Saturday, June 27, 2009

Did Rafsanjani cave?

It's been generally assumed that the "special commission" of Iran's Khameini-controlled Guardian Council charged with investigating the vote will merely rubber-stamp the official results.

Now, according to the Iranian government-controlled Press TV, the Rafsanjani-led Expediency Council is calling on Mousavi and Karroubi to "resolve disputes through legal channels" -- that is, through the special commission, which would mean presenting their cases by Sunday. For what it's worth, the Expediency Council statement also promises a genuine investigation into the vote:
The body, led by the influential cleric and former President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, asked the candidates, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaei, to fully cooperate with the Guardian Council -- tasked with supervising the elections.

The statement called on the candidates to “use this appropriate opportunity to submit their documents and evidence for a comprehensive and precise investigation”...

The Expediency Council also called on the election watchdog to precisely follow the complaints, respond to suspicions, and to use an appropriate team of experts with the aim of building the necessary confidence in the society, ISNA reported.
From the beginning of the post-election struggle, there's been widespread rumors -- often tagged as wishful thinking on dissidents' part -- that Rafsanjani has been working through the Assembly of Experts the Expediency Council, both of which he chairs, to mount some kind of challenge to the official election results. Does this report indicate that he's given in? Is this statement not his doing? Or is there still some glimmer of a possibility that he's laid the grounds for an investigation result other than ratification?

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