The official Iranian government position is about twenty people died during post election riots, but new evidence suggests this figure is grossly underestimated. Aaron Rhodes of the International Campaign for Human Rights argues, “it is hard to put a figure on it (dead) because most of the families involved are scared to talk.” On June 30, 2009, the Ahmadinejad government stated there were only 20 dead people, but that same day, hospitals listed 34 dead from the riots. Parvin Fahimi of Mothers for Peace says she was summoned to a Revolutionary Court session where she was shown the pictures of about 50-60 dead people, but was unable to identify her own child in the group. Another Iranian woman claims she was searching for her son at a hospital and someone opened a door in which there were dozens of dead people.
No historian can use this data to decide how many died in post election riots. It appears government figures are not accurate, but at this point we can not state for certain whether twenty or hundreds died. The accurate figure eventually will emerge.
Haishemi Rafsanjani, who in the past was a hard liner, but today is supporting Mousavi, is expected to preach tonight and may make statements that will anger Ahmadinejad. It is rumored thugs will attempt to hinder his speech. What is now clear is the presence of division within the ranks of Iranian clerics.