So the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called for an investigation into the election, which pretty much everyone now believes was rigged.
So how does this play out? The above-linked Times article suggests Khamenei may be trying to buy some time, hoping the Iranians who are demonstrating against the government will do what Americans would eventually do: forget about the whole thing and go back to watching "So You Think You Can Dance." Otherwise, there's two options, neither of them good for the ruling clerics:
1) They rig the investigation, yielding even more outrage.
2) They admit they stole the election and hand the election to the challenger.
Somehow I think No. 2 is not going to happen.
This whole thing has swiftly gone from "Wow, some Iranians are complaining that the election wasn't completely above board, what a shocker" to "This is an event that could fundamentally alter the fate of a nation." How will the regime, without resorting to utter brutality, manage to wriggle out of being caught in a fraud of such incredible size, facing an emboldened, galvanized citizenry and with the focus of the entire world upon it?
It'll be interesting to watch. Whatever happens, I am going to spraypaint myself green (link from Atrios) in solidarity with Andrew Sullivan's solidarity with the Iranian dissidents.