Was Iran's election rigged? Here's what is known so far.
The Guardian Council has agreed to a partial recount amid alleged irregularities, including an unusually swift announcement of results and a lack of variation in results between cities, rural areas, and ethnic strongholds.
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They simply are not interested in these people continuing to be interested in politics in Iran. The want them to become demoralized and cynical, because their participation in the Iranian electoral process is extremely destructive for the [Islamic] system ...Skip to next paragraph
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What they have not counted on, of course, is a group of people that they essentially think of, for lack of a better word, Westernized wishy-washy liberals, who never stand for anything, would actually be upset that this election was stolen in such a brazen way.
They assumed: 'Ah, you know, we go into the streets, we yell at them, and a couple of shots and they go home and close their doors.'
They knew that they were a minority, and that's why they tried to pull this off. They thought they could bully people, through violence. And they may ultimately be correct. But it seems they have underestimated, not only the crowds, but Mr. Mousavi.
Other red flags
Analysts expected a closer race, if not a reverse of that result, after a final surge in cities across Iran galvanized a large anti-Ahmadinejad vote.
Secret Iranian government polls reported by Newsweek earlier this month estimated that Mousavi would win 16 to 18 million votes, and Ahmadinejad just 6 to 8 million. Those polls found that even the Revolutionary Guard and Iran's "vast intelligence apparatus seem to have come around to this position: a large majority of them also plan to vote for Mousavi," Newsweek reported.
Earlier polls appeared to indicate a stronger showing for Ahmadinejad, who – though under fire for poor economic performance, a surge of inflation, and unemployment – had made 60 visits to Iran's provinces handing out cash and development projects.
The final "official" figures, however, gave Ahmadinejad 24.5 million votes, and Mousavi 13.2 million. That result was a shock for many Iranians and analysts.
The powerful Guardian Council will now be investigating irregularities. Daily protests, riots, and violence have marred the aftermath, and Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei – who had very quickly pronounced Ahmadinejad's victory "divine" – on Tuesday called for national unity.
But could there have been the widespread fraud? And what does the perception of a stolen vote mean for the hundreds of thousands of Mousavi supporters – and tens of thousands of Ahmadinejad loyalists – who have taken to the streets?
Farhi says of the 11 million new Iranian voters, she "simply, simply cannot believe" that Ahmadinejad could have won 8 million of them.
"The history of the Islamic Republic is that they never vote for status quo, they always vote for change," says Farhi. "I know people who entered this electoral process, who never voted in the Islamic Republic, and they came in and voted simply against Ahmadinejad."
• Material from Reuters was used in this report.