Posted by: sean | June 13, 2009

Competing theories on the Iranian elections

My friend J just sent me two very different takes on the election results: Juan Cole who seems to think there has been widespread fraud, and Abbas Barzegar, who thinks that the divide between expectations and results is more likely to be chalked up to wishful thinking.

I’m not in a position to say one way or the other, although I do remember talking to Iranians in Paris who were shocked and surprised at the victory of Ahmadinejad in 2005 and other, often older, Iranians who chided them, saying that they shouldn’t confuse their liberal circles in upper class Tehran with the rest of the country. All that to say that I wouldn’t be shocked in either case.

There are a few people whose commentary on the situation I’d like to read. Be on the lookout for commentary by Vali Nasr, Ray Takeyh, Trita Parsi and Nikki Keddie, all of whom always seem to have insightful things to say about the Islamic Republic. In the meantime, here’s a helpful piece by CFR’s Karim Sadjapour.

Again, please leave links in the comments for more suggestions.



  1. Nate Silver has looked at some of the statistical analyses of the election results (the comments section is especially worth reading):

  2. Where did you read the Vali Nasr comments, brother?

  3. I haven’t seen any yet, but I’d like to. In the meantime, here’s Trita Parsi on Democracy Now.

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