The verdict has been reached in Iran with the supreme leader of the country Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proclaiming a decisive electoral victory for incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and declaring any further demonstrations by supporters of the losing candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi illegal. Should such demonstrations continue, swift retaliation by the government would be justified.
In hindsight, there was not really another outcome that could have occurred. Had the spiritual leader wavered at all in support of the present regime, revolution very well may have been a result. Such an outcome though is still a possibility. Moussavi has declared that he is ready to “face martyrdom” and vowed to continue leading the people in protest in what has been seen in their view as a rigged election.
This is going to end bloody!
The government will begin to exercise every increasing force in ending the protest. Although Ahmadinejad and his entourage have made the typical accusations against American and Zionist intervention, the present administration is well aware of the real groundswell of support in Iran for reform and a change of direction for the country.
Reform and change that will not be tolerated!
For his part, President Obama has done a commendable job of walking the tightrope between supporting the democratic voice that is being displayed in Iran and the pragmatic view that knows he will undoubtedly be dealing with Ahmadinejad, and not Moussavi, in the coming months.
Even as I write this, the death count is estimated to have reached 150. My prayer is for peace in the region as I feel in the next few days, barring some divine intervention, many, many more people will be killed or injured.
PS: As a side note, demonstrations are occurring on behalf of the protestors in various cities around the world. Tens of thousands are currently protesting in Paris and it always strikes me odd that no matter what conflict is happening in the world, people protest in Paris. Israel and Lebanon fight…Paris protests. The Dali Lama mixes words with China…Protestors in Paris take to the streets. Iran has suspected election fraud…Parisians join the protest. Does anyone have a job in that city????