President Mahmoud Ahmadinejab may claim that his recent re-election result was "real and free," though emerging stories suggest the antithesis. Iran's defeated moderate candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has urged Iran's Guardian Council to annul the election on the grounds of fraud, urging peaceful and legal protest from his supporters.
Yet this morning the BBC reports that Mousavi has called off an election protest rally after being threatened by Iranian authorities that militias policing the rally would come armed with live rounds (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8099952.stm). This warning looks particularly ominous as additional reports of violence emerge, notably a Monday morning attack on student demonstrators at Tehran University. Andrew Sullivan highlights the brutal and acrimonious response to this and other protests on his Daily Dish. This makes disturbing but real reading that should be further brought to light by the mainstream media, in my opinion.
In the wake of the UK's MP expense scandal hype and the current political in-fighting, situations like this are a wake up call as to how lucky we are to live in a democratic country and should remind our leaders of what they represent. It's important that MPs use our egalitarian political system to tackle real issues, rather than resorting to expense greed and boundary pushing politics for the sake of politics. Our democracy should be upheld and used to productive ends. This country and the world clearly have far greater issues at stake that need to be a focus.