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Iran Claim of the Day: "Ahmadinejad to Release Tape on Rigging of 2009 Election" if His Successor is Rejected

Editor's note: The analysis has been revised, taking into account that the claim is that both Ahmadinejad's count and the total vote were inflated by 8 million.

And now a curious tale --- be it propaganda from President Ahmadinejad, propaganda from other conservative elements fighting within the regime, or even the "real" story --- linking the disputed 2009 Presidential election with the 2013 edition in June....

The conservative site Baztab published an explosive claim on Saturday: Ahmadinejad has threatened to release a tape --- showing that he only had 16 million votes in June 2009, rather than the official figure of 24 million --- if his right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai is not approved by the Guardian Council to stand in this year's campaign.

The article was quickly removed but has been captured in a FreezePage. Digarban, a site critical of the regime, has been circulating the claims.

According to Baztab, in the tape Ahmadinejad is contacted by officials early on 13 June, the day after the election, and told an extra eight million votes have been added to prevent any second-round ballot and ensure there are no calls for a recount.

Ahmadinejad's "official" count of just over 24.6 million votes were 62.6% of the claimed total claimed count of about 39.2 million ballots; his nearest challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi was given just over 13.3 million.

Had Ahmadinead been credited with 16 million in the supposedly "true" count of 31.165 million ballots, he would have taken over 50% of the vote, narrowly avoiding a run-off with Mousavi.

Ahmadinejad supposedly insists in the tapes that since he won the elections anyway, the real figures should be announced. Ahmadinejad contacts other officials and argues with them that the voting results should not be rigged.


So is there a "real" story here?

Based on the posted reports, there is no substantial evidence --- yet --- pointing to an actual tape. Even assuming Ahmadinejad is willing to admit that his 2009 election was fabricated --- albeit one in which he still had the most votes in the first round --- who is the source putting out this threat via Baztab, an anti-Ahmadinejad site?

Instead, this looks like misinformation/disinformation --- but it is not from the Green Movement or reformists. It comes instead from within the establishment, albeit from a conservative site sharply critical of the Government.

Baztab has been said to be linked to Presidential hopeful and former Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezaei; however, other sources have said that Baztab is independent of Rezaei and is pursuing another agenda --- maybe one as simple as tearing down Ahmadinejad or maybe one for more complex political motives.

So even if there is no "tape", the appearance of an article claiming one points to a 2013 Presidential election that is becoming increasingly vicious --- and perhaps not able to deliver the "unity" candidate desired by the Supreme Leader.

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