June 17th, 2009
07:03 PM ET

Rigged or not, vote fractures Iran

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/17/iran.elections.rallies/art.tehran.protester.afp.gi.jpg caption="An Iranian protester rallies Wednesday. Even larger protests are expected Thursday. "]

Hamid Dabashi
Special to CNN

In a recent article published both in the Washington Post and the Guardian, Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty reported that according to their "nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote ... Ahmadinejad [was] leading by a more than 2-to-1 margin - greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election."

That may or may not be the case, but the abiding wisdom of Aesop's fable of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" or its Persian version, "The Lying Shepherd," has now made any such Monday-morning quarterbacking an academic exercise in futility.

The assumption that the government has rigged the election has become a "social fact" that millions of Iranians believe. On the basis of that belief, they have put their lives on the line, with reported casualties of dozens injured and at least one, perhaps up to nine, people killed.

Chief among the slogans of supporters of presidential challenger Mir Hossein Moussavi is "With God's help victory is at hand/Death to this deceitful government!" Such a significant and sizeable segment of Iranian society has lost its trust in this regime in general, and in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency in particular, that, even if this time around the authorities are telling the truth, they have "cried wolf" too many times to be trusted.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (One Response)
  1. ben tollefson

    I would have to go with a yes...of course it was rigged

    June 18, 2009 at 10:05 am |

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