Authorities in Iran "acknowledged that the number of votes cast in 50 cities exceeded the actual number of voters, state television reported Monday following assertions by the country’s supreme leader that the ballot was fair." It seems "a remarkable admission," as the New York Times puts it.
The news emerged on the English-language Press TV as a bitter rift among Iran’s ruling clerics deepened over the disputed election. The outcome of the vote, awarding a lopsided victory to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has convulsed Tehran in the worst violence in 30 years, with the government trying to link the defiant loser to terrorists and detaining relatives of his powerful backer, a founder of the Islamic republic.
The loser, Mir Hussein Moussavi, the moderate reform candidate who contends that the June 12 election was stolen from him, fired back at his accusers on Sunday night in a posting on his Web site, calling on his own supporters to demonstrate peacefully despite stern warnings from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that no protests of the vote would be allowed. “Protesting to lies and fraud is your right,” Mr. Moussavi said in a challenge to Ayatollah Khamenei’s authority.
Monday's Los Angeles Times will have at least two stories with bylines from reporters on the ground in Iran. Included is the news that the daughter and other relatives of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani were released from custody.