Vote Rigging Alleged in Iranian Vote

Rozen points to a report that the Interior Ministry first told the Mousavi people that he was the winner, only to change that verdict a few hours later:

Ghaemi also said that Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a Paris-based Iranian film director, just did an interview with Radio Farda "in which he said he can say on behalf of Mousavi HQ, that the Interior Ministry had told them they are the winners, except they can't publicize it yet. And it was after that the events of last few hours unfolded. He was very certain in stating that."

"It sounds to me that the Mousavi camp was at first very cautious, and this is a very, very tense phase of this issue," Parsi told The Cable overnight Saturday. The opposition "wants to take this to Khamenei and test their assumptions and see to what extent is Khamenei going to stand by Ahmadinejad and to what extent they can they convince him not to do so.

Mr. Parsi heads up the National Iranian American Council here in the U.S. which has close ties to the government of Iran. For Parsi to question the results of the vote is a sign that it is very possible the election was not on the up-and-up.

The Weekly Standard got an email from Abbas Djavadi, with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague who has some additional news regarding the regime's response to the election:

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a prominent film producer supporting Mousavi, who stayed in his favored candidate's headquarters, told Radio Farda that they were called by the Election Commission well before the first results were announced. "Don't announce Mr. Mousavi's victory yet," they were told by authorities. "We will gradually prepare the public and then you can proceed."

Apparently, though, a well-prepared plan was at the works, but in a completely different direction. Isa Saharkhiz, journalist from Tehran, told Radio Farda that while the whole SMS network of the country was taken down and critical websites were blocked and newspapers closed, they disabled communication among supporters of opposition candidates and everybody started to fear that they are preparing to gradually inject the surprise "shocking news" during the night until they announce it early morning. The later into the morning, the stronger -- and thus more unbelievable -- Ahmadinejad started to consolidate his figures.

Unknown and partly masked mobs, meanwhile, encircled the headquarters of the two opposition candidates Mousavi and Karroubi and attacked opposition supporters with sticks and gas spray, forcing them to flee.

Rozen's excellent report, coupled with the skepticism of someone like Parsi as well as news from Iran about crackdowns, bullying the opposition, and a cutoff of communications leads one to the inescapable conclusion that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has engineered a fraud on the Iranian people by fixing the vote to reflect an Ahmadinejad landslide.

It is possible the incumbent actually received a plurality of less than 50% which would have forced a run-off with Mr. Mousavi and the vote fraud was engineered simply to give Ahmadinejad a majority. But whether or not the president won an outright victory is beside the point; the news from Iran almost certainly points to massive fraud undertaken to give President Ahmadinejad a second term.