Ali Ansari is Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews. His column in this morning's Guardian offers revealing insight into what is really happening in Iran and simultaneously demonstrates the value of academics who are prepared to engage in public debate. Read, understand, discuss. The confrontation between clericalism and popular democracy in Iran has profound implications.   


There's been a lot of "don't forget the rural conservative vote"-commentary saying it wasn't rigged, but if that's the case, why the premature amouncement? Why the immediate crack-down? And the SMS and internet blockage? Why, as Robert Fisk points out, only 0.89% for Mehdi Karoubi, whose party numbers at least 400,000?

What do you reckon?

Iran explained