Editor’s Note: Saying it had completed an investigation into alleged voter irregularities, Iran's election authority on Monday stood by its findings that gave hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an overwhelming victory and sparked more than two weeks of chaos in the streets.
There was "no tangible irregularity," Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei told government-run Press TV after reporting that a recount of some 10 percent of the votes found no significant differences. "After this, the file will be closed and from today on in the presidential election, the file has been closed."
Meanwhile, today Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the death of Neda Agha-Soltan "suspicious" and urged the country's authorities to identify those responsible for it, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported Monday. What now? We spoke with CNN's Reza Sayah, at CNN's Iran Desk in Atlanta.
Reza Sayah | BIO
CNN International Correspondent
1. Iran's electoral oversight group, the Guardian Council, announced today that it confirmed the election results. What now? Does opposition leader Moussavi have any recourse?
Sayah: Moussavi doesn't have any legal recourse. People will be interested to see what he does. The best he can hope for at this point is behind the scenes, lining up religious senior clerics to establish coalitions. Bottom line, the military is behind Ahmadinejad. He really doesn’t have any more options.
2. Security forces reportedly flooded the streets after that announcement on the election results came out. Is there a sense that the heavy-handed tactics are really working for the Iranian government?
Sayah: Security forces were out in full force today, everywhere. They've been the key to this. Whenever you have a conflict like this, security forces really play the key and they’re malleable. If they see more favorable interests in the powers that be, they'll side with them, in this case Ahmadinejad. If the military sees a better play with opposition, they'll head to them.
For most Iranians, in the short run, this aggressive crackdown has snuffed out these protests. In the long run, will it demoralize them, or will this crackdown further radicalize the opposition for the long run? Time till tell.
3. A woman killed in a protest a week and a half ago named Neda has very much become the face of this struggle. Today President Ahmadinejad called her death “suspicious” and requested an investigation. Will that quell any of the uproar over her death?
Sayah: Probably not. They won't be satisfied with his explanation. Government officials have offered 3 different sets of explanation for her death at this point: the CIA, protestors themselves and banned terrorist groups. People are convinced that it was members of the Basij. President Ahmadinjad had this to say in regards to Neda: "The massive propaganda of the foreign media, as well as other evidence, proves the interference of the enemies of the Iranian nation who want to take political advantage and darken the pure face of the Islamic Republic.
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