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IRAN: Opposition supporters claim to have 'proof' of Mousavi win

June 18, 2009 |  4:30 pm


Footage has been posted on YouTube from a news conference at the European Parliament in Brussels at which two prominent Iranian filmmakers claim to have “proof” that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection was a fraud.

In the video, Marjane Satrapi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf urge the international community not to recognize last week’s election results, which they describe as a “coup.”

Satrapi, who wrote and directed the black-and-white cartoon “Persepolis,” brandishes a document purportedly from the Iranian Interior Ministry that she claims proves that the main presidential challenger,  Mir-Hossein Mousavi, won the poll with more than 19 million votes. She alleges that Ahmadinejad received just 5.6 million votes.

Although the claims have electrified Mousavi’s supporters, there is no way to know if they are true. In an opinion piece for the British newspaper the Independent, journalist and author Robert Fisk points out that forgery is as efficient in Iran as anywhere else.

“Could this letter be a fake? Even if Mr. Mousavi won so many votes, could the colourless Mr. (Mehdi) Karroubi have followed only six million votes behind him? And however incredible Mr. Ahmadinejad’s officially declared 63% of the vote may have been, could he really -- as a man who has immense support among the poor of Iran -- have picked up only five-and-a-half million votes? And would a letter of such immense importance be signed only “on behalf of the minister”?

Satrapi and Makhmalbaf were invited to the European Parliament this week by Green Party Deputy Daniel Cohn-Bendit, according to the news agency Agence France-Presse.

In a subsequent interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Makhmalbaf  says:

“Four years ago, people boycotted the election, and Ahmadinejad was voted the president by a minority. This time, everybody decided to vote to change Ahmadinejad. But when he didn't have the votes [that his supporters in the government] were looking for, they had a coup d'etat. Friday night, there were attacks to the principal headquarters of Mousavi. People working there were attacked and injured. They destroyed the systems: the faxes, computers, telephones, everything -- all the means of communication. And when Mousavi was informed after counting the votes that he had the majority, the army commanders went to him and announced the coup d'etat to him. He didn't accept it and said that people would be going to the streets.”

-- Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles

Full coverage of Iran's presidential election and its aftermath.

Pictures: Upheaval after Iranian election

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