After a weekend of protests and clashes over the alleged fraud perpetrated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€™s party in Iran, the real powers in Iran are stepping in:
State television quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directing a high-level clerical panel, the Guardian Council, to look into charges by pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has said he is the rightful winner of Friday’s presidential election.
The decision comes after Mousavi wrote a letter appealing to the Guardian Council and met Sunday with Khamenei, who holds almost limitless power over Iranian affairs. Such an election probe by the 12-member council is uncharted territory and it not immediately clear how it would proceed or how long it would take.
What we donâ€™t know is whether this investigation is just for show or whether Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is actually concerned about the underhanded tactics apparently used to rig the election. After all, Iranâ€™s theocratic leaders donâ€™t exactly have a history of defending democracy. This move could very well be nothing more than an attempt to silent the ongoing protests.
Weâ€™ll see. Wish I could be more optimistic.