In an article on the election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency of Iran, the New York Times throws in this line about the outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Mr. Ahmadinejad came to power and was re-elected — fraudulently, most observers said…
This is true. Most observers were saying that Ahmadinejad stole the election. The problem with this is that not only is there no credible evidence that Ahmadinejad won through fraud, but all indications are that he won legitimately. I was one of the few pointing that out at the time. As I commented in May,
The claim that Ahmadinejad won Iran’s 2009 presidential by “fraud” persists despite all evidence suggesting that he was legitimately reelected.
I wrote that in response to a Foreign Affairs article repeating this propaganda claim. As I also wrote,
I wasn’t entirely alone in challenging the propaganda claim that Ahmadinejad stole the election. There were several others who refused to jump on the mainstream bandwagon and challenged the conventional narrative. Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett wrote an excellent piece on the subject for Foreign Policy in which they cited two papers systematically debunking the claim of election fraud. The first paper was written by Reza Esfandiari and Yousef Bozorghehr in response to the Chatham House report and the second paper was written by Eric Brill. Both Esfandiari and Brill had seen my own work challenging the accepted narrative and contacted me to review that their papers before publication (I later reviewed another paper of Brill’s on the subject of the U.N., the IAEA, and Iran’s nuclear program). I blogged in June 2010 about how we were the exception to the rule and how the propaganda narrative continued to dominate despite no merely a complete lack of evidence for it, but despite all indications being that Ahmadinejad had legitimately won.
Needless to say, the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs still hasn’t gotten the memo.
And, equally needless to say, neither has the New York Times.