Iran Extends Election Probe Amid Growing Evidence

Interior Ministry Denies 'Irregularities'

According to Iran’s state media, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has agreed to extend the deadline for the Guardian Council to investigate complaints about last Friday’s presidential election by an additional five days. The legal deadline to complete the investigation was Wednesday before the extension.

The Guardian Council had reportedly asked for the extension, citing the enormous number of ambiguities and complaints regarding the vote. Earlier this week the Guardian Council confirmed that 50 cities had turnouts of above 100% of registered voters, pointing to millions of fraudulent votes.

The request for a delay to the deadline may suggest that the council is mulling additional remedies for the election. Previously it had offered to recount 10 percent of the ballots in the disputed districts in the presence of opposition campaigns, but insisted it was impossible that the irregularities had changed the end result, given the wide margin by which the Interior Ministry insists President Ahmadinejad won.

The Interior Ministry has insisted that the accusations of fraud, despite evidence unveiled by the Guardian Council, “lack concrete and legal evidence.” Opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has called for the election to be thrown out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.