Longlisted for the Orwell Prize In Tehran on June 12, 2009, Mohsen Abbaspour, an ordinary young man in his twenties—not particularly political, or ambitious, or worldly—casts the first vote of his life in Iran’s tenth presidential election. Fed up with rising unemployment and inflation, he backs the reformist party and its candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Mohsen believes his vote will count.It will not. Almost the instant the polls close, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will declare himself president by an overwhelming majority. As the Western world scrambles to make sense of the brazenly fraudulent election, Mohsen, along with his friends, family and neighbors, will experience a sense of desolation and anger. In a matter of weeks, millions of Iranians will flow into the streets, chanting in protest, “Death to the dictator!” and Mohsen Abbaspour will be swept up in an uncontrollable and devastating chain of events.
Afsaneh Moqadam is a pseudonym adopted to protect the identity of the author, who witnessed and participated in many of the events described in this book.
Roger Cohen and Azadeh Moaveni, who wrote a review of the book in The New York Times Book Review, both say that despite the author's anonymity, they think the story is true.
Roger Cohen, author and columnist for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, discusses Iran a year after contentious elections and the fragile state of the Middle East.