Dueling Rallies in Tehran as Guardian Council Proposes Recount

Censorship Obscures Reality on the Ground

Rallies in support of former Iranian Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi remained on the streets of Tehran today protesting the results of Friday’s disputed election, and rival rallies in favor of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also sprang up across Tehran as well, a day after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the Guardian Council to investigate accusations of massive voter fraud.

The Guardian Council now says it is prepared to recount the votes from any disputed ballot boxes, though it said it was unwilling to annul the previous vote entirely as demanded by Mousavi. Mousavi’s supporters are reportedly unsatisfied with the proposed recount, however.

At least one person has been reported killed and several injured as the demonstrations have turned violent, and reports of a massacre at Tehran University have endured, though evidence has been scant.

Independent details of the situation on the ground are increasingly tough to come by, as the government has banned foreign media from covering the rallies and some reports allege that government officials are setting up more-or-less permanent presences in the media offices to review outgoing reports. As such, the details that have been available have largely come second-hand from the state media or the opposition demonstrators through social networking websites.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.