SAVVY MULLAHS SURPRISE "EXPERTS" INFURIATE OPPONENTS
U.S. analysts find it"not credible" that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.
American"experts" on Iran are shocked, shocked, shocked Karim Sadjapour, analyst at carnegie endowment for international peace:
"I don't think anyone anticipated this level of fraudulence. This was a selection, not an election. At least authoritarian regimes like Syria and Egypt have no democratic pretences. In retrospect it appears this entire campaign was a show: (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah (Ali) Khamenei wasn't ever going to let Ahmadinejad lose."
Trita Parsi, President of national Iranian American council:
"I'm in disbelief that this could be the case. It's one thing if Ahmadinejad had won the first round with 51 or 55 per cent. But this number ... just sounds tremendously strange in a way that doesn't add up ... It is difficult to feel comfortable that this occurred without any cheating.
"If there is a fight in Iran and there are accusations of fraud and Mousavi declares himself a winner and you have numerous leading clerics and other figures recognising Mousavi, you are going to have paralysis and significant infighting in Iran. . . .
As can be seen below, the fighting has begun though it is not going to be easy. The Mullahcracy is not only brutal but technologically savvy:
Mr. Mousavi said there was an organized effort to block his campaign staff from communicating with one another and the public on Friday. The Ministry of Telecommunications imposed a nation-wide block of text messaging from mobiles. Mr. Mousavi's supervisors at polls were planning to report discrepancies by text messages.
Thousands of Mr. Mousavi's volunteer supervisors were not issued credentials by the Interior Ministry, which runs the elections, and were barred from polling stations, Mr. Mousavi said. Internet speed was slower than usual all day and by noon nearly all Web sites affiliated with Mr. Mousavi were blocked.
The campaign said that a group of people, who identified themselves as intelligence officers, entered Mr. Mousavi's campaign headquarters in northern Tehran on Friday evening demanding that the young strategists at the campaign, responsible for much of deploying new media techniques, leave the premises.
Mr. Mousavi's campaign lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh, said in an interview that Tehran's chief prosecutor informed Mr. Mousavi's campaign lawyer that security agents would arrive Saturday morning with a court order to shut down all their communication operations.
What next? That depends on the commitment and courage of Mosousavi's supporters. They are on their own. No one is going to lift a finger to help them and they know it.
Also see, BBC video of police response here
Michael Totten, continually updates.