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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rural Iran: Not A Monolith?

Is it possible that rural Iran, where less than 35 percent of the country’s population lives, provided Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the 63 percent of the vote he claims to have won? That would contradict my own research in Iran’s villages over the past 30 years.

Take Bagh-e Iman, a village of 850 households in the Zagros Mountains near the southwestern city of Shiraz. According to longtime friends who live there, the village is seething with outrage because at least two-thirds of all people over 18 years of age believe that the presidential election was stolen by Ahmadinejad.

When news spread on June 13 that Ahmadinejad had won more than 60 percent of the vote cast the day before, the residents were in shock. The week before had witnessed the most intense campaigning in the village’s history, and it became evident that support for Mir Hussein Moussavi was overwhelming.

link: The New York Times


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