Prelude: Ukraine; Late November 2004, run-off Presidential election between Victor Yanukovych, the then Prime Minister, who secured 39.32% votes in first round, and Victor Yushchenko, the opposition candidate who got 39.87% of the votes. The third and fourth candidate received just around 5%. Orange was embraced as the signifying color by the Yushchenko’s camp. After the second round of voting, Yanukovych was leading with 49.2% votes with Yushchenko at 46.69%. Yushchenko called for civil disobedience and a massive protest was held at Independence Square (Azadi Square, anyone?). According to Times Magazine Yushchenko asked his supporters not to leave the Square till they achieve victory. The elections were all about whether the Ukraine would pursue closer ties with West or stick closer to Russia. The Guardian reported on November 24th 2004: “The Democratic party’s National Democratic Institute, the Republican party’s International Republican Institute, the US state department, and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns, as are the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros’s open society institute”. The same daily observed about a year later on Oct 14, 2005: “The winning coalition that orchestrated last winter’s street protests collapsed in disarray last month. Leading members accused each other of corruption… Far from being motivated by a genuine wish to promote democracy, many leading Yushchenko-backers only wanted to grab a greater share of the post-Soviet pie”. That was the sad ending of a US orchestrated and much cheered Orange Revolution. Similar revolutions were fomented elsewhere in the region including Pink Revolution (Kyrgystan) and Rose Revolution (Georgia). The same American billionaire, George Soros, spent $42 million to overthrow Shevardnadze in the later one.
It was February 2006, when Dr. Condoleezza Rice requested Congress to increase the funds to promote “Democracy” and for “Change in regime behavior” in Iran. Rice requested $75 million for the purpose. One of the figures who helped launch this program was Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of Dick Cheney and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs. The state department officials at that time talked of a desire to stir up internal forces for massive political change, as done in Ukraine and Georgia. But they refused to disclose the specific details to protect the identity of Iranian individuals and organizations that had received funding. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Laureate for Peace, wrote in an article published in International Herald Tribune on May 30, 2007:
The secret dimension of the distribution of the $75 million has also created immense problems for Iranian reformists, democratic groups and human rights activists. Aware of their own deep unpopularity, the hard-liners in Iran are terrified by the prospects of a ‘velvet revolution’ and have become obsessed with preventing contacts between Iranian scholars, artists, journalists and political activists and their American counterparts.
To gauge the depth of these clandestine operations, I refer to a report that appeared on Asia Times Online back in Mar 14, 2006, titled as “Inside the US’s regime-change school”. The report detailed on how an Iranian lady named Nilofar, working for an International organization in Tehran suddenly got an invitation to attend Human Rights workshop in Dubai. When she went over there she came to know that the conference was falsely advertised in the lobby of the hotel as the conference by the “Griffin Hospital”. The participants were identifying themselves only through aliases. The course organizers were LA based exiled Iranians and Americans plus three Serbs belonging to the Otpor movement that overthrew the President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. The workshop stressed the importance of ridiculing the political elite so as to demystify the aura of sacredness surrounding them and employing different methods to bring down the government. That crash course for changing a regime was held several months before the Bush administration requested the extra funding to accelerate the purpose. So for all practical purposes they had a lead time of three full years for breeding and training the required herd of color revolutionists.
Then came the 10th Iranian Presidential Election. The main contestants were Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Mir Hossein Mousavi. During the last run-off presidential elections Ahmadinejad defeated Hashemi Rafsanjani by getting 17.28 million votes as compared to just above 10 million of the opponent with 48% turnout, given it was the second round. Many were perplexed by the defeat of a person of such a stature as Rafsanjani was. But the general perception of wealth mingled with corruption and his luxurious and lavish lifestyle as compared to austere of Ahmadinejad with full backing of religious clerics and his reputation as a hard working mayor of Tehran made the setback simple enough. There were rumors circulating widely involving his family members in corruption, kickbacks, and embezzlement. During the live broadcast of the presidential debate on 3rd June, Ahmadinejad hit the nerve directly by exposing Rafsanjani’s role behind the Mousavi campaign. Though it was already known among the political and media circles that it was Hashemi who was the main backer of Mir Housein Mousavi (as evident from the article of 18 June by David Blair in “Telegraph”), but it struck the masses like a revelation. Rafsanjani had become a kind of bête noire for the majority of the Iranian public since the last election. Those accusations worked as a catalyst for the massive turnout in the election. The only independent opinion poll conducted by “Terror Free Tomorrow: The Center for Public Opinion” and “New America Foundation” gave Ahmadinejad a lead of 2 to 1.
If you compare the election results with the poll results you will find out that they are just mirror images of each other though polls predicted a bit more votes for Ahmadinejad.
Here the points raised in Joshua Muravchik article in New York Post on demand some scrutiny as he called the referred poll as “Junk Poll”. The article opened up with these comments:
No sooner had the first truncheon fallen on the head of an Iranian protester demanding that votes be fairly counted than two researchers from American advocacy groups rushed into print to vouch for the legitimacy of the official outcome of Iran’s presidential election.
This implies that the report came in aftermath of protests which is not the case. The report appeared on the websites of different news channels much before the election. Like the VOA reported the results of this survey on 8th June in an article of Meredith Buel.