Iranian officials declared Ahmadinejad winner on Saturday of the nation's presidential election by a landslide over opponent and famed reformist Mir Hussein Moussavi—but Moussavi remains stalwart in his insistence that he was the election's "absolute winner... by a very large margin" and that voter fraud must be at play. Juan Cole, President of the Global American Institute, agrees: After breaking down Ahmadinejad's and other elected official's turn-out and numbers, region by region, Cole notes that, despite "the difficulties of catching history on the run... this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene." Meanwhile Moussavi, who commanded hundreds of thousands of supporters at rallies ahead of the vote, has called on Iranians to resist the "governance of lie and dictatorship" and says he "won't surrender to this manipulation" of the system. Previous elections have also faced allegations of fraud and if Moussavi's backers believe the election was rigged and take to the streets, the results could be chaos in Iran and a major blow to the country's dwindling semblance of a democracy. An Ahmadinejad victory would also further alarm America, Israel, and many Arab states, who are concerned Iran's hardline government is a major threat to the region, and increase the likelihood of confrontation.
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