Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty, "The Iranian People Speak," Washington Post, June 15, 2009.

[Here is a piece that presents some inconvenient--and inconclusive--information. WaPo and ABC both moved to rebut it ASAP, and the comments to the articles make it clear that this poll, even though it is admittedly far from conclusive, introduces an unwelcome complexity that threatens conclusions about Iran and Ahmadinejad that were probably formed years ago. Too bad readers aren't as tough on polls about their own politics. -jlt]

The election results in Iran may reflect the will of the Iranian people. Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin -- greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election.

While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahmadinejad's principal opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran's provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead.

  The fact may simply be that the reelection of President Ahmadinejad is what the Iranian people wanted.

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