Everyone’s Confused About What’s Happening in Iran

There are many questions that have elicited claims and counter-claims. Who won the June 12 election, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Mir-Hossein Moussavi, is only one such question. Among others are the following: how skewed are the percentages: the 85 percent for voter turnout, the officially announced 63 percent for Ahmadinejad, and the 34 percent for Moussavi? Beyond counting percentages, which of the two major candidates has majority support among the rural poor, or the urban middle class, or the students and the young unemployed? In what way is Moussavi a reformist, a socialist or a left Islamist, as he has been varyingly called — or is he something else entirely? How is it that Moussavis chief backer in the political establishment, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, transmuted from the most corrupt mullah (according to frequent past reports in the west) to a reformist politician? These are a few among many questions that have produced conflicting answers. Reasonable readers should be excused for being confused.


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