A Coup in Iran?

Gary Sick provides a rundown of recent events, prompting the question: has their been a political coup in Iran?

On the basis of what we know so far, here is the sequence of events starting on the afternoon of election day, Friday, June 12.

  • Near closing time of the polls, mobile text messaging was turned off nationwide
  • Security forces poured out into the streets in large numbers
  • The Ministry of Interior (election headquarters) was surrounded by concrete barriers and armed men
  • National television began broadcasting pre-recorded messages calling for everyone to unite behind the winner
  • The Mousavi campaign was informed officially that they had won the election, which perhaps served to temporarily lull them into complacency
  • But then the Ministry of Interior announced a landslide victory for Ahmadinejad
  • Unlike previous elections, there was no breakdown of the vote by province, which would have provided a way of judging its credibility
  • The voting patterns announced by the government were identical in all parts of the country, an impossibility (also see the comments of Juan Cole)
  • Less than 24 hours later, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene`i publicly announced his congratulations to the winner, apparently confirming that the process was complete and irrevocable, contrary to constitutional requirements
  • Shortly thereafter, all mobile phones, Facebook, and other social networks were blocked, as well as major foreign news sources.

All of this had the appearance of a well orchestrated strike intended to take its opponents by surprise – the classic definition of a coup.

Via Joe Carter @ First Thoughts).

On Friday, President Obama commented on the proceedings:

We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran. Whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact there has been a robust debate hopefully will advance our ability to engage them in new ways.

Powerline aptly describes his remarks as “criminally useful idiocy.”:

Obama should not have lauded the election, much less characterized it as advancing our ability to engage Iran in new ways, until he was satisfied that the election was honest. A fraudulent election in which the existing, intransigent regime claims a landslide victory will not advance our ability to engage in Iran in new ways.

A senior official of the Obama Administration remarked:

“The administration will deal with the situation we have, not what we wish it to be”

Prompting Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes to note the inconsitency between Obama’s tepid response and his Cairo speech.

On Meet the Press this morning, Vice President Biden expressed his doubts about the legitimacy of the election, but concluded “we have to accept for the time being” Ahmadinejad’s claim of victory.


9 Responses to A Coup in Iran?

  1. Donald R. McClarey says:

    This could be a very dangerous situation very quickly. Serious civil unrest in a nation that has been racing to get the bomb is a frightening combination. Meanwhile the lunatics running North Korea are warning of nuclear war.


  2. TomSVDP says:

    Good comments Donald:

    AND, I don’t really get into listening to the alarmists:

    But, North Korea building a bomb, being defiant, an alarmist type on Michael Savage’s show said they could “market” the bomb according to one guest… this same guest appeared on Relevant Radio. I think it is alarmist but it might still be a possibility.

    I believe listening to a Dennis Prager rerun show, another guest was saying if Israel hit Iran’s facilities, they may well do “Commando Raids.”

    Bleak stuff, like seeing Drudge this morning, “threatening nuclear war”, I just don’t know.

    But I would think, if there were someone that would be nervous about N. Korea’s weapons, it’d be Japan, since Japan acted real ugly in WWII and in fact, is the only nation to suffer the nuclear bomb. Or maybe we the USA is the great Satan, seeing how NK is allied with Iran it seems.

    The 3rd loose cannon is Pakistan, if things ever happened fast, that government could fall too. However, India is there ancient rival.

    I really, really feel sympathy for the Iranian people. I think they are largely good people because they have shown some “Western” inclinations in the past. So, God help us, anyone getting killed in Iran or rioting I think largely are those who want a more moderate state.

    There is 1 movie out there worth watching, “Off side” and it is about 5 young women in individual ways, try to get in to see a game with the National Football game of Iran in a world cup qualifier It’s a bit of a comedy, made in Iran and banned in Iran. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499537/ It’s an interesting take.

    I didn’t mean the long post but comments are welcome.

    And Obama said they were having a “vibrant debate”, rolls eyes!

  3. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Tom, a large portion of the Iranian people have been fed up with the mullahs and their crazy President for quite some time. This obviously rigged election might be the thing that causes the whole country to blow up. The mullahs will not go quietly however, and I would not put anything beyond them in their quest to hang on to power at all costs. In regard to North Korea, a nervous Japan could go nuclear overnight. The South Koreans of course have the greatest reason to feel alarm. Seoul is so close to the border that even a crude missile carrying a nuke could take it out in a matter of minutes. This could be a very turbulent summer for the world.

  4. Foxfier says:

    I’d been expecting this sort of thing ever since the prelim reports had someone besides the messianic midget winning.

    Praying for ’em. All I can do, I fear…..

  5. Matt McDonald says:

    I don’t see how this can be defined as a coup. The Mullahs were in charge last week, they’re in charge now and will be next week.

    The Mullahs have simply been forced to bring out in the open the fact that Iran is not a democracy. This isn’t the first time this has been the case, though they prefer to keep this fact quiet enough to allow liberals some cover.

    Frankly, I applaud what the counter-revolutionaries are doing right now in Iran, I hope this can take hold and that there would be a coup.

    Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a cause of concern, but there are plans and mechanisms in place to ensure they are secured, deactivated, and/or destroyed in the event of political instability. Remember, unlike Iran, Pakistan’s military is not run by fanatical Islamic fascists. THey do not want their country destroyed, as it surely would be if there was a risk of it’s weapons falling into the hands of fanatical Islamic fascists.

    The threat to South Korea is not just nuclear. The DPRK has thousands of conventional artillery tubes pointed at Seoul, if

  6. See this excellent roundup by Michael Totten — it would also appear ‘The Mullahs’ aren’t as cohesive a religious unit as one might suppose.

  7. awakaman says:

    A country has an election. The outcome is not what you would like it to be; therefore, there had to be election fraud.

    Just continue on with the Weekly Standard neocon blather.

  8. Matt McDonald says:


    dig a little deeper than that.

    Frankly, I don’t think it matters who got elected, the Mullahs run that country…. what matters is the response of the people who’ve had their legitimate aspirations of self-governance dashed once again. It looks promising, but I don’t have my hopes up just yet.

  9. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “A country has an election. The outcome is not what you would like it to be; therefore, there had to be election fraud.

    Just continue on with the Weekly Standard neocon blather.”

    Yep, all those Iranians out in the streets protesting and rioting over the fixed election must be neo-cons!


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