Frequently Asked Questions: Iran Elections

James Phillips /

What are Iranians protesting?

Many Iranians were outraged by the alleged landslide re-election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad’s prime challenger, charged that the regime had tampered with the ballot count and had stolen the June 12 election from him and the Iranian people. Over time, the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have shifted their focus from protesting the widely-doubted election results to denouncing the legitimacy of the regime itself. Chants of “Death to the dictator” have replaced “Death to America” on Iranian streets. So far, the protests have resulted in at least 17 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and several thousand arrests.

What were the official election results?

The regime claimed that controversial President Ahmadinejad won the election by gaining 62 percent of the vote compared to Mousavi’s 33 percent, with two other challengers Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezai, splitting the remaining 5 percent. (more…)