Ahmadinejad stays in power in Iran


A supporter of candidate Mirhossein Mousavi holds a piece of paper that reads "We write Mousavi, they read Ahmadinejad" during post-election unrest in Tehran. (Image: flickr user John McNab (cc:by-nd))

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Incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declares victory with an alleged 63 percent mandate.

Many had hoped that a Mir Hossein Mousavi would ease repression and create a better relationship with the outside world.

Afshin Molavi, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of "Soul of Iran: A Nation's Journey to Freedom," joins "The Takeaway" with a look at what comes next for Iran.

Molavi says there are many moving parts at this stage of the election: "There are significant demonstrations taking place in Iran ... Mir-Hossein Mousavi ... Ahmadinejad's main opponent, has called for people to go out onto the streets to continue demonstrate peacefully ... what we'll probably see over the next few days is more of these kind of street scuffles ..."

In addition to the public dispute, there is a much larger "interior" dispute, according to Molavi: "This is a real rift between Islamic Republic revolutionarly elite -- an old-guard revolutionary elite versus a new-guard revolutionary elite ... and the back room politicking that's going on right now must be furious."

As for whether the disputes reflect the strength of Iran's democracy, Molavi says: "I can tell you I've been on the streets of Tehran when these kinds of protests take place, and it's a very intimidating environment. The security services are very skilled -- there are official police, and then you have hard-line thugs who are loosely affiliated to the government who go out and crack heads. And I think, to some extent ... these scenes are going to be very chaotic.

"Whether this is a strenght of Iran's democracy ... I think the strenght of any democracization of Iran will be if the institutions are able to respond to these widespread charges of voter irregularity."

"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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