Anti-Iran Bill in House Makes Claims With No Basis in Fact

Representative Jim Costa (CA) sponsored a bill introduced into the U.S. Congress on Tuesday “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the one-year anniversary of the Government of Iran’s fraudulent manipulation of Iranian elections, the Government of Iran’s continued denial of human rights and democracy to the people of Iran, and the Government of Iran’s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

The bill, H.R. 1457, was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and was cosponsored by Gary L. Ackerman (NY), Howard L. Berman (CA), Dan Burton (IN), Ron Klein (FL), Mike Pence (IN), Ted Poe (TX), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL).

The bill claims that “vote counts in the June 12, 2009, election were inconsistent with Iranian demographics and political trends, including provinces in which more votes were allegedly cast than the number of registered voters and vote counts that indicated unusual pro-Ahmadinejad voting patterns by traditionally anti-Ahmadinejad constituencies”.

It also refers to what it calls “the Government of Iran’s unrealistic vote count and fraudulent announcement of election results”.

Additionally, the bill “condemns the Government of Iran’s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability”.

The claim that the 2009 election results “were inconsistent with Iranian demographics and political trends” is based upon the claim that there was a “swing” to Ahmadinejad, but is contested by both past voting trends and numerous public opinion surveys conducted both before and after the election.

When Ahmadinejad won in a run-off election in 2005, he did so with 61.7 percent of the vote, comparable to his 63 percent margin of victory in 2009.

Just prior to the 2009 vote, a public opinion survey conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow, the New America Foundation, and KA Europe SPRL found that Ahmadinejad was the preferred candidate by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

In that survey, 34 percent of respondents said they would vote for Ahmadinejad, while just 14 percent said they planned on voting for the incumbent’s leading contender, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Eight University of Tehran polls all found that Ahmadinejad was the frontrunner for the election.

A World Public Opinion survey conducted after the election, in September 2009, found that 55 percent of the 87 percent of respondents who said they voted in the election said that they voted for Ahmadinejad, while only 14 percent said they voted for Mousavi.

That survey also found that, asked who they would vote for if the election were to be held again, 49 percent said they would vote for Ahmadinejad, while only 8 percent would vote for Mousavi.

The poll also found that “81 percent of Iranians consider Ahmadinejad to be Iran’s legitimate president”, with only 10 percent who disagreed.

A GlobeScan poll following the election similarly found that a majority had voted for Ahmadinejad, with 76 percent of respondents saying they believed the election was fair and only 16 percent who believed it was “not very fair or not at all fair”.

Two further polls conducted by the University of Tehran similarly found that a majority of Iranians voted for Ahmadinejad.

Walter Mebane, a political scientist, statistician, and expert on electoral fraud, conducted an analysis of the results and found that “there’s no solid evidence of fraud.”

A World Public Opinion analysis in February, 2010 found that there was “little evidence to support” the conclusion that the Ahmadinejad had won by fraud.

The argument that more votes being cast in some provinces than the number of registered voters has been a leading argument put forth by those claiming fraud.

The most often-cited source cited for this claim is a Chatham House and Institute of Iranian Studies report entitled “Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election”, which argued that a turnout of more than 100 percent in Mazandaran and Yazd provinces was evidence of fraud.

That report acknowledged the fact that Iranian voters may cast their ballots anywhere in the country, and not only in their home province, but argued that the number of people who would have done so was not significant.

However, that analysis, principally authored by avowed expert on Iran, Professor Ali Ansari, fails to point out that the election occurred on a Friday, which is the Islamic day of prayer, and also the weekend in Iran.

Iran’s Guardian Council, in response to the allegations of fraud, put out a report that noted that people “journey to nicer geographic areas with better weather at weekends”, that students vote in cities where they go to school rather than their home districts, that members of the military similarly vote in the places they are based, and that cities attract workers who commute from elsewhere.

That report also observed that a similar phenomenon had occurred in the previous, uncontested, election and was “quite normal and inevitable”.

“In many areas the number of voters was significantly higher than the number of eligible voters in the area”, the Guardian Council report stated.

In one case, in Shemiranat, the voter count was at 800 percent the number of eligible voters, far higher than any single case in the 2009 election.

The claim of “fraudulent announcement of election results” contained within the bill is presumably based upon the fact that the Iranian government announced the results early.

However, typically omitted from accounts arguing that this is evidence of fraud is the fact that this was prompted by the Mousavi campaign’s announcement even before the first vote counts were released that he was “definitely the winner” based on “all indications from all over Iran.”

Mousavi told a news conference on the day of the election, “I am the absolute winner of the election by a very large margin.”

The state news agency responded an hour later by reporting than Ahmadinejad had actually won.

Political analysts Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett wrote in Foreign Policy earlier this month that the reason “so many got it wrong” on the Iranian election was because of “willfully bad journalism and analysis, motivated in at least some cases by writers’ personal political agendas.”

“From literally the morning after the election,” they observed, “the vast majority of Western journalists and U.S.-based Iran ‘experts’ rushed to judgment that the outcome had to have been the result of fraud.”

But, they added, “there has never been a shred of hard evidence offered to back up the assertion of electoral fraud.”

They also pointed out that “Mousavi failed to produce evidence substantiating his public claims”.

The claim in the draft bill that Iran continues to pursue “a nuclear weapons capability” is also not supported by the available evidence.

In 2007, a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluded that Iran did not have an active nuclear weapons program in parallel to its civilian one.

In September 2009, Newsweek reported that the intelligence community was still standing by that assessment.

The 2007 NIE had claimed that Iran had had a weapons program until 2003, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement in September 2009 saying, “the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran” (emphasis added).

The IAEA, which is actively monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, has consistently reported that there has been no diversion of nuclear material to any military aspect of the program.

The former Director General of the IAEA, Mohammed ElBaradei, had repeatedly pointed out that there was no evidence Iran had a weapons program

His successor, Yukiya Amano, also said just prior to taking over the office, “I don’t see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this”, in response to a question about whether Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Since that time, the U.S. has continued to fail to offer any proof of its claims, such as contained in this new draft bill, that Iran is seeking the nuclear bomb.

Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website providing news, analysis, and opinion from outside the standard framework provided by government officials and the corporate media. He was among the recipients of the 2010 Project Censored Awards for outstanding investigative journalism and is the author of The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination. You can contact him at: Read other articles by Jeremy, or visit Jeremy's website.

24 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on June 24th, 2010 at 8:33am #

    We are on US planet now and US can do on it and with it as it likes. And now stop complaining and gather counterpowers. The best way by far is to form a political party with humann face.

    To get our planet back from gangsters, that’s all we have to do. tnx

  2. mary said on June 24th, 2010 at 9:04am #

    I guess that the co-sponsors are all on this list of AIPAC funded Senators and Congress members.

    From Tel Aviv on the Potomac by Keith Johnson

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain said on June 24th, 2010 at 9:19am #

    The closer one draws near the wellsprings of Zionist mendacity and hatemongering the more lurid, unprincipled and frankly depraved becomes the lying. In Australia the FoxNews Ltd sewer and its population of malignant hysterics have been simply slavering in their denunciations of Iran for years, with the pitch rising and falling according to orders from Tel Aviv, relayed through the plethora of Zionist Jews and their Sabbat Goy stooges who dominate the Rupert Moloch apparatus. Guest liars,like William Hague, get featured,earning their merit badges from their Zionist masters with outrageous untruths, lies so blatant that they rely on public ignorance and stupidity to get away with it. The aim of this constant vilification could not be more diabolic-to ensure a popular lynch-mob atmosphere amongst Western publics to pave the way for another war of aggression, another ‘supreme crime’ in international law and millions more murders of Iranian women and children to join the millions sacrificed to Zionist bloodlust in Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon,Pakistan and elsewhere.
    As all even marginally informed know, the destruction of the Islamic states of the Near and Middle East has been Zionist policy for decades. They intend using their puppet the US,mobilised by the corrupt denizens of the Congress, a body entirely bought and paid for by Zionist paymasters,to achieve this evil,Hitlerite,purpose. Moreover, according to fundamentalist Judaic ‘religious’ belief, these aggressions and murders are not just permissible, but are ‘mitzvahs’ or good deeds. Even the murder of children is sanctified by this variant of Judaic belief, because they might grow to oppose the Jewish Herrenvolk. Of course such atavistic and evil opinions are not shared by all Israelis or all Jews, but the military/political elite of what is an increasingly openly fascistic Israeli state is more and more dominated by religious zealots akin in every way to Judaic Taliban, save that they control a vast nuclear arsenal.

  4. Cameron said on June 24th, 2010 at 10:14am #

    So that I’m not misunderstood. I’m not a supporter of the US policies at all. But let’s not fall for the regime in Iran either. Where were the supporters of the regime when millions poured into the streets to protest? Announcing the election result within a few hours after polls were closed does not make you wonder? What election? 99.99% are not even allowed to run. Why did the regime have to kill, rape, beat, imprison, torture protestors. They were protesting peacefully. Watch so many video clip of the earlier days of the protest on Youtube. Oh please don’t tell me that this is movement is instigated by the US to start a velvet revolution. US and Iran have a history of collaborations. Let’s see, do you remember Iran-Contra? Also the regime in Iran has been and is collaborating with US in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite all the sanctions, American goods are shipped from Dubai to Iran. What has US government done to stop this? This is a mock battle. The real row is not over nuclear bomb. US wants the regime in Iran to be more obedient and stop supporting reactionary Shia forces in Lebanon and elsewhere. US is not interested in toppling the regime in Iran. How many times have you heard of immanent invasion of Iran in past so many years??
    You’re insulting the brave women and men who went to the street to protest 30 years of oppression. They risked getting killed, beaten, raped, tortured, and imprisonment. Don’t play into the hand of either the US or the regime in Iran.

  5. mary said on June 24th, 2010 at 10:32am #

    Thought of you this morning Mulga when I was looking up Julia Goddard your new PM. The Guardian did a puff piece on her and used a photo* of her that was strikingly similar to one of Thatcher!

    She is unelected just like Brown. These takeovers are almost royal successions. I googled Gillard Israel Zionism and this was the first link. Yet another Zionist supporter like Rudd and Howard. I read that she is Welsh born and emigrated to Australia with her parents when she was a child. She studied law and became a partner in a law firm. Same old same old….

    PS Almost felt sorry for Rudd as he choked back his tears. I said almost.

    *photo (

  6. bozh said on June 24th, 2010 at 1:23pm #

    While i strongly condemn even the threats against iran, it doesn’t mean i approve of any islamic land’s structure of governance and structure of society.
    In fact, the two structures in US and in most [or may be all] islamic lands are ab same.
    It is a myth that we have separation of church and state in US; ?all church goers vote for fascist party. And there is ab 6bn adherents to religion!

    Most iranians appear to be, as far as i know, asocialistic [fascistic]; so i don’t give hoot which side got elected in Iran.
    In US, 98% of the people are also fascistic; so, i give no hoot which wing of uncle’s party get’s elected.

    So, if war breaks out btwn US and iran, one redeeming feature wld be fascists figfhting fascists for maintainance of fascism; i.e., oppression of majority of people.
    Anyhow, with fascist obssession of iran, the fascist are leaving, korea, nam, cuba, venezuela, china, and bolivia alone; allowing them to keep on building a better society for people! tnx

  7. Hue Longer said on June 24th, 2010 at 2:05pm #


    I know you like Pilger…read if you haven’t, “A Secret Country” where he outline the CIA coup against Whitlam. Reading Aussies today give their takes on events is sickening–it’s as if they don’t know everything is orchestrated. You think it’s bad in US or Pommyville, hang in Oz for a bit just to take in the wonder of totalitarian news propaganda; like Singapore, they don’t know it’s obvious but even a CNN loving American idiot can visit and see something’s very wrong

    I knew Rudd was gone when he drew attention to Israeli spooks after their passport murder affair

  8. Jeremy R. Hammond said on June 24th, 2010 at 5:55pm #


    Perhaps you didn’t read the article. There is no evidence of fraud in the election. You are right, it’s a limited form of democracy, with all candidates being approved by Khameini, but within that framework, Ahmadinejad legitimately won.

    “Where were the supporters of the regime when millions poured into the streets to protest?”

    I don’t know about “millions”. But there were enormous rallies for Ahmadinejad as well. You just didn’t read about them, because Western propaganda chose to ignore them.

    “They were protesting peacefully.”

    Many were. Many, however, were not, but were rampaging through the streets setting trash bins, cars, and buses on fire.

    “Oh please don’t tell me that this is movement is instigated by the US to start a velvet revolution.”

    Western propaganda about a “stolen” election helped fuel the protests.

    “The real row is not over nuclear bomb. US wants the regime in Iran to be more obedient…”

    Absolutely 100% correct.

  9. Rehmat said on June 24th, 2010 at 6:05pm #

    Pity – The USrael funded US$400 million “Green Revolution” is running out of its gas. To a political aware person – it’s quite clear that American voters have been electing their representatives for Israeli Knesset and not for the US Congress or Senate.

    On June 17, Republican Congressman Mike Pence warned Ankara on behalf of both Republican and Democrat ‘Friends of Israel’ lawmakers: “There will be a cost if Turkey stay on its present heading of growing closer to Iran and more antagonistic to the state of Israel”. Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel called Turkey’s actions “disgraceful”.

  10. Hue Longer said on June 24th, 2010 at 6:14pm #

    Hello Jeremy in response to, “Oh please don’t tell me that this is movement is instigated by the US to start a velvet revolution.” there is always pointing out 1953 and 1979 or the Iraq Iran war.

  11. Cameron said on June 24th, 2010 at 6:37pm #

    I did read it. You’re quoting officials such as Guardian Council which is one of the pillars of oppression. Not to mention the rest aren’t really that credible in my opinion.
    Yes I saw the pro Ahmadinejad’s rally. What a sham. People on payroll where bused in from all of the country. And that’s all they could do? Millions? Did you know that the regime threatened newspapers to either cover that or face closure. Could newspapers cover the anti-government protestors?
    Yes the regime has its supporters majority of which are pretty much on payroll.
    “Limited democracy”? There is absolutely no democracy. It’s theocracy. Revolutionary Guards and the Supreme leader pretty much control everything including the economy. Mousavi is just as fascist as Ahmadinejad. When he was prime minister he ordered execution of tens of thousands of political prisoners.
    The turnout on Election Day was heavier. I agree. There is a good reason for that. A series of called presidential debates that were aired on TV clearly showed that there is a rift between the two factions that could not be resolved internally and had to be fought in the open. People saw that and decided to vote to deepen the rift.
    Demonstrators were setting trash bins on fire. First of all, the regime attacked protestors on day 1 of protests. There have been a lot of witnesses who say those who set trash bins on fire were regime supporters that wanted to portray demonstrators as hooligans.
    Fact is even if there were no fraud ( I could care less who the real winner is), should a regime protestors like that. The rape, torture, beating was so bad and out of control that even Khamenei was forced to order the closer of Kahrizak prison.
    I understand that you’re trying to counter the propaganda set by the US government and the media. More power to you. My hat is off to you. Really! But I would not get caught between the two regimes propaganda machineries. So many labor activists, journalists, students, and others are taken to Evin prison every day without charges. They’re tried in secrecy and some are executed such as Kamangar, a teacher. We don’t hear about that sort of stuff in the media. Do we? Perhaps this is the way to counter the media here.


  12. Jeremy R. Hammond said on June 24th, 2010 at 6:39pm #


    Yes. I’ve pointed that out and more in this article:

  13. Jeremy R. Hammond said on June 24th, 2010 at 6:47pm #


    “You’re quoting officials such as Guardian Council…”

    You’re ignoring the numerous Western opinion surveys and analysis of Western experts such as the Leveretts.

    As for what I said about the Guardian Council’s response to the charges of fraud, do you dispute that Iranian’s travel on the weekend? Or that many people vote outside of their home districts? Or that the phenomenon of more people voting in a province than registered has also occured in the past, even to a much larger extent, in the previous election, which was uncontested?

    I mean, do you actually have any challenge to any points of fact in the article?

    “Yes I saw the pro Ahmadinejad’s rally. What a sham. People on payroll where bused in from all of the country.”

    One could make the same charge about Mousavi supporters — also without evidence.

    “There is absolutely no democracy.”

    Yes. By that measure, though, the same can be said of the U.S.

    Yes, Iran has a horrible human rights record. Pointing out false Western propaganda charges does not negate that fact.

  14. Hue Longer said on June 24th, 2010 at 7:02pm #

    6 years ago I had a friend who returned from Venezuela to tell me I was wrong about the people supporting Chavez because everyone he talked to hated him.

    “everyone” ended up being middle class (a bastardized term) students and academics in neighborhoods he thought were poor due to his conditioning and poor understanding of the relevancy.

    Iran’s protests from what I could tell seemed similar to the middle class marches in Caracus

  15. lichen said on June 24th, 2010 at 7:53pm #

    I agree with Cameron, largely. The oppressive radical capitalist Iranian government beat and killed peaceful protesters; to try to sweep that away with condescending ideological remarks is quite ridiculous.

  16. Hue Longer said on June 24th, 2010 at 8:22pm #

    we disagree lichen and that must be very confusing for some here

  17. Jeremy R. Hammond said on June 24th, 2010 at 8:27pm #

    “…to try to sweep that away with condescending ideological remarks is quite ridiculous.”

    Don’t know whose comments you are referring to, lichen. Could you explain?

  18. lichen said on June 24th, 2010 at 8:34pm #

    I’m not really suffering to anyone’s comments, just the overall attitude that a lot of people took during that time, that to even mention the state executions of young people in the streets made you a zionist. What sort of posture must we contort ourselves into be the opposite of MSM BS?

  19. lichen said on June 24th, 2010 at 8:34pm #

    I mean referring, not suffering…

  20. Deadbeat said on June 24th, 2010 at 8:45pm #

    I recently discovered the Leveretts and their site by happenstance. Going back to Kim recent criticism of The Real News they could have balanced their reporting by interviewing them. Unfortunately there seemed to be a real desire on the Left to side with U.S policy against Iran.

    The Leveretts seems to evaluate U.S. policy on Iran from the standpoint of U.S. “interests”. Kind of along the same vein as Mersheimer and Walt. What I mean by this is they are not evaluating the situation from a moral stance but purely from their perception of “pragmatism” — what you would expect from governmental bureaucrats and their perception of U.S. interests.

    Below is a link to the Leveretts web site …
    The Race for Iran

  21. mary said on June 25th, 2010 at 1:03am #

    Thanks for that Hue. I will find it. I am amazed that Pilger can still find enough ‘fire in his belly’ to keep going when he has observed the unchanging scenario of war and injustice over all these decades. He must get down-hearted.

    Regarding Rehmat’s reference to the US funding of the Green Revoution, let’s not forget the part that the use of Twitter played and the state intrusion into the management of the company –

    Use in protest and politics
    In June 2009, following allegations of fraud in the Iranian presidential election, protesters used Twitter as a rallying tool and as a method of communication with the outside world after the government blocked several other modes of communication. On June 15 Twitter rescheduled a planned 90-minute maintenance outage after a number of Twitter users and the US State Department asked Twitter executives to delay the shutdown because of concerns about the service’s role as a primary communication medium by the protesters in Iran. CNN’s coverage of the conflict was criticized in tweets with the hashtag #CNNfail. Twitter was also used to organize DDoS attacks against Iranian government websites.

  22. Cameron said on June 25th, 2010 at 10:25am #

    Is it the movement in Iran really instigated by the US?
    Yes there’s a history of US coups, invasions, interferences in other countries. The 1953 coup staged by CIA that overthrew the nationalist Mossadegh government in Iran is well documented. Then again in 1979, religious fundamentalism was preferred by US, UK, France, and Germany over all other alternatives to Shah. It was clear that shah had to go before the uprising could completely become a socialist revolution. Khomeini was preferred because he was in exile in Iraq and Islamic fundamentalism could annihilate the left movement in Iran while at the same time it would fit in the plan of building a green belt (Islamic states) along the southern border of the former Soviet Union. Based on the decisions made at the Guadalupe conference by the four, Khomeini was moved to France and the then NATO commander was dispatched to Tehran to tell shah’s generals to be impartial to the uprising. Shah’s generals did so. They allowed Khomeini supporters to take over. And I’m sure most of you have noticed the green belt along the southern border of the former Soviet Union. Who created and supported Taliban and Al Qaeda? Yes it was the CIA. No it wasn’t Zionists as some conspiracy theorist would be ready to suggest.
    Alright, so US no doubt interfere again. That’s the nature of the beast. United States spends money and support right wing Iranian opposition abroad. There is the VOA. We are not blind to any of that. US would keep the pressure on the regime in Iran to give in to its demands. But does that amount to wanting to topple the regime in Iran? No way. While the regime in Iran is politically independent, meaning it does not take orders from anyone, it pursues their Pan Islamic ambition which is the source of the dispute. The regime in Iran has been very generous to the US by collaborating in Afghanistan and Iraq. 80% of the US exports to the Middle East winds up in Dubai. Of which 20% goes straight to Bandar Abbas port in Iran a hundred miles away. So much for sanctions. Then there were covert deals such as the Iran-Contra affair. US sold 1200 missiles to Iran to support thugs in Nicaragua. This happened while there was an arms embargo against Iran. Are we ignoring all of these and wanting to believe they don’t and didn’t happen?
    So let’s not be blind to the deals and collaborations between the two. Let’s not condemn every protest voice of the Iranians. Let’s not close our eyes on what’s happening in Iran. Iranians have been enduring 30% inflation year over year. Enduring at least 30% unemployment, corruption, and mismanagement. Thirty years of lack of personal and political freedom. Imposition of Islamic middle age laws such as stoning, etc. To dismiss all of this is injustice to Iranians.
    To me it doesn’t really matter if there was a fraud or not. The whole system is a fraud whether run by Ahamadinejad or Mousavi. What’s at stake is the plight of the people in Iran. The protest rallies were broad. It was students, women, nurses, teachers, young, middle class, and working class. Yes working class wasn’t the majority but it will and that doesn’t make it illegitimate. Iran is not Venezuela. Protest rallies were nationwide. It spread to other cities. It was not only in Tehran anymore. It wasn’t just students anymore. People covered their faces early on but became defiant and fearless. Has it ever occurred that this is the dawn of a revolutionary period in Iran? We support the oppressed not the oppressor. Let’s support the movement not this or that government.

  23. bozh said on June 25th, 2010 at 11:46am #

    I do not know anything ab the ‘movement’ [means socalled] or movement that supported mousavi; i.e., opposition to theocrats.
    It’s important to me to learn whether the theocrats are timocratic democrats or whether the opposion is just or merely democratic like the one ruling party in US.

    If that is the case, of the two fascistic sides i prefer ahmadinejad’s over mousavi’s.
    At least, theocrats do not intend to cry uncle. This is better for the world and builders of socialism, if indeed they are doing that.
    At this moment, i do not know much ab what socialists-communists are doing in china, et al.
    But they must be doing s’mthing good; else wld not have earned the demonization of the US gangsters-banksters.
    As i have already said: for banksters [including ‘jewish’ ones] to get very rich they have to be very talented or very talented crooks.
    I see no third possibility and do not accept the first one. Who in her well-educated mind wld? tnx

  24. Deadbeat said on June 25th, 2010 at 2:11pm #

    Cameron writes …

    US sold 1200 missiles to Iran [Iran Contra] to support thugs in Nicaragua. This happened while there was an arms embargo against Iran. Are we ignoring all of these and wanting to believe they don’t and didn’t happen?

    But then is Cameron ignoring that Donald Rumsfeld showed up in Iraq to shake hands with Saddam Hussein. Apparently the U.S. was playing both sides to kill each other. It would appear that the Iranian regime that deposed the Shah would eventually need those weapon against Iraq.

    I would recommend checking out the Leveretts to understand Iranian policy from a strategic perspective. See my previous post for the link.