Local reaction to Iran's presidential election

June 15, 2009 8:40:07 PM PDT
When asked, Iranian-Americans in Philadelphia whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 63-percent victory was truly the will of the people or fraud the short answer was this:"It was fraud."

Like most of those interviewed either by phone or on camera, two people Action News talked to declined to be fully named given the tense climate which could pose problems for their families back home in Iran.

"In a matter of 2 hours, it's humanly impossible to have in excess of 41 million votes being counted manually one by one."

Suspicions over the vote result aside there are those who believe that with this election, Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have, for now, managed to neutralize the reform forces they saw as a threat to their power.

"I tend to agree with that statement due to the historical fact in the past 30 years."

And then of course, there is the youth movement of hundreds of thousands who continue to take to the streets in opposition to Ahmadinejad. Some predict Iranian leaders will probably take decisive action to quell the protests.

Others say:

"Watch these youths in the street, they are 24 hours, non-stop, they are on the roofs, they are on the streets fighting with bare hands. They have nothing in their hands and I hope the international community speaks up for them."

"I think this movement is evolving itself, this didn't happen overnight, this was in the making for years and it found its chance to surface."

Only time will tell how much of a problem the youth movement will pose for Ahmadinejad's rule and how far he will go to try and suppress it. And so the question is, does he emerge with a stronger hand or will the youth movement ultimately prove to be his undoing.

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