Archive for the ‘Electoral Fraud’ Category

WPO Survey of Iranian Attitudes towards US, Iranian Governments

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The World Public Opinion, an established polling organization, “a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland” came out with a randomly selected poll of slightly over 1000 Iranians. The WPO’s summary of the results are published on its website, including a link to PDF files with the survey’s full findings and its methodology. A very good analysis is published on Gary Sick‘s blog.

In this post I want to examine the questions Gary Sick raises. I believe that many of the issued raised in it can be explained by a general desire “to say the right thing.” However, the evidence can be otherwise interpreted. The italicized are abridged passages from his blog. They are followed by my comments.

Nearly one-third of the more than 1000 Iranians polled in this survey said that their own family’s economic situation had grown worse over the past four years; 45% said that the economic conditions of Iran had grown worse in that same time period. However, when asked “How much of the time do you think you can trust the national government in Tehran to do what is right?” by huge margins they say that they trust the government to take the right decisions most or some of the time (85%), up more than ten percent from the WPO poll in February 2008, and they expressed positive views about every major government institution by a margin of 70-80 percent or more.

The people’s economic difficulties are quantifiable. Iran is suffering rampant inflation and economic dislocation. I imagine this is not a matter of dispute. Nor was this the crux of Ahmadinejad’s campaign. And foreigners can (and are) blamed for much of Iran’s economic woes (and not without some justice). But criticizing the central government is quite another story…

After all, 57% of the respondents said that Iran was better able to resist foreign pressures than four years earlier.

This is actually quite a rebuke to Ahmadinejad, who had made this the centerpiece of his politics. Imagine if only 57% of the Iranian people thought that Iran was better able to resist the British during Dr. Mossadegh’s term than before! But a small majority of people dutifully said that under Ahmadinejad’s leadership, Iran was more anti-imperialist than Khatami.

Much more significant is the set of responses about the recent election, where 85 percent of eligible voters reportedly went to the polls and where President Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by a landslide 63 percent over Mir Hossein Moussavi (34 percent), Mehdi Karroubi (one percent) and Mohsen Rezaie (two percent).

In the PIPA sample, 87 percent said they had voted, which is remarkably consistent with the official tally. But the breakdown of the vote is quite different: Ahmadinejad 55 percent; Moussavi 14 percent; and four percent for the other two candidates. In other words, Ahmadinejad has lost nearly 9 percent from the official tally, and Moussavi has lost 20 percent. Perhaps even more intriguing is that an astonishing one out of four refused to say how they had voted.

The 14% for Mousavi could be a stark indication that the responders felt intimidated. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the no-answer surfeit of 10% does not change Mousavi’s figures much. If 90% of these were Mousavi votes, this would reflect a steep drop in his support, now totaling 23%. So a healthy chunk of those who said that they had voted for Ahmadinejad had actually voted for Mousavi, a true sign that the polled felt intimidated.
The only other possibility would seem to be that this reflected a defection of swing voters who shrank from the violence associated with the demonstrations he called into the streets and were not so much afraid to say they had supported Mousavi, but were ashamed to. This is not impossible. After the May-June 1968 revolt in France, the Left took a beating and the Right’s votes soared in the subsequent polling. In the United States, the turmoil after the 1968 Democratic Party Convention, as well as racial strife, was one of the chief forces propelling the Republicans into power.

When asked how they would vote if the election were to be held tomorrow, Ahmadinejad’s support drops to 49 percent, while 22 percent say either that they would not vote or refused to answer. This may be the most significant figure in the report, since a 49 percent vote for Ahmadinejad would require a runoff. That is what many opposition and outside observers actually expected…

6% of the voters polled are willing to admit that they regretted voting for Ahmadinejad, is a stinging rebuke, particularly if we believe that the Mousavi poll results indicate a level of intimidation.

There is one other troubling element in this report: the nature of the sample. Although carefully balanced by geographic distribution, age, sex, ethnicity, etc., it does not appear to be representative of the Iranian body politic in several respects. It is limited to people with land line telephones. Apparently they were not asked if they or other family members have a cell phone. Two-thirds of the respondents said that they do not have access to the internet, and of those who did only about ten percent accessed it regularly.

Iran is a highly wired country with more than 60,000 regular bloggers. It is also a country where cell phones, as is true around the world, are becoming ubiquitous (30 million in 2007, which is the latest reliable data I could find). Cell phone and internet are the two principal means of disseminating information about opposition activities. They are also the preferred form of communication of the 33% of eligible voters who are under the age of 30.

Given the heavy stigmatization of the internet by the government, particularly during the show trials, the poll’s internet deficit could be taken as another measure of intimidation. As our blogger put it, “Cell phone and internet are the two principal means of disseminating information about opposition activities.”

Eighty percent of the respondents in this study also say that they do not listen to any foreign news sources. That may be a fair representation of the listening habits of the Iranian public as a whole, but taken together with the lack of access to the internet it may help explain the answers to a series of questions on Iran’s political system.

This seems very unlikely to be accurate. According to an article published at the end of June 2009, the audience of VOA and allied services during the recent crisis was about 30%. A September 21, 2009 article says that the BBC lags a bit behind this. Of course, there would be some overlap, but the two audiences have different tastes and can be expected to not completely overlap. We might surmise, if we throw in Radio Israel, Deutsche Welle, and broadcasting from Holland, Italy, France, etc., that a majority, maybe even a large majority, of Iranians listen to foreign media. Moreover, these numbers are obtained by the same polling methods as the recent poll has–some Persian-speaking stranger asking if you listen to the BBC, etc. Therefore, these numbers should be considered to be a minimum. This is another indication, then, that the polled were not freely speaking their mind.

For whatever reason, the telephone respondents to this study appeared to be barely aware of any controversy over the June elections. In addition to their overwhelmingly positive opinions about every aspect of the current political system and all of its institutions, their expressed positions were almost identical to the interpretations that dominate the official media in Iran.

As our blogger said in his blog, “It may be that the Iranians in this study really have no other reliable information available to them, or perhaps that they know the dangers of departing from the official line and are feeding it back for their own purposes – or both.”

[R]espondents to this study say, by a margin of more than 70 percent, that individuals are completely or somewhat free to “express controversial political views, without fear of being harassed or punished.”

Given the persecution of the children of leading clerics, the death in prison of Mohsen Rezai’s aide’s son in prison, and so on, it would be hard to believe that this is a freely-given opinion.

Conclusion: Given this analysis, it seems hard to believe that the respondents were expressing their true feelings. Although in one of the issues allow interpretations inimicable to Mousavi and the other reformists, I fail to see how the others could be interpreted as anything but that the people felt compelled to give the “right” answer. This is particularly the case since the central government’s control over private electronic communications has been so well-advertised (although controlling landlines is probably more difficult than controlling the internet and cell phones.)

The Tribunal vs. Mehdi Karoubi

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

The following is a translation of the text of a tribunal consisting of First Aide to the President of theTribunal Judiciary [Sayyed] Ebrahim Raiisi, Attorney General Gholam-Hosein Mohseni-Ejei, President of the Presidential Body of the Judiciary Ali Khalaf. It is part of a campaign by the Coup Regime of attacking the opposition and discrediting it. A few things are notable about these comments. Karoubi is not so much portrayed as a tool of foreign powers, but as a dupe. In this context, the Tribunal findings seem more intent on discrediting, weakening and ridiculing him than in setting him up for arrest. But time will tell.

A word about the Tribunal is in order. We can do no better than to quote the Jombesh-e Rah-e Sabz website:

Nothing more needs to be said about this Tribunal than this: Mohseni-Ejei had long been the president of the Special Clerical Courts. It issued sentences such as the condemnation of the newspaper Salam and Mousavi-Khoeniha,0a the five year prison sentence for Abdollah Nuri and the death sentence for Younesi-Oshkuri0b and the framing up and condemnation and imprisonment of many liberals and reformists. [Sayyed] Ebrahim Raiisi participated in issuing death sentences for several thousand prisoners who were executed during the massacre of 1988 of political prisoners and is a prominent enemy of the reformists and liberals. Khalafi had previously been the imprisoner of the lawyers of the families who were victims of the Serial Murders (the Prison Lawyers) in the military courts.0c

Please return to this spot for annotation and comments.

His Eminence Ayatollah Larijani (May his lengthy grandeur increase!)
Honorable President of the Judiciary

In the aftermath of Mr. Mehdi Karoubi’s sending a letter to Your Excellency alleging the persecution and rape of some persons arrested during the riots of the recent months and the forwarding of this letter to the Tribunal for earnest pursuit and it hereby announces its findings:
After the arrival of Karoubi’s letter, he was immediately summoned to come before the Attorney General to be present at the Tribunal to present explanations and submit documents concerning the claims.
Mr. Karoubi was present at the appointed time at the Tribunal at the Attorney General  and then he answered the question of the whereabouts of his claims and documents concerning the rape of some persons arrested in the recent riots as follows:
I have heard matters in this regard and as a result of pressure and psychological discomfort, wrote a letter to Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani. After ten days, I posted it on a website and published it.
In response to the question, “Who were the people whom you had in mind and how did you pursue this issue?” he replied:

  1. Taraneh Mousavi1
    I have not seen Taraneh Mousavi or the members of her family, but have heard from people connected with Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi and the members of a committee that Mr. Mousavi and I had formed,2 and I had no certainty but went purely by what I had heard, and have no documentation in this regard.
  2. E[brahim] Sh[arifi]1a
    At first, I had heard from members of our party, the National Trust Party, that this individual had said that three people had put me in a car and took me to another neighborhood. There, there were other people who blindfolded me so I could not see anyone and recognize anyone, and subject to repeated beatings. I was raped as I stood with my hands tied behind my backs and hung from the ceiling so that my feet barely touched the ground. I called this person and heard his statement and then one of the members of the National Trust Party put his statement on a CD, a copy of which I turned over to you.

Mr. Karoubi was then asked, “On what day and in which riot was E[brahim] Sh[arifi] arrested?”
Mr. Karoubi replied, “I do not know. I did not ask. But he was not arrested during a demonstration or a clash.” He said that she was alone on Jordan Street and three people put him in a car and carried him off.

  • A third person who did not claim that she was raped. “I did not see her and have only heard about her from people connected with the National Trust Party and Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi. This individual, for her part, was not in a demonstration or a clash, but said that several people had arrested her and subjected her to such severe beatings that her head and face and many of her limbs were l wounded. Her family photographed her and all her limbs and I [Karoubi] have presented a copy of these pictures to you.”
  • Ms. M A
    This lady was introduced to me by members of the NTP and I spoke to her. She made no claim to having been raped, but said that from the first day of her arrest, they carried her off to the Intelligence [?] Administration and there, subject to beatings and insults and when she responded, they tore off her clothes and put their hands on her body.
  • Someone else, named S[aideh] P[uraqayi]
    This lady was the son of a martyr and several members of her family had been martyred and were supporters [presumably referring to the family] of Mr. Mousavi who would call out “Allahu akbar” at night with her mother.3 They came and arrested her in her home and then subjected her to a beating and, after several days, secretly buried her, while the lower part of her body4 was burned with acid. Some of Mr. Mir Hosein’s people went to her home and I have heard that Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi participated in the funeral ceremony, and it was agreed that I would go to their home, but did not have the opportunity, but my son searched for them.5
    Mr. Karoubi was asked if what he had heard regarding these people convinced him that they had been arrested and beaten and then raped after the clashes and riots which had broken out after the elections.
    Mr. Karoubi replied, “No. I am not certain and they are what I heard. But since I was protesting the elections and had that consciousness, I pursued whoever had a claim or invited them and spoke with them.”6
    Mr. Karoubi was then asked, “When did they go to you or the NTP?
    Mr. Karoubi replied, “They referred to me after I wrote the letter to Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani and published it and posted it on the website.”
    He was asked, “If you were not certain about the matters under discussion nobody had referred to you before you had written your letter and posted it on the site and no one had spoken to you up to then, on what basis did you write that letter and publish it and attribute things in your letter the confirmation of which required precise judicial review and which have been taken advantage of by all the enemies?”
    Mr. Karoubi showed a sharp reaction to such questions which would help in illuminating the facts and tried to change the subject and talked about fraud and such.
    It was said to Mr. Karoubi that it is unlikely that prejudiced or opportunist people might want to divert the people’s attention by raising such issues, issues which have no relationship with what happened after the elections and made the people distrust the system and its officials.
    Mr. Karoubi replied, “If it was really confirmed that these matters were not true, I would tell the people with full courage that I had erred.”
    After the meeting ended, Mr. Karoubi submitted to the Tribunal four CDs which he claimed that members of the NTP had prepared for review, and it was decided that after reviewing the CDS and pursuing its claims, it would summon Karoubi to return should it prove necessary.
    This was resolutely pursued by the Tribunal from that very day, and it reviewed the CD about E[brahim] Sh[arifi], which was Karoubi’s primary issue and, as it were, primary document. Something very interesting and peculiar about how this CD was prepared and made was noticed and it was clear how they conveyed certain things to the subject [E[brahim] Sh[arifi]], a detailed description of which is attached to this report. Considering the points which are worth considering, it was decided that E[brahim] Sh[arifi] and the preparers of the CD would be properly investigated. But the next day, we heard from Karoubi’s office via the NTP website that it was announced that E[brahim] Sh[arifi] had disappeared.
    In continuing the investigation, it became clear that E[brahim] Sh[arifi], whom they claimed had disappeared, and even whose family had no information of his whereabouts, was secretly in contact with one of the people related to Karoubi and the NTP named Davari,6a who was also one of the people who had prepared the CD and was one of the people who had introduced this person [E[brahim] Sh[arifi]], who was being guided by Mr. Davari, to Karoubi.
    Although investigation about this matter from various angles continue, it has so far been generally determined that Mr. E[brahim] Sh[arifi] had not been arrested in any of the street clashes and had no record of having been arrested in any of the security centers and that the preparation of the CD, too, was completely politically motivated, and of course very clumsily and there were many ambiguities and contradictions in this CD. Perhaps this was why they hid him immediately and he was secretly in touch with the NTP but they announced that he had disappeared.6b
    Continuing this investigation, it was determined that:

    1. Mr. Karoubi’s claims as quoted from the people around him or Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi are baseless and empty of truth.
    2. Mr. Karoubi had claimed in regard to Ms. S[aideh] P[uraqayi] that she was the child of a soldier who had been poisoned in a chemical attack who, along with her mother,7 would cry out “Allahu akbar” at night and said that they had arrested her and then injured her and then, after several days, secretly buried her body, which had been burned by acid, and, in regard to this same S[aideh] P[uraqayi], sites tied to Messrs. Mir Hosein Mousavi and Karoubi and various counter-revolutionary media, referring to sites tied to these two people, have scribbled much against the system and its institutions, a corner of which and the result of the investigation are presented as follows:

    On 8/6/88, on some sites, it said,

    The exposure of the name of one of the martyrs who had been secretly buried in Plot 302 in Behesht-e Zahra, S[aideh] P[uraqayi] (her full name was mentioned on the site–Tribunal) was a victim of the plainclothesmen. New information reached the Green Wave of Freedom two days ago about a forgotten martyr of the Green Movement, whose details we have reviewed over the past two days and have become certain of its truth. […] S[aideh] P[uraqayi (Amayi)] the young daughter whose body is now buried in one of the forgotten graves of Parcel 302 of Behesht-e Zahra was the only child of a martyred soldier, A[bbas] P[uraqayi (Amayi)], who, while busy crying “Allahu Akbar” from the roof of her home […] one of the nights after the coup, was arrested by plainclothes forces […] the Basij. After twenty days, her body was identified by her mother in one of the cold storage depots in south Tehran. […]
    It is worth saying that the funeral ceremonies for the martyr Saideh Pouraqayi (Amayi) was held on Saturday, Shahrivar 7 in a restricted fashion in the Qolhak (her place of residence) and members of the Green Movement were present to present their condolences to the grieving family of this poor martyr.

    In a statement on the so-called death of this woman, it says,

    … Thus we report the passing of a young rosebud, the late S[aideh] P[uraqayi], the only child of the martyred soldier A[li] P[uraqayi] to her family and acquaintances.

    The matter of this person was looked into and it was determined that:

    1. Her father was not a martyr. He had died several years before and S[aideh] P[uraqayi] was absolutely not an only child and the daughter of a martyr.
    2. She had problems with her mother and had run away from home six times since 1386/2008 and her mother had referred to the security centers to find her each time and in some cases she was returned home after some days and in several cases she was arrested and sent to prison with other boys and girls or sent to her mother by security officers. An appropriate report is attached.
      In the latest incident, the mother of S[aideh] P[uraqayi], named A. A., wrote on 21/4/88 [July 12, 2009] to one of the authorities,

      On Saturday, 13/4/88 [July 4, 2009] at 1:45, I left the house to get some medicine. Upon returning, I noticed my daughter was missing and I have had no news of her since then. I request that you send out and order to find my child.

    3. Based on information, this lady contacted [the authorities?] a few days ago and said, “I will return home after a few days.”
    4. Her mother expressed ignorance of what Mr. Karoubi and those connected with Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi and related sites said and wrote and said, “I do not know that my daughter has been arrested or left home as in previous cases. I have no information about her situation.”
    5. What is certain now is that S[aideh] P[uraqayi] is missing. Just as in previous times, she has left home and the other issues raised by Mr. Karoubi and people related to Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi have absolutely no validity.
    6. [The text says “8”.] The aforementioned mother said, “Someone got in touch with our house and said, ‘Your daughter has been killed and her body has been buried,’ and hung up the phone without introducing himself. I, who have suffered from her previous flights among the neighbors and acquaintances, and this time, too, my daughter has been absent for some time, and this phone call upset me still more. I told a neighbor named Eshraqi (an employee of the National Bank and connected with Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi’s staff) and Mrs. Kashani, who had been involved in my daughter’s previous flights and it was decided that I hold a funeral service for her. Mr. Eshraqi took care of what was involved in this, reserving a mosque, etc.
      The day after I had raised this issue with Mr. Eshraqi and it had been decided to hold a funeral service for her, at about ten at night someone named Mr. Maqiseh phoned our house and said, “I offer my condolences. I will participate in your service.” I said, “I don’t know you at all, and this is absolutely not appropriate.” Mr. Maqiseh said, “Your daughter has been killed. Why?” I insisted, “I absolutely don’t know you and this is absolutely not appropriate.” Mr. Maqiseh hung up.8
      The day that we held the service in the Qolhak Mosque, I was very suprised when the eulogist announced that Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi was participating. They then informed me that Mr. Mir Hosein wanted to come to our home and offer condolences. I refused. From the day before the funeral service to two or three days after, people who introduced themselves as being from Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi kept contacting me, raising issues of which I had no awareness or saying things that I denied.9
      On 10/6/88 at around 9:30 at night, Mr. Maqiseh came to our front door and said, “I have come along with the wife of Javad Emam10 on behalf of the committee of Messrs. Mousavi and Karoubi to present our condolences. I have also informed Majlis member Mr. Katuzian11 so that he, too, will come.” I said, “I do not know you and am at home alone,” and did not open the door. Mr. Maqiseh said, “Why are you afraid. We have come to help you and pursue this issue.” I did not consent and did not give him permission to enter the house. Mr. Katuzian, for his part, came to th house around 10:30. I told him, too, “I am home alone,” and did not allow him in.

    With these matters being clarified, Mr. Karoubi was summoned once again to the Attorney General at 2 p.m. on 16/6/88. The investigation’s results and the means of dealing with them were explained in the presence of the Tribunal.
    At the beginning of the session, before explaining the investigation’s results, the Tribunal asked Mr. Karoubi if he had anything else to tell them about his claims that he had not said in the previous session.
    Mr. Karoubi said, “Apparently, S[aideh] P[uraqayi] was not the daughter of a martyr and there was an error in this matter. The daughter of a lady came to me with another person and said, ‘I am S[aideh] P[uraqayi]’s daughter and our father was not a martyr, but died a few years ago and I wanted to find out how my sister died.’ I [Karoubi–Tribunal] said, ‘I do not have information about that and I had not heard about this.’ She said, ‘Let them give me her address.’ I said, ‘How can you not have your sister’s address?’ She said, ‘We had severe difficulties with our father’s wife and I do not visit them and do not have her address.'”12
    Mr. Karoubi was spoken to in detail and in a friendly fashion and the details of the investigation were reviewed with him. He agreed that the issues raised about S[aideh] P[uraqayi] were completely baseless and raised with political motivations. Similarly, when the points related to E[brahim] Sh[arifi]’s CD and it was said that his office announced immediately after he came to the judiciary that Mr. E[brahim] Sh[arifi] was missing. Karoubi said, Mr. Davari, who is a member of the NTP and is one of my friends, prepared the CD with several others and Mr. E[brahim] Sh[arifi] is in touch with Mr. Davari.13
    The details of the investigation and the baselessness of the issues raised in regard to Taraneh Mousavi were also raised with Mr. Karoubi and it was said, “Now that the truth has been clarified for you, at least accept that in several matters, such as concerning S[aideh] P[uraqayi], which has been discussed, are erroneous and prejudiced and that such false and incorrect things have been prepared and published against the system and the people and have become the best source for the enemies and, considering what you said in the previous session, that if it was confirmed to you that something was erroneous, that you would courageously declare that you have erred, you should now explain to the people in the requisite fashion so that perhaps some of the ill effects of this great insult and slander be eliminated.” Mr. Karoubi replied that he had other issues and that whenever all of them have been confirmed for me, he would announce he had erred.
    As a result of all the thorough investigations which were made and listening to Mr. Karoubi’s statements and carefully reviewing the CDs presented by him and holding numerous and intensive meetings and the other measures which were taken, the explanation of which are presented as attachments, the Tribunal reached the following conclusion. Not only is there no evidence indicating the rape, as claimed by Mr. Karoubi, and the claims raised are without documentation and empty of truth, but the claims and documents presented are all forgeries and assembled to deceive public opinion. This is in the process of investigation by the judicial and security authorities to uproot the matter. The final conclusion of this will be announced so as to illuminate public opinion.


    1. The conclusion of the Tribunal’s report be conveyed to the public through the mass media.
    2. The report be sent to the upright judicial authority so that the propagandists and aides and those who are continuing the anti-security measures against the system of the aftermath of the tenth presidential election and are continuing down this same line and current by spreading lies and presenting accusations and slander are, in addition to disturbing public opinion about the character and credibility of some of the system’s institution, insults the character and respect of some people might be confronted justly and decisively.

    Members of the Tribunal:

    1. First Aide to the President of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi
    2. Attorney General Gholam-Hosein Mohseni-Ejei
    3. President of the Presidential Body of the Judiciary Ali Khalaf

    0a The award-winning reformist daily. Its closing in July 1999 sparked the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Tehran since 1981. It was edited by Mohammad Mousavi-Khoeniha.
    0b Hasan Younesi-Oshkuri, the son of Hojjatoleslam Ali Younesi, who was forced to resign as Minister of Intelligence after his complicity in the Serial Murders was uncovered under the Khatami administration, was not executed, but became an adviser in the Green Movement.
    0c According to the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center’s Deadly Fatwa – Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacre, he was Tehran’s Deptury Prosecutor at the time of this massacre and often sat in place of his superior as a member of the Tehran Death Commission in charge of ordering the executions. (p. 25)
    0c We have not been able to document this.
    1 This is the only name spelled out, since the government has publicly acknowledged her case (in its own fraudulent way) with its Taraneh Mousavi Show. In a later interview, Ejei said that Karoubi admitted the logic of the Tribunal’s position that the Taraneh Mousavi story was baseless, but refused to say so publicly. Saying this puts Karoubi in a position now of publicly affirming or denying this.
    1a This refers to Ebrahim Sharifi. In a later interview, Ejei claims that he was connected to an unspecified embassy. This was the Italian embassy. Here is a translation of a thumbnail biography of him (without necessarily endorsing allegations of his inside information about electoral fraud):

    Student activist Ebrahim Sharifi was arrested in his father’s in his father’s house in Aqdasiyeh, Tehran. He was a blogger and supporter and electoral observer for Engineer Mir Hosein Mousavi. Three days after the elections, he was arrested and after a week, was transfered to a hospital due to the severity of his injuries. He was rearrested today in his father’s house in Aqdasiyeh accused of spying for Italy [!] for the sole cause that he had intended to continue his studies and return to Italy and was for that reason busy studying Italian in the Italian Embassy’s school located on Farmaniyeh. If the other charges against him are writing an article for the website Ruz and an interview with foreign radio stations and Italy’s Voice of Freedom, it is necessary to note that he was in very good physical condition and had no physical handicap. [As written] It is necessary to note that he was a friend of Mohammad Mehdi Asghar, the manager of the IT team of the Ministry of the Interior who had published the real figures of the electoral fraud (who was mistakenly named “Asgari”). He claimed to have a USB drive. Mr. Asghar, before being murdered by the government in an arranged accident, communicated his true information to him…

    2 The Committee to Pursue the Matters of the Arrested and Injured in the Recent Events, founded jointly by Mousavi and Karoubi.
    3 In the original story, it is only the daughter who is crying “Allahu akbar.” If this were true, according to that narrative, both the mother and the daughter would have been taken away.
    4 In the original story, it was her upper body which had been burned with acid. In addition, the original narrative had her mother identify the body. This omission is used by Ejei in a later interview to ask who saw the acid burns. There, Ejei quotes her sister denying these elements of the story and more, but, curiously, includes her demand that the document for her secret arrest be turned over to her! In this interview, he even says that Karoubi quoted Maqise as saying that the girl had not been martyred, but was alive! Strange that this did not make it into the Tribunal’s report! And it is difficult to imagine under what circumstances this alleged Mr. Maqise would have admitted such a thing.
    5 This is a fascinating statement. It seems that the people who organized the false memorial for Saideh Puraqayi actually tried to get leaders of the Green Movement to attend.
    6 This is a remarkably weak and disappointing statement. After creating a national furor over the issue of rape and abuse, he is portrayed here as almost completely retreating from these claims. Karoubi’s response, if he gets the chance to make it, will be closely watched.
    6a There is a Mohammad Davari, who was the editor of Karoubi’s website and arrested by the security forces on September 9. However, in an interview given after the Tribunal’s report was released, it appears that he is referring to a different Davari, whose whereabouts are unknown.
    6b This is refuted in a video (in Persian) published by Reza Allamehzadeh of a statement by Ebrahim Sharifi.

    7 Note the repetition of the mother’s alleged presence.
    8 This is a very creepy section of the Tribunal’s report. The insinuation seems to be that the Green Movement killed Saideh Puraqayi in order to create a martyr. Otherwise, how would they have inside knowledge into her death?
    9 Here, the Tribunal is using the rumor-mongers’ story against the Green Movement by tweaking it an making it appear somehow sinister. The reader is expected to ask, “How did Mousavi hear about this girl’s murder when neither the police nor her mother did.” And then there is the general creep factor which permeates this part of the Tribunal’s narrative and is supposed to stick to Mousavi.
    10 Javad Emam was Mir Hosein Mousavi’s campaign manager and was arrested soon after the disturbances over the elections broke out. His daughter had recently been arrested and released after being interrogated for 24 hours. He was recently released. Again, the Tribunal’s narrative builds on this sense of moral dissonance by having members of two different couples of the opposite gender being alone with each other.
    11 Mr. Katouzian is a member of the Majlis’ human rights committee. The regime tried to smear him as a supporter of the Taraneh Mousavi rumor-mongers, which he is not.
    12 Indeed, Mehdi Karoubi did publicly change his mind on this issue.
    13 This remains unclear.

    Source:, posted 21 Shahrivar 1388 = September 12, 2009.

    Iranian Leftists has published a translation of its own of this document.

  • Shiraz Shocker: Ballot Boxes Found in Construction Site

    Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

    From Ruz, no. 962, Tir 11, 1388 = July 2, 2009

    A New Disgrace for the Electoral Reporters, This Time in Shiraz

    Ballot Boxes found in Half-Built Building

    Shahram Rafizadeh

    The discovery of four ballot boxes in a building while founding the Shiraz Central Library revealed additional evidence of widespread electoral irregularities. These ballot boxes were found when Fars Governor Mohammad Reza Rezazadeh and Shiraz Friday Imam Ayatollah Imani and reporters for the local Shiraz press were inspecting the founding of this library building.Click here to see the rest of the article.

    Fraud in the Iranian Elections

    Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

    Tir 10, 1388 = July 1, 2009

    A Huge Scandle with the Exposure of the Guardian Council’s Lies and Fraud

    Sources of news and photographs: IRNA (the official English-language site is down as of this posting), Tabnak, Tak Seda Web Blog, Fararu, and Online News

    The Guardian Council panics after the exposure of fraud: Whether or not ballots are folded or not folded or their being new cannot be an indication of an infraction.

    [Guardian Council Abbas-Ali] Kadkhoda’i said, concerning new and even unfolded ballots and [unsuccessful candidate Mohsen Reza’i’s brother] Omidvar Reza’i‘s declarations to the effect that seventy or eighty percent of the votes had been written with the same pen and in the same handwriting and put in different ballot boxes, that sort is precisely whom the Judicial Branch must deal with and confront those who have concocted such a blot. Whether or not ballots are folded or not folded or their being new cannot by itself be an indication of an infraction.

    Click here to see the rest of the article.