Danger of Extreme Violence—a “Tehran Tiananmen”

(13 June 2009) The international community should not recognize the results of Iran’s 12 June 2009 presidential election, which gives all signs of having been manipulated by government authorities to produce a massive victory for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.  The Campaign further recommended that the existing results be voided and new elections held in order to establish legitimacy.

As the Campaign reported earlier, the leading challenger to Ahmadinejad, Mir Hossein Moussavi, was informed by Iran’s Interior Ministry at 23:00 on 12 June that tabulated results showed him to be victor, and he was asked to wait on celebrations until Sunday.

A few hours later, the Ministry inexplicably reversed itself declaring a massive victory for Ahmadinejad. Iran’s religious Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ignoring turmoil in the Ministry and rising protests, announced the victory and declared the process finished.

“The international community cannot accept such questionable election results, and should withhold recognition of these elections,“ stated Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign.

“All must help the authorities understand that there will be no social peace in Iran and no credibility for the government abroad, without a re-run to discover which candidate actually deserves to govern,” he said.

At this time, Iran has been thrown into an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy. Thousands of Iranian citizens expressing their outrage, shock, and humiliation are facing the extreme danger of lethal violence at the hands of police and security forces in Tehran and throughout Iran.

“The stage has been set for a Tehran Tiananmen, in which massive violence will be unleashed in an attempt to intimidate the citizens from pursuing their dream of democracy,” Ghaemi said, referring to the 1989 massacre of many hundreds of Chinese pro-democracy demonstrators.

The Campaign called upon all of Iran’s partners in the international community to strongly denounce not only the election process, but the government’s violent attempts to quash legitimate protests.

The Campaign believes that a government can neither serve the Iranian people at home nor represent them abroad under the cloud of suspicion that exists at the present time. Only new elections, conducted with transparency, accountability, and with independent observers can rectify the situation.  The international community must do its responsible part to bring about this solution by withholding recognition of the 12 June results.