Iran has begun a strange process of recounting 10 percent of the ballots cast in the visibly fraudulent June 12 presidential election. According to the brother of a losing presidential candidate, former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezai, a substantial number of ballots cast in the disputed election were written in the same pen and the same handwriting.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities continue to blame the West for the protests and the death of a woman tour guide shot in the streets of Tehran who now serves as a symbol for the Iranian people of the violent crackdown that has taken place in the Islamic Republic.

Update: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been declared the victor of the recount by the Guardian Council.

The Los Angeles Times:

Iranian authorities today announced that a recount of 10% of the ballots cast in the disputed June 12 presidential election had begun even though all the opposition candidates, who have alleged irregularities or vote fraud, have declined to participate in the recount effort, at least two rejecting it as little more than a ploy.

… Iran has blamed Britain, other foreign nations and international media of being behind the unrest, which has led to a broad crackdown and wholesale detentions.

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And on Sunday, Iranian officials arrested nine British Embassy workers in Tehran for allegedly being involved in postelection rioting. After the Brits expressed their outrage, five of the detainees were released Monday. In an act of solidarity with the remaining four captives, EU countries threatened to recall their diplomats from the Islamic Republic.

The Guardian:

European Union states are considering recalling their ambassadors from Iran in an attempt to secure the release of the British embassy employees being held in Tehran.

EU diplomats said the envoys could be recalled temporarily in solidarity with locally engaged staff from the British mission in Tehran who have been accused of involvement in post-election rioting. The British government insists the accusations are false.

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