Yes, Of Course They Rigged The Election

An Iranian reader flags this leaked video of Mohammed Ali Jafari, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, addressing a group of Iranian officials. In it, he seems to acknowledge a role “interfering” with the 2009 election:

If there is anyone out there, Leveretts aside, who still thinks the 2009 election was legit, this video is the single best piece of evidence yet that it was fixed. The two most important revelations:

1) Jafari says that their “red line” was the reformers (Mousavi et al) returning to power. By calling it a red line he is implying that they would not allow it to happen.

2) Jafari also remarks that in the days before the election, it was clear that Ahmadinejad was going to be forced into a second round, at which point they wouldn’t be able to predict what would happen (i.e. they couldn’t guarantee him a victory). Again the implication here is that they then did something about that.

Arash Karami translates the key segments:

“The sensitivity of the [2009] presidential elections is clear for all of you,” Jafari says at the beginning of the approximately five-minute Facebook video. “The concern and worry that existed, and the red line that existed for the forces of the revolution, is again the return of those opposed to the revolution and the values of the revolution, that during the 2nd of Khordad found an opportunity and penetrated the government, for them to return to power once again.”

By “2nd of Khordad,” Jafari was referring to the 1997 election won by Reformist President Mohammad Khatami in a landslide victory.


Jafari said that the Reformists had planned their return through Mousavi, saying, “In these elections and the events afterward, it became clear why they insisted so much that Sepah and Basij and the security forces should not interfere in the elections. That the [Revolutionary Guard] shouldn’t interfere so that they could their thing … This pattern was so worrying that everyone assessed that if this process continued, the elections would go to the second round and in the second round, it was not clear what the result would be.”

If any candidate had failed to receive 50% of the vote, the elections would have entered a second round. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the 2009 presidential elections with over 62% of the vote. Candidates Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who, along with Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard are currently under house arrest, contested the results.

Scott Lucas adds:

Jafari’s statement complements other evidence — from the IRGC itself — that the Guards used detention, repression, and disruption of communications to stop Mousavi. In summer 2010, a leaked audio and Power Point documented a presentation by a “General Moshfegh” outlining the IRGC’s strategy before and after the ballot. [link]

A few days before the vote, the head of the IRGC’s Political Directorate, Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani, accused Mousavi and other reformists — who had adopted Green as their symbol of trying to start a “color revolution”. He warned that the Guards “will suffocate (the movement) before it is even born.”

Reza HaghighatNejad highlights another part of the video:

Jafari’s speech provides new information about Revolutionary Guards tactics following Khamenei’s criticism of Mousavi and Korroubi: street rallies were to be crushed even if they were peaceful; reformist movement protesters were to be arrested; and Green Movement activists’ telephone and online communication was to be disrupted. Jafari tells his audience that the Revolutionary Guards successfully carried out all three tasks. Through creating confusion and organizing widespread arrests among Mousavi supporters, they effectively drove him out of the competition. Jafari also dismisses protesters, claiming they are from affluent northern Tehran neighborhoods, people who are unable to cope with even minimal hardship.

It appears that the speech was made some time before July 19, 2009. Only two days before, on July 17, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani spoke at Friday Prayers, calling for “unity” and for trust to be restored. Mir Hossein Mousavi’s was also present. The film suggests that, even before protests gathered real momentum, the Revolutionary Guards were determined to stifle dissent.