Turmoil in Tehran

Leading Clerics Decry Iran Election

The international media's attention may have mostly turned elsewhere, but demonstrators in Iran are keeping up the fight: According to The New York Times, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum—what the Times calls “The most important group of religious leaders in Iran”—called the disputed election results and the new government illegitimate on Saturday. “This crack in the clerical establishment, and the fact they are siding with the people and [Mir Hossein] Mousavi, in my view is the most historic crack in the 30 years of the Islamic republic,” Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University, tells the Times, which notes that “The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult—if not impossible.” Still, the government will continue trying: The announcement came on the same day that Mousavi released documents detailing Ahmadinejad’s election fraud, and a close associate of Khamenei called both Mousavi and former president Mohammad Khatami “foreign agents,” who should be prosecuted as criminals.