From Cox and Forkum
From the WSJ:
The most astonishing aspect of Friday's presidential vote in Iran is not that the elections will go into a second round but that Tehran managed to convince so many in the West that this is a real demonstration of democracy.
All power is held by Supreme Leader Ali Khameni, his Council of Guardians and the small clique of military officers and businessmen around him. The Council disqualified more than 1,000 candidates before the election, vetting only contestants who support the regime's ideological lines. The example of outgoing "reformist" President Mohammad Khatami, who presided over eight years of economic decline and worsening repression, has proven that the President cannot change anything against the Council's will.
The one number worth parsing in Friday's election is that of voter participation. Many Iranians had called for a boycott as the only way of showing resistance. Knowing this, the mullahs seem to have taken their usual election manipulations to another level. Intimidation by the Revolutionary Guards and the fact that proof of voting is needed for certain jobs and welfare payments have always pushed up turnout. Still, voter participation has steadily declined in the past few years to barely 50%.
But this time turnout was 62.7%, exactly the level Supreme Leader Khameni had predicted. "Something is fishy here," Patrick Clawson, who follows Iran for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told us. Contradicting all reports about the mood in the country ahead of the vote, hard-line candidates received unprecedented support, while the main reformist candidate, Mustafa Moin, came in fifth. Mr. Moin also suggested the elections were rigged, but since the regime allows no neutral observers the real extent of fraud or Iranian discontent can't be known.
Iran's Sham Election on U.S. Soil from the Washington Times:
In recent days, President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and numerous members of Congress have denounced as invalid Iran's presidential election, in particular the fact that Tehran arbitrarily disqualified more than 1,000 of the 1,014 candidates who attempted to run. Unfortunately, thus far, Congress and the administration seem unaware of the fact that the regime has conducted the election in the United States, possibly in violation of U.S. law.
The United States has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since the 1979 hostage crisis. As a result, Iranian officials cannot travel more than 25 miles from Washington (where Iran has an interests section in the Pakistani Embassy) or 12 miles from New York (where Iran's U.N. delegation is based). On the other hand, Iranian law requires that voting be overseen by election officials representing the government -- people who would appear to have no lawful right to be present at any of the polling places that were held last week in mosques, hotels and other buildings across the United States. Last week, the Iranian government did not publicize the location of the polling places until right before the voting began in order to lessen the likelihood of protests by Iranian dissidents. That appears to be the case with tomorrow's presidential runoff.
Calls for Protest by the SCCDI (hat tip: Free Thoughts):
As you know, the made-up results of this sham election have led to the so-called tie between Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad. In reality, Ahmadinejad’s presence is only to create fear among the population and polish the image of Rafsanjani, the real mastermind of the Islamic regime. Such fraudulent and sham "elections" have been covered in the media as most of the western world is acknowledging that the Islamic Republic’s "elections" are a joke. http://daneshjoo.org/publishers/smccdinews/article_4446.shtml
Millions of enchained Iranians have already declared their firm intention to boycott such new masquerade and have shown their deep rejection of the theocratic regime. Despite all dangers, Iranians have sized many occasions, such as, the last soccer game, played between Iran and Bahrain, in order to riot against dictatorship and tyranny, and to send a clear message that "they don't want an Islamic republic !".
Therefore, we urge all freedom fighters to once again show your stand against terrorists and your right for real democracy and freedom in Iran by protesting the "run-off" elections of June 24, 2005.
Also, check out Regime Change Iran for an open letter to the International Media.
"America believes in the right of the Iranian people to make their own decisions and determine their own future. America believes that freedom is the birthright and deep desire of every human soul. And to the Iranian people, I say: As you stand for your own liberty, the people of America stand with you."
TAKE A STAND FOR LIBERTY! SUPPORT REGIME CHANGE IN IRAN !