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June 29th, 2009
07:16 PM ET

In Iran, what now?

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.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Joshua Hudson

    It always seems that politicians are a myopic as Mr. McGoo. This isn't the first time we have seen this in history, and yet we always treat it as if this was new.

    History provides proof that external interference is never appreciated by the citizens because it shifts the focus from the injustice done by their own nation to a rally of external forces interferring with soveriegn national interests.

    You don't step inbetween two women fighting at the bar. The only possible result are two women realigning their allegences and both attacking you.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  2. Angie

    I am asking, that you please keep the Iran election in the fore front. There are many people on twitter spending hours on end trying to keep up the information coming out of Iran, trying to keep lines of communications flowing so the Iranian people can tell the world their story. It is the basic human right of all people to be able to dissent or have their vote counted, with out fear of assault, detention or death. If news organizations place this on the back burner, the Iranian people's rights to freedom of speech will be lost to the next big news story, i am not asking for 24/7 coverage, I'm just asking that you give it a fair amount of time. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to express my concerns, and hope that you take this into concideration. .

    June 30, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  3. Milton Smith

    I wonder if Jackson even had a philosophy worth selling to people. If America has a philosophy worth basing it's world on what is it and does any one even know or care or how about anything at all. Temple of Empire, Chaos philosophy has only nine systems and it’s principles are the same. The nine systems and nine principles are both the input and output. Strength Security Honor Modesty Tranquility Apt Wisdom Empire Technology. This world has a fine line or border between everything it seems, nothing is possible yet possible, too far yet too close...etc

    June 30, 2009 at 5:48 am |
  4. Athony Macchio

    Does anyone else find Joe Jacksons public appearance last night at the BET awards offensive,, and working the red carpet even more appauling,,when his son hasnt even had a Funeral yet.
    the show was a tribute to MJ but the timing for him to be out there..was totally inappropriate.

    June 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm |