Not entirely unexpected: Iran's general election was held today, and guess what? Landslide in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's favor! The result, called a "divine assessment" by Iran's Ayatollah, is clearly bullshit. Iranians are now taking to the streets (and Twitter) in protest.
[Note: I'll be updating this post as reports come in. Whatever you've got, send it my way.] Iranians are taking to the streets, and whoever can access the Internet (a population being seemingly marginalized by the minute) is uploading footage to YouTube. Tehran Beaureu's reporting Ahmadinejad having already shut down land access to Facebook, and AP reports indicate that all social networking sites, major non-government consumer cell phone networks, and opposition sites - like that of Ahmadinejad's main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi - are getting shut down as well. Assuming this is true, people have found ways around it to get some information up and out into the ether. As you can see from the photo above, and the video below, things aren't looking good there.
The Lede's reporting that a Reuters reporter in Iran has already become a victim of the regime's violence, as he got the piss beaten out of him by some Iranian riot cops. Also, some Old School Bloggery: this Blogspotter's keeping a great running feed of whatever images and video she can cull as it comes in.
As The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan - who's also done an amazing job covering the beat today - points out, Iran's active government barely even tried to hide the fact that the entire thing was a farce, as the numbers in Ahmadinejad's favor increased exponentially as they came in, a telltale sign that they either (A) panicked or (B) just got numbers-happy and went with it. Sullivan also pointed out that opposition candidates have taken to Twitter in an attempt to organize and protect retaliation protests. Some of the collected Tweets from "reformer" candidate Mehdi Karroubi:
"Karoubi's camp believes that if there is no resistance this time, people's help can never be expected again." "Making any decision is very difficult and we are in a very difficult situation, any protest must very carefully calculated." "Karbaschi asks people to follow the news through satellite, facebook and internet and ignore rumors." "Karoubi will never be silent. He is present in the scene and never left it. Solutions are being considered."
Also interesting: typically, the election results are supposed to be given three days before Iran's Ayatollah certifies them. Today, they were certified immediately. Both White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have issued reports that they're "closely watching" the Iranian elections, with Gibbs noting that they're keeping an eye out for any irregularities. Oh, and this one's nice: Ahmadinejad just accused the foriegn media of unfavorable coverage, via an AP report:
"The heaviest pressure and psychological warfare was organized against the people of Iran. A large number of foreign media ... organized a full-fledged fight against our people."
Gonna have to disagree. I speak on behalf of American Media by offering that we give Kate Gosselin unfavorable coverage. You get off easy.
A great Flickr stream (from which the second image was pulled) is here. Check it out.
News update from Channel 4, again, via The Atlantic: