"On June 12, 2009, following a heated campaign between reformist candidate Mir Hussein Musavi and incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranians turned out in record numbers to vote in the presidential election. Shortly after the polls closed, the Interior Minister announced that President Ahmadinejad had been reelected by a 62% margin. The announcement was followed by allegations of vote rigging and election fraud and prompted supporters of leading reformist candidate Mir Hussein Musavi and others to hold public demonstrations in several major cities of a size and intensity unprecedented since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Despite a government ban on unauthorized public gatherings, protests have reportedly continued every day since the election. Restrictions on foreign and domestic journalists, reported disruptions of mobile phone networks, limited accessibility of some internet sites, mass arrests, and clashes between civilian protestors and Basij forces have garnered international attention and increased concerns about the Iranian government's apparent disregard for human rights and basic civil liberties. Regardless of the actual election results, the current stand-off between the government and opponents of the election outcome has caused observers to speculate about how this stalemate will be resolved, and what the outcome might mean for U.S. efforts to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program, its support for terrorism, and other national security concerns. This report will be updated to reflect recent events. For more information and background on Iran, see CRS Report RL32048, Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, by Kenneth Katzman."
CRS Report for Congress, R40653