The elections in Iran are over and, according to the official news agency, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been reelected with 63% of the vote, nearly twice that of his nearest competitor, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who officially got 34%. Pretty much everyone except the Iranian government, however, has denounced the elections as fraudulent.
This doesn't come as much of a surprise. What is surprising, however, is the reaction on the streets of Tehran, where supporters of Mr. Mousavi have taken to the streets in their thousands to protest the results of an election they believe to have been rigged. Violent clashes with riot police are now taking place, and the protestors are chanting "Down with the dictator!"
The Iranian government has responded as oppressive regimes generally do: by attempting to block information from the people. Apparently all BBC websites have been blocked and cellular telephone service has been cut in Tehran. They're clearly frightened of the demonstrations and are hopign to nick them in the bud. Let's hope they fail.
Thomas Jefferson believed that human nature was the same for everyone, no matter what culture they happened to be born into. That's a philosophical question that will be endlessly debated, but I do think we can safely say that the yearning to be free is an innate part of being human. Look at the Iranian demonstrators on the streets of Tehran today, and they don't seem all that much different than the colonial Americans protesting the Stamp Act in 1765.