, so they must understand otherwise there will be bloodshed for nothing.

  60. 87 Epiphany~!
    June 17, 2009 at 17:25

    Fragmentation and kaos they must now get a whole new system,

    groundhog day?

  61. 88 Chedondo, Johannesburg
    June 17, 2009 at 18:00

    Whether Ahmadenejad won (or lost) the election is not the issue here. The point is that a large number of Iranians find the declared results to be hard to believe – they know how they voted and they want a simple explanation for the observed difference. Assuming that there was nothing to hide, the electoral commission could easily have announced the results by polling district (or even station) to make it easy for any fair minded person to see for them-selves that the totals tallied well with the registered voters. Instead of answering a simple book-keeping question with a simple book-keeping answer the authorities called out the riot squad. And just what is a “divine assessment”?

  62. 89 Epiphany~!
    June 17, 2009 at 18:03

    Fragmentation and kaos they must now get a whole new system,
    and again….
    groundhog day?

  63. June 17, 2009 at 18:09

    I believe this is a power struggle between Khamenei and Rafsanjani. Some time ago Rafsanjani found the Velayate Faghih system in his way once he realized he is not going to be the supreme leader. Ever since he has been undermining the system gradually getting to a point where it could totally be removed from the politics of Iran. Mousavi and Ahmadinejad are nothing but pawns in this game and could be sacrifieced at any time. Meanwhile, the frustrated Iranian mass found a channel for express their frustration. What will happen when one of these guys are sacrificed? We all need to remember that neither Khamenei nor Rafsanjani want this to get to the point of threatening the regime, so they will be more than willing to sacrifice their pawns at any time.

  64. 91 Tom K in Mpls
    June 17, 2009 at 18:33

    One thing I don’t understand, why do so many Iranians see to think ‘the west’ *cares* what type of government or which leader is in power? Look at the countries the US deals peaceably with. You will find a full variety of government types and dominant faiths. While not all are friendly, if they are stable or open to cooperation we deal with them.

    When will Iran as a nation, grow up? It would be great to have them join the world instead of claiming heroics for being ‘persecuted’.

  65. 92 Jonny B.
    June 17, 2009 at 18:42

    My question is:

    Whom can the protesters rally around? Mousavi like all other opposition candidates were vetted by the government, so it seems doubtful he will cross the line of the various powerful government councils.

    Jonny, Los Angeles

  66. 93 jHenosch Farissen
    June 17, 2009 at 18:58

    The west has to stop all its wheeling and dealing with any dictatorship.

    If democratic countries draw a clear democratic line in this,

    totalitarian rule will steadily be seduces to go democratic themselves, instead of being confirmed by some financial (corrupt) succes, selling out their people and countries.

  67. 94 Justin Durueke
    June 18, 2009 at 07:47

    The people of Iran should continue demonstrating and protesting. It is obvious that results were falsified by the incumbent. If emotions continue to rise, the Ayatollah may change his mind and call for a re-run. Till then let us wait and see what happens this friday. Insha Allah..

  68. June 18, 2009 at 09:32

    if iran is not carefull,it would probably be the burning candle in the wind.if it wants to be feared in this world,it should ask its supplier of new technology to supply them with the current technology of weapons so as to be at per with them.but it should not just be a good bussiness stage for those giving them(iran) the nuclear technology disregarding the current call of disarming…iran is just helping sabotagers to avoid some recession.
    and in your last night programme you asked if protests can hijack the agenda in iran…..even ignorance has always hijacked agendas here on earth.


  69. June 19, 2009 at 16:53

    Thursday June 18th at 10:40 PM CT prediction for CNN
    As a high ranking naval officer I escaped the 1979 Iranian revolution. After 30 years in seclusion I broke my silence and authored the book Escaping Islam. I have my prediction as what is going to happen within the next sixty days in Iran.
    Mr. Rafsanjani is the chairman of the 86 members of Assembly of Experts who have the responsibility to watch, dismiss and select the supreme leader. I predict that Ayatollah Khamenei will not change his mind for either total vote counts or supporting a new election. Ayatollah Rafsanjani will call an emergency meeting of Assembly of Experts and with majority vote Ayatollah Khamenei will be removed and Ayatollah Rafsanjani will become the new Supreme Leader. He will announce a new election and Mr. Mousavi with the help of Ayatollah Khatami will become the new president.
    Mano Bakh

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