June 13, 2009

Rumors swirl as everyone asks: What’s Next?

Laura Rozen at The Cable tackles the question everyone is asking after the early, and highly questionable, election results first made it clear that Ahmadinejad will be declared this election’s victor.

Leading Iranian opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was due to give a press conference at 10am Tehran time (8 1/2 hours ahead of EST), a Washington-based Iran hand tells The Cable. Two hours earlier, final vote counts (according to state counters) are expected to be announced.

“If [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei comes and endorses the results prior to 10am, then a Mousavi protest will be more than a confrontation, but war,” the Iran hand says.

Meantime, an international human rights group says that it has received unconfirmed reports that Mousavi may have been taken into custody by Iranian intelligence officials.

“We were told by very reliable sources that Mousavi was detained on his way to meet the Supreme Leader by members of the intelligence ministry and taken to a safe house to prevent him from making any public announcement,” Hadi Ghaemi, of the Hague-based NGO, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, told The Cable.

Ghamei said that the Tehran campaign headquarters of Mousavi and another opposition presidential candidate Mehdai Karoubi have been surrounded and locked by intelligence services.

Yesterday, Mousavi told the press conference, “I am the absolute winner of the election by a very wide margin. It is our duty to defend people’s votes. There is no turning back.”

There is no telling what tomorrow will bring, but the safety of everyone in Iran is foremost in our minds.

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