Published in Al Jazeera's Riz Khan, June 17, 2009
In the largest anti-government demonstrations since the Iranian revolution of 1979, thousands of people took to the streets in Iran on Tuesday to protest against the disputed presidential election in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent, was declared the winner.
Since his overwhelming victory, there have been reports of opposition members being arrested, newspapers being censored and banned and internet sites being blocked.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, has called for an examination of opposition charges of vote-rigging and the country’s powerful Guardian Council said it would order a partial recount.
Barack Obama, the US president, is faced with a dilemma over how to respond to Iran’s disputed election without comprimising his attempts to open a dialogue between the two country’s.
Strong criticism could backfire, but a muted response could leave an impression of weakness.
Will a recount solve the dilemma that the Iranian government is facing today? And what will be the social ramifications for the Iranian people?
On Wednesday, Riz discusses the election aftermath with Kaveh Afrasiabi, a political analyst and author of the book Reading in Iran’s Foreign Policy After September 11, and Janet Afary, a professor of religious studies and feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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