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Youth Of All Stripes

About one-third of Iran's 70 million people are under 30, so young people are an especially powerful demographic in this election. And a colorful one.

Here's some video showing supporters of conservative presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai dancing and singing in Tehran on June 8 and chanting slogans against Iran's incumbent president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The young Rezai supporters (who don't appear particularly "conservative") are chanting, "Mahmud, Bye Bye. Mahmud, Bye, Bye," and, "Whoever gets the votes, it shouldn't be Mahmud."

Young Iranians have been very active in this year's presidential election. For many of them, attending campaign rallies, wearing their candidates' colors, and joining the campaigning have become a major form of entertainment.

Young Iranians have also been active on Facebook, posting video clips, songs, articles, and slogans and participating in debates. An informal survey of many of those Internet outlets suggests that many are supporting former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Musavi, a smaller sampling is behind cleric Mehdi Karrubi.

Many young Iranians say they are voting to prevent Ahmadinejad's reelection, but the incumbent's allies are confident they are attracting many young supporters, too.

Javad Shamaqdari, a presidential adviser, told "The Washington Post" that Musavi supporters are geeks who spend too much time at their computers. "Even though it is bad for their mental health, Mousavi's supporters spend hours on the Internet," Shamaqdari said. "Our youths are more social. They like to hang out at [basij] centers, on the streets or play sports. They like to meet in groups. Mousavi's supporters are more solitary."

-- Golnaz Esfandiari