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June 19, 2009

Khamenei says election results stand and warns protestors of crackdown

Topics: Iran, Political News and commentaries

Irans "Supreme" Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to "prepared" crowd: 'You're screwed, elections stand, and if you protest get ready for death and prison' (or to that effect): Via Fox News:

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's supreme leader said Friday that the country's disputed presidential vote had not been rigged, sternly warning protesters of a crackdown if they continue massive demonstrations demanding a new election.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sided with hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offered no concessions to the opposition. He effectively closed any chance for a new vote by calling the June 12 election an "absolute victory."

The speech created a stark choice for candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters: Drop their demands for a new vote or take to the streets again in blatant defiance of the man endowed with virtually limitless powers under Iran's constitution.

Khamenei accused foreign media and Western countries of trying to create a political rift and stir up chaos in Iran.

At several points during Khamenei's speech, the assembled crowd broke out into loud, seemingly-orchestrated chanting. Television cameras panned across the sea of supporters as they passionately shouted "death to America," "death to Israel" and "death to the U.K."

And as Shawn Mallow suggests over at Wizbang, as Khamenei spoke, Obama cowered:
This was a rare opportunity to foster the spirit of revolution which has gripped the Iranian people. Words could have gone a long way toward accomplishing what the West has desired for so long: A revolutionary upheaval in Iranian politics and society.

Instead, Obama's lack of judgement and fear of alienating the winning party has now rendered him impotent. Anything he says now will be meaningless.

An opportunity lost.

"An opportunity lost, indeed. Yes, Obama has been in a tight spot and it is true that the U.S. has had to avoid giving the Ayatollah ammunition to use the U.S. as an excuse to clamp down on the protestors, but there is much Obama could and should have said in support of the protestors, as Canada and France have done, and much can be said of a negative "Cairo effect" resulting in our enemies perception of U.S. weakness because of it. All of which has contributed to a lost opportunity for Iranians to actually experience real democracy and freedom from the tyranny of the mullahs.

Related coverage: Mousavi Spokesman Smacks Obama

Posted by Richard at June 19, 2009 9:09 AM

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