This media hallabaloo about Iran seems to be based on nothing but cheap conjecture. No facts were uncovered about actual malpractice occuring with regard to the elections. Accusations were made that there was a shortage of ballot papers, ‘pressurizing’ of voters to vote for Ahmedinejad and candidate’s representatives not being allowed to gain access to events at polling stations.
But none of this atually deals with the final count that emerged, the actual problem. Which showed president Ahmedinajad winning the election by a massive margin. Where are the errors pointed out in the actual counting mechanism? none of the protesters could actualy point out what sort of rigging had taken place. There was just a general consensus among them that some sort of rigging had to have taken place. On the surface, as any sane minded person would deduce, they just appear to be acting like sore losers.
Most of the protests were carried out in Tehran, which has a population of 14 million people. Iran itself has 70 million people in it. So how can the conviction of such a small fraction of a population be made to seem like the general consensus of the whole of its population? It just doesnt make sense.
And thats what these types of news stories are made for. To try and convey shallow messages in an attempt to shake up the basket a bit. They are aimed at the sort of people who just glance at the news and do not check their facts. This was simply a badly organized negative PR campaign against the Iranian leadership carried out by the Western media, if we want to get conspiratorial about it. Or rather, as i see it, it was just an opportunity to ‘make some news’ and all objectivity was lost as the media got blinded by a preconception that Iran’s current leadership is essentially ‘evil’.
Polls have shown that Ahmedinejad has secured major victories even in areas thought to be Mousavi strongholds and the margin by which he won (60%) is far too large to have been rigged.
Also, on a side note. Iran only has 35% internet penetration and 60% of its population is based in urban areas. Deduce of this what you will, but how can twitter updates from such a narrow margin of the population signify broad based protests sufficint enought to spark talk of the ‘next Iranian revolution’?
the government of Iran does not appear to be completely innocent in this though. Apparently there has been some supression of protest activity and a cut down of media broadcasts from within. Though this may be standard government action to prevent things getting out of hand, as we have seen happen over here in SL, it is still enough to cause widespread speculation and concern about what is really happening inside.
Watch this Al-Jazeera take on it, its an interesting one.