Smith and Siegel: Is Iran Election Sign of Limits of Obama Effect?

by Benjamin Domenech on 4:38 pm June 13, 2009

The notion of an “Obama effect” sweeping the Middle East appeared to collide with the realities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saturday, as the country’s confrontational, anti-American president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, celebrated a landslide victory in Friday’s election amid wide doubts about the honesty of the official vote count.

Iran’s election authority declared Ahmadinejad the victor with 63 percent of the vote Saturday and his victory received the imprimatur of the country’s supreme religious leader. But his main rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, denounced the results as a “charade” and there were reports of dramatic protests.

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