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Iran updates

25 Jun 2009 12:008 Comments

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25 June: From Iran (not Tehran):

About an hour ago they brought in an young man in his early twenties who was severely beaten by the Basij. His CPK was 118000, which is a big deal in medicine. CPK is a measure of muscle lysis so guess how badly he must have been beaten for such an incredibly high CPK. In fact so much muscle was lysed and myoglobulin was released that he went into renal failure (an expected aftermath of rhabdomyolysis or extensive lysis of the muscles). One of the attending cardiologists said that he would give him his kidney if need be... We all felt the same... The clashes are now sporadic... But the chants of Allah o Akbar are higher than ever...

25 June: Possible compromise? [I also heard the same thing independently from a good source today. It is of course unconfirmed; even if true, the authorities may change their mind as well. tb]:

The following is from Mehdi Noorbaksh, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology:

There is a possibility, and I am saying a possibility, for a compromise on the election result among the involved parties in Iran in the next couple of days. I received a call from Iran late last night indicating that there is a possibility for a runoff between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad. There are a few points that we should consider in this context.

1. The Guardian Council all but acknowledged election irregularities a few days ago and indicated that it involved 3 million votes. This body did not restrict these irregularities to a few thousand or even a hundred thousand votes, but millions. That was a face saving gesture to open the door for a possible future compromise in the event of mounting pressure. There are other irregularities having the same nature. Many districts, up to 170, show voter turnout of 95% to 140% of the eligible voters.

2. Ali Larijani, the head of the Iranian parliament, is trying to convince the leadership on the side of the supreme leader to give national TV time to Mousavi to talk to the Iranian people. In his TV talk a couple of days ago, Larijani was critical of the Iranian national TV for not allowing Mousavi to use that medium of communication to talk to the Iranian people. He also announced that a few members of the Guardian Council were biased toward one candidate, namely Ahmadinejad, in the election.

3. There is report that Rafsanjani has succeeded to get the signatures and support of many of the high clerics in Qom denouncing the election. If they openly denounce the election that could be a colossal blow to the supreme leader, and the much diminished legitimacy of the institution of Velayat-e Faqih and his authority.

4. The Guardian Councils' investigation of the vote fraud has been extended, possibly to gain more time in negotiating a solution to the conflict.

5. There are reports that divisions within the Revolutionary Guard are beginning to surface. There is speculation that one of the commanders, Afzali, has either resigned or been abdicated from his post.

6. Rallies are expanding in many other cities of Iran, and street demonstrations have not been diminished in Tabriz, Isfahan, Kermanshah and other cities. Although the size of the demonstrations is smaller, they are more violent and forceful.

7. The killings of demonstrators will definitely result in more defiance and bolder actions of the protesters and gain more legitimacy for the green movement and its leadership. More killings will definitely delegitimize further the supreme leader's authority. Imposing a government, after mass killings, on the Iranian people is a much more difficult task.

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From an academic listserv; received today 25 June (but dated June 23). The situation however is ongoing:

Reliable sources report that Mr. Ramezanzadeh and Mr. Tajzadeh, both prominent reform politicians, along with a handful of their colleagues, are under mounting pressure in section 209 of Evin prison to give televised confessions of high treason. The goal is to establish charges of conspiracy for a velvet revolution that would encompass the reform candidates in the election as well.

Mrs. Mohtashamipour, the wife of Mr. Ramezanzadeh, has appealed to the public, on behalf of her husband who is under torture in Evin, not to believe any televised "confessions" from any of the leaders of reform. Of the people in section 209, we are particularly concerned for the health and well being of Mr. Said Hajjarian, who suffers from pre-existing infirmities related to injuries he received during a botched assassination; and Mr. Ramezanzadeh, who has apparently been severely roughed up and, according to his family, is in poor health.

From Tehran, 24 June 2009

Honestly I am a bit depressed.

In terms of news, it seems they were going to release some of the detainees tonight. Allah o Akbars are going strong... There is a sense that something must be done. It is strange, so strange. I cannot believe this government continues. Even they themselves do not believe it. It is not over. The city is still full of special units, anti riot police and basijis. On television they are showing the latest Hollywood movies, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy all this week. They're really dying to entertain us.

Sharif University and University of Tehran are both closed. Sharif is supposed to reopen on Saturday. At Tehran University, the school chancellor, Dr. Rahbar, has asked faculty to sign a letter supporting the Supreme Leader.

Sorry for my silence; it is hard to focus these days.

Iranian business who recently left Tehran on how the West can help:

[A] and I participated in all the demonstrations; the one on June 15 was the biggest, even bigger than the biggest in 1979. There was so much energy in the air; seeing so many people stand so firm and civil against injustice warmed our hopeless hearts. We developed so much respect for our beloved Iranians.

We should try our utmost to bring about as much support as we can from Western governments. I am glad that Ms. Ebadi is meeting influential figures and doing a crucial job of advocacy on behalf of the Iranian people. The regime we have is brutal beyond any reason and the Allied governments as well as the Western world can do a lot, politically and economically. Freezing money deposited with offshore banks under the name of individuals belonging to the regime is going to help. The UK did it and it hurt Khamenei very much. Calling back the ambassadors from Tehran is also going to help.

From Tehran, 24 June 2009 [10 am Eastern US]

[Translated from Farsi] What kind of speech was that from Obama? Why did he talk like that?

"What should he do?" I ask.

The only thing Obama can do is refuse to recognize this man as the president of Iran. The big issue for the hard-liners here, the thing they keep telling everyone here is that they are the ones who can solve our issues with the United States. They want to be in complete power -- at any cost -- when negotiations take place. So Ahmadinejad likes to maintain that he is the man who can get the job done [he can deliver Washington].

Right from the beginning of this, Ahmadinejad said that he was going to the UN to speak. He said in his speech that he was going to go to the United Nations to defend the rights of the Iranian people -- you know along the lines of all the inane things he says. The United States cannot aid him in this respect by recognizing this man, by putting a seal of approval on this charade by giving him a visa to come to New York.

There's supposed to be another gathering today in Baharestaan in from of the Majlis (parliament building). I didn't go because they murder people at these gatherings.

Obama is an intelligent politician. He keeps harping on the fact that this is a domestic issue. OK, that's fine. I understand. I accept this from him as long as he then doesn't turn around and recognize Ahmadinejad as the president of Iran. He's calling himself president after an election drenched in blood. He wants to say he's president by staging a coup d'etat. It's like the United States recognizing the Pinochet government.

They [Iranian officials] played with people here. That's why we're so upset. It's true: leading up to the election they opened things up. A positive environment was created. People were in the streets joyously chanting until 5 in the morning. All that is good and true. I even personally know people who had never voted in their lives who decided to participate for the first time. They of course voted for Mir Hossein Mousavi. Why, because there seemed to be some openness in the air for the first time in Iran. It's true, whatever the figure is in terms of turnout -- 39 million or 42 million people did turn out to vote. But what happened next? This is what got people angry. It's not because Mousavi lost, but because they believe they were tricked. Sure they're upset about the fact that Mousavi didn't win, but that's not the issue. That's not why they're protesting. They're protesting because the government thought it could make fools of them. All this was a play, it was a movie. It wasn't real. It was a charade. People are hopeless and depressed because they were played with, not because Mousavi lost.

Were there strikes in Tehran yesterday?

People are going to work. No one has asked the people to stay at home. No one has called for a strike. Mousavi has not asked people to do this. In fact, I was at Tehran's Grand Bazaar yesterday. I spoke to many of the merchants. I told them I heard there was a strike today but you've all showed up to work. As one of them said, "Lady, I voted for Mousavi. If Mousavi asks us to go on strike, I will. But who will pay my bills?"

I also spoke to a restaurant worker yesterday. He said he also voted for Mousavi. He said if I don't work for a week, I have nothing to live on the week after. I have no way to feed my wife and kids.

But strikes could happen. The mood is tense and the environment for strikes is actually there. There is a lot of talk about it. Everyone is discussing the possibility of strikes. But so far no one has gone on strike. The banks are open for business. All the stores in the Bazaar were open.

I'm looking over Modares Avenue. Traffic is as normal as ever.

One thing Mousavi has asked people to do however is to turn up on their rooftops at 10 pm and shout "Allah o Akbar" [God is Great]. And this does take place. It takes place in full force from about 10 to 10:30 or 10:45 every night. No matter what neighborhood you're in Tehran, you will hear this.

People have started to scribble slogans on money that is passed around. On one bill I got yesterday someone had written "Where is my vote?"

If people are not turning up in the streets to protest, they are finding other ways to engage in civil disobedience. On Monday, for example, Mousavi had asked people to turn on their headlights in the street from 5 to 6 pm.

But this demonstration that was supposed to take place in Baherestaan was not called for by Mousavi. I don't know if people turned out, or how many; I wasn't there. But those things generally tend to have a life of their own. Those demonstrators are not waiting to hear from Mousavi.

Those who are middle aged are taking this a lot better than we are. They have been through something like this before (1978-79) and have a lot of patience. They are hopeful about all this. My generation is glum. They're depressed. There is so much crying.

I wish there was a way the world could do more. Even embassies like the Italian one, which tried to open its doors and take in those who were injured, was stopped from doing so by the police here.

I can't talk anymore. Bye, my dear. Take care of yourself.

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UPDATE FROM RESIDENTS WHO LIVE NEAR PARLIAMENT/MAJLIS BUILDING IN BAHARESTAN

I just talked to [X, Y, Z]. They told me about the demonstrations in front of the Majles. They are right behind Majles on Iran street. They said that a huge crowd is there.

From Tehran, 24 June 2009

Just to let you all know, R. was arrested last night in Tehran; I'm not sure where and why. I got a call from his phone by the police who wanted me to confirm details. I had to tell them how long we'd lived in [here], how we met, what he and I do for work, where I work, my nationality, about his family and also where I live. He was carrying his laptop, external HD and camera so I'm guessing he's having that looked though. They told me he'd be released any minute now last night. I doubt that.

Tehran resident, 23 June 2009

[Translated] I access Facebook through Yahoo! Mexico. But everyone says that's a trap set by authorities to identify us!!!!!

[X] quarrels with me all the time. He keeps imploring me not to go on the internet. They even say the phones are monitored!!!

I'm so frightened I changed my [online] name today.

I don't know why. Other than vote for Mousavi I've never engaged in a political activity in my entire life. But this is no comfort because [X]'s poor colleague was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while driving through Vanak Square. After two operations, he's blind in one eye!!!!!!!!

They picked up someone else too. Two days after his disappearance they released him near Shahreh Rey with his eyes blindfolded and his mouth gagged.

Neither guy attended demonstrations! Plus, they say those who come to these protests are MKO members [terrorists]!!!!! Not to mention 100 other insults!

What had this poor woman Neda done that they wouldn't allow any mosque to hold ceremonies for her -- come on, wasn't she Muslim?

Anyway, things here are REALLY bad here. We're all scared to death.

Something has to change. We can't go living like this.

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Update: Monday 8 pm Tehran time Tehran resident: I am just back from 7 tir square where there was supposed to be a memorial for the 7th day of the martyrs.

Drove down there at 4 ish. there were a lot of people in the square, but no one allowed to gather, so people were just walking up and down the meydoon (square). there was a HEAVY military presence -- all kinds, basij, riot police, khahki (camouflage) uniformed ones -- all on motorbikes, or in pick up trucks or standing -- they ALL had those batons and weren't allowing people to stand still (ie. gather). we walked around and tried to have a look from those walkways that cover the meydoon/square but the police were also on them so wouldn't let u stand still for a second.

people were also gathering in the koocheh's (alleyways) off the side of the square too see what was going to happen and if we could gather in one place. there was not just young people, but all kinds of age groups and people from all walks of life. then the police would start coming to an alley where a lot of people were and shout at them to move along/disperse. they would then get aggro and start chasing people down the alleyways, hitting with batons. people would run but then gather in another alleyway... very resilient.

we moved through the various alleyways too until shouted at to leave. these police are v v intimidating. like animals really as u just dont know if they are gonna wack you (which they would). i wanted to take photos of the milit presence, but it was way too scary. honestly people who manage to record or take photos are incredibly shoja (brave). then we saw that they had blockaded one alleyway (koocheh mina) and people were getting trapped and beaten up with the batons. there were people on roofs/windows looking so i hope they managed to record some stuff. we moved around the meydoon and streets. after hearing/seeing that they were blockading people in alleys.

we decided it was safer to stay in the main square and move around. over the few hours it was getting busier with protesters, but i think they needed someone like mousavi or another figure so as to gather around him. it was v v difficult to gather.

then we moved to another side of the square and the police started chasing and tear gassing people -- it really spreads... and though i wasn't too close it went up my nose and had a strong burning/stinging sensation. people were now wearing those surgical masks but there eyes were all red. people were lighting cigarettes and blowing the smoke into peoples eyes as it helps get rid of the stinging. i gave several people cigarettes to help and blew smoke into a strangers faces to help them (something i would of course never do!!). then the police started chasing people down a street and smashing windows and following protesters into bldngs which was quite scary (no where is safe then).

we kept moving around the meydoon and streets, as were other people, which were definately in their thousands. people were breaking into sporadic chants of 'allah akbars' on the meydoon -- which i managed to record.

then around 6 ish we were standing near an alley entrance and the police on motorbikes with batons started chasing us badly. we could only run up the street and they are chasing u on these bikes about 5/6 mtrs away shouting at u to disperse -- it is absolutely petrifying. we were running on the sidewalk. they also had whips with them. there were so many of them just riding and shouting at you. then we heard shots and u just don't know whether they are going to even shoot (as we know they have done before). i am not sure whether it was guns or firecrackers or what but at the time u all think is that it is guns, and that u are about to feel a bullet hit u in the back or something as u run. all i did was run with my hands clasped (like i was praying) and just trying to make eye contact with them so that they could see the sheer fear in my face! then a door opened in the street and some people were ushering us into their garden to hide in there in case the motor police guys came back (honestly there must have been like 50-70 of them chasing us).

we then hid in this grdn for a bit with like 20 or so other people but it really wasn't the best idea. i thought as i had seen them go into people's houses and smash doors etc minutes before and then there is no escape for u. so we waited like 10 mins and crept out. it was really quite scary. anyways. let us see what else comes out of the news this evening. i hope no one was killed but i do know pple were beaten up for sure.

also, on another note, i heard (god knows if it was true) that hashemi-rafsanjani has just come from qom with 40 signatures.

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From a Tehran resident today:

I cannot sleep and not write this.

Today in Haft-e Tir, there were so many members of basij that they outnumbered the demonstrators 3 or 4 to 1. They were less focused on women. This must be related to the murder of poor Neda. And this was also why whenever they got hold of a man, women would surround them and shout don't beat him, don't beat and they would turn and anxiously say we didn't beat him. It was astonishing. They explained; they talked.

But they didn't allow us to congregate; they kept telling us to walk and the crowd walked quietly for 2 hours in the circle (meydaan) and spontaneously gathered in whichever area they were not present. About 2000 of us were walking around the circle and only shouting Allah-o Akbar until they were forced to disperse us with tear and pepper gases. I thought people's patience and persistence was great, although there were also many bad scenes and I cried.

They arrested a whole bus load of people. There were many intelligence folks in the crowd too. They would point to a person and the basijis would arrest that person. There was no one from Sepah and the police was obviously sympathetic to the crowd. I swear some of the Basijis were only 14 or 15, or at least what they looked like to me. On the other hand, women are playing an amazing role in the streets; both in terms of numbers and effectiveness...

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Dispatch from Tehran (22 June 2009) 2:45 pm: no protests [today] ... streets dead ... no one dares mess with sepah [IRGC] ...

mobilization is the problem. i'm sure if MILLIONS came out like they did last week, we would outnumber the forces and stand our ground... but with people retreating indoors, parents begging children not to go out, and no center-of-command to rally around, mobilization is virtually impossible...

moussavi had declared three days of public mourning for Saturday's victims, so perhaps things will pick up after... they can't keep up martial law indefinitely....

anyway, a lot of older people who lived thru 57 [1978-79 revolution] say this is not over. they say the protests against the shah started in 42 and it took that many years for the people to topple him, and that today's version will be quicker... back then there was only bbc radio; now there's TV and internet and mobiles, so ultimately all this will come to fruition more rapidly ...

the important thing is this election fiasco de-masked the IRI for what it truly is. it exposed the internal fissures as deep rifts. showed khameni is willing to kill rather than concede, or even to reform from within the system. flexed the sepah muscle, known to the outside world as a terrorist group, in turning against its own people. ahamdinejad's reputation is shot to hell. so this was an earthquake really, after 30 long years of stagnation. and the effects won't fade with a few thousand troops terrorizing the citizenry.

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WATCH OUT!

police/basij are pulling cars over to inspect at checkpoints ...

they will seize any cameras along with the owner's ID card

pls be careful and keep your cameras at home -- or well-hidden ... !

Note from Tehran, 22 June 2009 (2 pm Eastern): They have cordened off about 20 metres of road in Vanak Square, I was there at 7pm tonight. They are stopping and searching cars and peoples bags. They are taking peoples ID cards and cameras.

Note from Tehran, 22 June 2009 (8:00 am Eastern):

tell the Europeans, stop posturing, wasn't human rights supposed to be so important to you?

you're all full of empty slogans, aren't you?

. it's hypocritical to keep pretending they care about human rights, but it's really only economic interests they're after. it's hypocritical to keep pretending they care about human rights, when it's really only economic interests they're after.

there is no other option: everyone has to get involved to help us. don't you see, they're massacring us here. The United States cannot grant this man a visa! This man doesn't represent us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this man cannot be invited to international summits! they cannot make official visits to this country either!

you cannot believe it. they have turned this place into a killing field. people are frightened to death here. they have gone quiet. the stores are closed.

there were plans to go and gather at 7 Tir [earlier today Tehran time] for that poor young woman Neda.

I'm going, but I'm scared. I may go quietly.

Sepah [IRGC] has announced it will crush us. they're murderers.

But at night from 10 to 11 pm we all come out and say Allah o Akbar [God is Great] and Death to the Dictator.

Please tell the world that we protesters are not terrorists [as reported by state tv]. it's the other way around: they're terrorizing us!

Note from Tehran, 22 June 2009 (7:35 am Eastern):

today is quiet, there are police everywhere and basij patrolling the streets with batons. 'Ma hamamoon boghz too galoomoon moonde' (we all have lumps in our throats)

Note from Tehran, 22 June 2009 (7:30 am Eastern):

well today is confusing ... some say the protest is in ferdowsi sq, some haft-e-tir, some abbas abad (a huge mosque) ... it seems central org. is waning, maybe cz camp leaders are in jail? ....... anyway, [X] & i (along w my dad & [Y] & his friends) will go around 4 pm to check it out, see if theres any action ... will report back to u ..... the rumor [about Rafsanjani] is he's still in qom rallying support to "azl" khamenei (ask to step down) and do away with velayat-e-faqih as one person, instead make it a council, so to steer away from dictatorship potential by any one all-powerful figure ... i hope he's making headway with the qom top brass! [please note: this has not been independently confirmed]

dige [what else] ... dishab [last night] was a candlelight vigil in front of UN in pasdaran for Neda, the girl who got killed, ... and some clashes in valiasr sq, reportedly non-violent ...

the sms is still down cz they know the MOMENT its back on ppl will organize HUGE protests again ... tehran is so quiet, no traffic, ordinary life is at standstill, or barely crawling ...

i hope protests dont die out ... we've come too far to back down .... the only problem is mobilization is so weak ...

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[I am not sure about the following post; but I decided to post anyway. Please note that it is unverified]: "I am telling you a story told to me by a nurse in Tehran. Saturday night they brought many people to the hospital -- so many that I thought they were passengers on a bus that had an accident because they looked as though their bones were hammered, covered in Blood and seemed as though they were to die any second.

One of them said on a street the guards handcuffed them and then ran over them back and forth with trucks.

The rest were beaten so badly that their bodies were torn to pieces. On one of them, the bullets had not been removed, the body was covered in blood. They were all escorted by revolutionary guards.

One of the nurses sneaked in a photo with their mobile. [We do not have such a photo. tb]

Plus more than ten were already dead.

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Verified News Confirmed:

Australian Embassy accepting injured: No. 13, 23rd Street, Khalid Islambuli Ave - Telephone+98 21 8872 4456

Finnish Embassy Corner Of Nilou St, Below Vanak Sq, Vali-e Asr Ave

German Embassy: Avenue Ferdowsi 320-324 -

British Embassy 198, Ferdowsi Avenue Tehran 11316-91144

Dutch Embassy No.36, Jahansouz Alley, Sarbedaran St., Ostad Motahari

Norway: #412 8th Kohestan, Northern Pasdaran Ave

Belgian Embassy No.3,Babak Alley, Shabdiz St.,Shahid Fayyaz Bakhsh Ave.

Italian Embassy accepting injured at 81, Neauphle Le Chateau Ave.

Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Tehran No 30, Narenjestan 8th Alley Pasdaran Avenue

Portugese Embassy No.30, Nezami St., Abbas Pour St., Valy-e-Asr"

A message from Tehran (Sunday 21 June):

Dear Friends,

IRIB (Seda & Sima) is a mouthpiece for the regime's lies, slander, and propaganda.

We call on the staff of IRIB to resign immediately and refuse to cooperate with the organ that is directly linked to the Leadership and his illegitimate coup d'etat government. To continue working with IRIB is to be hand-in-hand with the Sepah & Basij in the savage bloodshed they are visiting on the streets of Iran. Your resignation can help cripple the vile lies being fed to the Iranian public.

To IRIB audience -- please boycott all products advertised on state television & radio. Do not support their side in the media war.

Also, please spread the word to people who may not have access to the Internet & satellite -- inform them that the state media is no different now than it was under the Shah -- it misrepresents the reality of events on the ground to the sole benefit of the governing dictator.

A voice from central Tehran earlier this morning (Sunday 21 June):

[Translated] Things are so bad. They are massacring people here. Please tell Obama not to officially recognize Ahmadinjad. He's not our real president. He's a dictator. Please tell people that in Tehran they're massacring people.

There's nothing going on today. There was talk of something at 10 in the morning [Tehran time] at Enghelab [Square, presumably] but nothing happened. They had said [at the] UN [?]... I don't know if it will take place or not. People are scared. They [officials] kill. THEY KILL.

A voice from central Tehran earlier this morning (Sunday 21 June):

If Obama moves to support the demonstration in strong terms, this camp will lose and Ahmadinejad will gain ground; also it is not good to make an American domestic issue from an Iranian domestic issue. Yesterday was brutal, but not as brutal we still do not know how many were killed, but from the set up of the riot police it is apparent that they want to keep people off street with the least casualty possible. This is not a praise, it is to say that government does not want to escalate things.

If there is no demonstration today it does not mean it is over. This is just the beginning. The focus is on having an election.

You must see the people, this is a people united, all groups and sections are out there, war veterans, old revolutionaries, housewives. The first girl I saw beaten yesterday was wearing a chador, this is not a western thing here, this is a domestic issue in which Iranian people have the right to demand a new election.

A roundup from Tehran earlier this morning (Sunday 21 June):

As you know, yesterday 19 were killed in Tehran (we don't have numbers from other cities yet), including a 16-yr-old girl called Neda. Dozens are wounded, according to a friend of mine whose house is in front of Amir al-Momenin Hospital and who saw many gunshot victims being carried in until late last night.

Protests were not limited to Tehran, but included (according to Reformist news sites): Tabriz, Shiraz, Esfahan, Sanandaj (in Kurdestan), Rasht, Sari, Arak, and Ahvaz. There is reportedly a "hukumat nezami" [martial law] declared in Ahvaz, complete with tanks in the streets, since it is a sensitive border area. [reportedly is key here, no independent confirmation]

Today is quiet so far; but for tomorrow another protest is planned in Ferdowsi Sq. It is unclear how many participated in yesterday's protests, but it was in the thousands based on eyewitness accounts. Although the number out on the streets seems to have dropped since Khamenei's sermon, the tone of the slogans has become more inflammatory: cries of "Marg bar Khamenei" were heard yesterday [Death to Khamanei] -- it seems the wrath of the election aftermath is turning from Ahmadinejad to the Leader now.

Mousavi himself appeared on Jeyhoun St. near Azadi Sq. yesterday, and in his speech declared he is ready for "marytrdom" and that people should continue *NON-VIOLENT* protest in the case of his arrest or assassination. He ended his speech with the words:

"Dolat-e Kudeta, nangat baad, nangat baad." [roughly: Shame, shame on a government [based on a] coup d'etat.]

There are reports that Faezeh Rafsanjani has been arrested in the newest round of arrests, and that they are now pursuing prominent Reformist Isa Saharkhiz.

From an academic listserv (Sunday 21 June):

"Message from an ordinary Tehrani"

Dear friend, if you have any contacts within the American Administration, please send them this message on behalf of us, ordinary Iranians in Iran (whose interests and concerns are very different from those of the exiled Iranians in the United States and in Europe who do not yet understand the mentality here and who have been cut off from the Iranian society for too long). Tell your contacts in the Administration that their point of view regarding Iran is by far the best position that an American Government has ever taken. We appreciate this and thank the President.

During the last two or three decades not one American president had "understood" Iran. All of them got caught in the traps of the mollahs, despite themselves having to play the bad cop .. but this time the intelligent president has decided not to join in their game, bravo.

It is normal that he is criticized vividly by most of the Los Angeles Iranians (and by most Republicans): since a long time they have been asking for just one thing : that America attack Iran and change the regime so that they get their possessions and their former jobs and privileges back, without wanting to know what today's young Iranian wants here and now. It makes me think of the Cubans in Florida ... they don't consider the interests of their country but only what is due to them."

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caption to photos [translated]: "I could only attach two. Near Azadi Sq. 6 pm Tehran. A great mass of protesters jammed the avenue, but they used so much tear gas on us."

FB source: Mousavi's open letter to the people of Iran. Released tonight at 9:21pm. It states that he stands with the people to protect the original aims of the revolution to reach human rights and democracy. He states that what they got instead was fraud, injustice, torture and lies. He states why he will not stand down and why all the security forces of Iran are brothers and sisters that should support the nation. He says the body charged with investigating the elections is not a neutral body. He calls on authorities to pull the security forces and basij out of the streets and allow the people's voices to be heard peacefully.

From a private listserv: "I noticed that for the first time Khamenei was reading his sermon from a note. Considering that all mullahs are trained public speakers and masters of speech, it was very odd that he did refer to this note constantly during his speech. It seems like his speech was dictated to him by his so called "Otaghe Fekr" (thinking house) group and the likes of Ayatollah Golpayegani, Asghar Hejazi, Mohseni Ejei, Sardar Jaafari, his son Mojtaba and the likes."

Ariya_melaat

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 20, 2009

Statement from the President on Iran

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

From source in Tehran: The police was present in force. The units of elite riot police, well armed with guns, tear gas, batons and shields were present from Enghelab sq. to Azadi sq. They were assisted by Tehran Police ordinary units and Basijis. I saw at least one unit equipped by motor bikes and police command vehicles going up and down Azadi st. to coordinate movements. They blocked all access to Azadi street connecting Azadi sq. to Enghelab sq. by station units at every major and minor juncture.

Then they cut off the street completely preventing people to gather and people already gathered to march. Choppers were giving cover to ground units and control their movements. Several thousands of people were scattered in streets and alleys and cannot enter Azadi St. to demonstrate. I saw two people who were beaten. Few people gathered because police was there from 3 PM preventing them from gathering. Several thousands were wandering between Azadi and Enghelab but there was no meeting point.

I think the government wants neither a massacre nor the marches to continue. Thus they organized their forces in order to prevent the assembly all together somehow without bloodshed. Today many demonstrators stepped in a well prepared situation and police took advantage of its best units and very well organized command and control system to checkmate them.

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Reportedly first clip from Azadi Square: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw9sIVeuIIo

From Tehran:

The Supreme Leader said yesterday at the Friday Prayer sermon that election complaints shouldn't be carried to the streets; that if such demonstrations continue, the demonstrators should expect consequences [meaning a crackdown]; that complaints should go through legal channels.

Today, Saturday, the Council of Guardians had arranged a meeting between it and the three complaining candidates: Mir Hussein Moussavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Mohsen Rezai (all of whom are from the heart of the system, while Karroubi wears a turban.)

The problem is that the Council of Guardians is comprised of 12 people, six clerics and six jurists. They are on the side of the Supreme Leader and the Islamic system. Their offer was to recount a random selection of 10 percent of ballot boxes.

They have also had a week to provide the proper forms for the plaintiffs to file a complaint. And thus far they have not done so.

Since the three plaintiffs and the people who voted for Moussavi, Karroubi, and Rezai are questioning the whole vote, counting 10 percent of ballot boxes at random is hardly a satisfying response.

So Moussavi and Karroubi did not even attend the meeting. (Rezai did and expressed his complaints.) It is now expected for Moussavi to announce another demonstration for 4 p.m. today, in defiance of what the Supreme Leader said yesterday. He is to be accompanied by Karroubi and Khatami. (The demonstration might be going on right now, at 5:50 p.m.; it might not. I do not know.)

If Moussavi goes ahead with it, it could lead to a bloodbath and he could be arrested.

Saturday: Streaming any updates at http://twitter.com/tehranbureau

From Tehran: Saturday is the first day of the work week in Iran. It's usually a boring ordinary day. This Saturday already feels different. A demonstration of Mir Hossein Mousavi supporters is scheduled for 4 pm, even though just 24 hours earlier Ayatollah Khamanei called such gatherings illegal and asked the candidates to address their grievances through proper legal channels.

Mehdi Karroubi, the other reformist candidate, has already written the Guardian Council to ask them to do what the constitution requires them to do. The National Security Council has written Mr. Mousavi to ask him for his recollection of the events of the past week, accusing him and his supporters of damaging private property.

What will happen today?

The first scenario is that a compromise will be reached, in which case tomorrow may turn into a farewell ceremony or sorts. Mr. Mousavi may come out and tell his supporters to return home and be obedient citizens once again.

In the second scenario, Karroubi and Mousavi remain defiant and continue the marches. In that case many are almost certain that the government will use brutal force to suppress them. Violence will follow.

In a third scenario, marches continue and the government caves in. However there is no sign of that happening. Ayatollah Khamanei threw all of his might behind Ahmadinejad's government today.

Mousavi, Karroubi, Rafsanjani and others know that if they are to now surrender, their heads will be rolling. So what do you do when you have everything to lose?

This Saturday is a day of great suspence. History is waiting to happen. Regardless of what these veteran politicians and old guard revolutionaries will do, one thing is for certain. Iranians will continue to shout Allah o Akbar in Tehran. The game is not over, not yet.

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Friday 19 June (from Tehran) Salaam. I'm not well at all. I'm afraid, but tomorrow, I'm going. Saturday, 4 pm, Meidoon Enghelab [Enghelab Sq.]. Tonight at 10 pm, on the rooftops everyone chanted 'Death to the Dictator.' On previous nights it wasn't so strong. Sorry, I have to go. People will turn out tomorrow because they didn't like the supreme leader's speech.

Friday June 19 (from Tehran) "Although many who were looking for the promise of a new election were disappointed by today's Friday sermon at University of Tehran, it was not unpredicted. The speech was along the lines that the supreme leader usually advocates: national unity and stability. He warned against the meddling of foreign media, encouraged national unity and praised the vibrant pre election weeks. He also criticized TV debates mildly but took pride that the Islamic Republic "has come to assist Iranian people to have a free and democratic election." He warned that the foreign media want to create doubt among people as to the results of the election.

"He then moved to criticize the President for attacking Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mr. Nategh-Nouri. He spoke of his friendship with Mr. Rafsanjani and mentioned his services during the revolution and his role in the political establishment. However this was one of the few places that he had a tough word for the President.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad received the lion's share of praises though. Ayatollah Khamenei praised his passion for service and his diligence. He also admitted that although he has some differences of opinions with other candidates and Mr. Rafsanjani, Mr. Ahmadinejad's point of view is the closest to his. This left little doubt that Mr. Ahmadinejad does enjoy the full support of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic and Commander in Chief of its armed forces.

"He warned that should the demonstrations continue, the behind the scene commanders would be responsible for the consequences. He asked candidates to use legal venues to follow through their complaints. The speech ended on an emotional note, when he started to cry saying that he would sacrifice himself for Islam and the Revolution.

The speech did not signal a change of policy in the establishment, it confirmed the leadership's support for Mr. Ahmadinejad, denied charges of election fraud and condemned demonstrations. Although it was conciliatory towards individuals such as Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. NateghNouri, it continued to highly praise Mr. Ahmadinejad. His supporters now are sure they do have the backing of the Supreme Leader.

Will this speech mark the end of demonstrations? The events of the coming week will tell. Many here doubt that this was the checkmate move in the political chess game that is going on. It was certainly a good defense, but chess is a complicated game. Iranians should know that better than anyone else, after all they invented it. For many the game has just begun.

_________________________

From source: "I have now received e-mails from totally trustworthy sources within Iran that many Sepaah commanders [Sepaph is IRGC] have been arrested, because they are opposed to what is going on and in particular to the plan for tomorrow.

"This had been talked about for the past few days, but my source confirmed it." end quote

Clarification for plans for tomorrow: "Apparently, the plan is to create chaos and bloody confrontation between Basij and Karroubi and Mousavi demonstrators, in order to justify hard crack down and have Khamenei announce the end of "soft" confrontation in the Friday prayers."

_____________________________________

Police dispersed the 70 or so Iranian protesters who had assembled for the fifth day outside the Iranian consulate, earlier today. The Ministry of the Interior had permitted them to stay on the previous days.

A Dubai policeman said that orders had come from high-level officials. "They (the protesters) have delivered their message to the Iranian government."

Article published in The National, Abu Dhabi, 18th June 2009

___________________________________

Possible fake tweeters: http://twitspam.org/?p=1403

____________________________________

Eric Purdy @ the University of Chicago just sent this:

"We have set up a website to receive faxes from Iran, which we will post online. Hopefully this will be another way for information about what's going on in Iran to make its way out of the country.

Please disseminate this fax number as widely as possible:

001 773 321 0202. We will post any faxes we receive at iranfax.org."

Please inform contacts in Iran. They can send information in English or Farsi.

Please remember that there are only 5 journalist left inside Iran. The last thing we need is a information blackout right now.

________________________

Hadi Ghaemi: Ebrahim Yazdi's health, who was detained yesterday in a hospital in Tehran and taken to Evin Prison, is critical. His son just informed us that prison authorities have returned him to the hospital just now and called his family to immediately go there.

___________________________

From a contact (yesterday): I just had a long conversation with a contact in sanandaj [capital of kordestan]. He said kordestan is 'quiet, for now', that they all backed mousavi because he had promised that in provinces where there was a second language it could be taught in schools. He said - we are so desperate we are not even bargaining for autonomy or anything, just for our language to be allowed at school... Which I think sums up a lot of mousavi's support, he's not offering a lot but he is the only one offering certain groups anything at all that they can relate to.My guy also works at the farmadary [military headquarters ] in sanandaj and he says there is no way Ahmadinejad won. He says of course he had support from rural people but all towns were with mousavi. He said that the first voters on the day were all the rural people, the villagers and conservatives and they were all voting Ahamadinejad and he got quite worried, but from about midday onwards all were voting mousavi. Although they extended voting time till 10pm, even at midnight there were people queuing outside hoping to be able to vote. He said voter turnout was v high, he believes 85%. He said - it's not a matter of a few ballot boxes. They have somehow tampered with the system.

For now everyone is watching. He thinks Khamenei and Ahamadinejad are in alliance against Rafsanjani so a lot depends on how these factions play out. He kept saying - 'inshallah be kheir begzare' [God willing it will turn out well] and said, you know we have been reduced to just standing by saying inshallah [God willing] mashallah. [God preserve from the evil eye (roughly)].He also said Lebanese soldiers have been spotted in Kordestan for years and that in the pro-Ahmadinejad rally the other day there were several Hezbollah flags.

He also said - everyone is really depressed, you really see it on the faces of the young people, stunned and depressed.

-------------------------

Eric Purdy @ the University of Chicago just sent this:

"We have set up a website to receive faxes from Iran, which we will post online. Hopefully this will be another way for information about what's going on in Iran to make its way out of the country.

Please disseminate this fax number as widely as possible:

001 773 321 0202. We will post any faxes we receive at iranfax.org."

Please inform contacts in Iran. They can send information in English or Farsi.

Please remember that there are only 5 journalist left inside Iran. The last thing we need is a information blackout right now.

----------------------------------

Basij tactics: During the day and early night when demonstrations take place in thousands, and when the foreign reporters are reporting, basijis and plain clothes stay aside and don't dare intervene. But when the demonstrators head back to their neighborhoods the basijis follow those youth in groups and find out about their whereabouts, they then inform other basijis, and the neighborhood is raided shortly after.

On June 15, Saadat Abad (west of Tehran) was raided at 2am. All the cars were crushed and the plain-clothes men forced themselves in to ordinary homes and beat ordinary people with their batons and knives and smashed all the windows. This lasted to 5am. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TtwxUvbPxU&feature=related Universities all over Iran are raided frequently every night. They also set Banks and public places on fire at nights.In the morning Khabar TV shows footages of the same ruining to Iranian people and justifies the next day's arrests and beatings of the demonstrators.

_______________________________________________________

Wednesday

Ibrahim Yazdi, the dissident veteran of the 1979 revolution who is a leader of the Freedom Movement of Iran -- has been arrested. Yazdi was arrested at 3:00 pm today in Pars Hospital in Tehran. He was hospitalized yesterday because of health complications. He and close to about 100 others were taken from the hospital to Evin prison. During last few days, dozens have been arrested from the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) in different cities of Iran.

Translation from Persian to English

Source: Majmu'e-ye fa'alan-e hoquq-e bashar dar iran, Human Rights Activists in Iran http://hra-iran.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1276:464&catid=103:107&Itemid=261

Numbers of dead in recent violence in Iran reach 32

Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 11:29.

The Association of Human Rights Activists in Iran can confirm the deaths of 32 Iranian citizens connected to the events of June 14 and June 15, based on its own fieldwork and despite numerous other reports.

Most of these citizens lost their lives in the attack on Tehran University dormitories on June 14 and the opening of fire by the paramilitary Basij forces on June 15. The violence started after Iranian citizens protested against the results of the tenth presidential elections, and the interference of security and paramilitary forces connected to the government.

In a statement, the public relations office of The Office to Consolidate Unity [Iran's biggest student organization] yesterday reported the killing of at least seven students during the attack on dormitories of Tehran University and other universities around the country (Amnesty International said on June 15 there had been five deaths).

According to numerous and confirmed reports, the morgue at the Rasul Akram Hospital in Tehran has also stored eight people, who lost their lives during the shooting at defenseless people on Monday June 15.

In addition, Azerbaijani human rights activists have reported the killing of two citizens of Orumiyeh during fights in that city on June 15.

Finally, sources among the doctors at Erfan Hospital (which contains ICU, CCU, NICU and 14 emergency operation rooms) in Western Tehran reported that 15 people were dead in the hospital, all connected to the shooting on June 15.

Reports of civilian deaths across the country received by the Association are very high. However, it is impossible to confirm these because of the highly militarized atmosphere and widespread arrests, so the Association can only vouch for the deaths detailed above but will continue the process of documentation and reporting.

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8 Comments

The thugs who are attacking the poor people of Iran are part of the well paid Islamic Republic Mafia that has been committing murders in the past 30 years to keep the regime in power, lets catalogue their faces....

Jamal farabi / June 18, 2009 12:51 PM

lotfan in link ra pakhsh konid, ta betoonim inharo shenaassaayee konim..


Please pass on this link, so we can catalog the faces of the shooters and killers in Iran..


They should not be able to escape

Shenassayee / June 18, 2009 1:32 PM

Freedom is not free, people of Iran have finally realized the leadership in their country is a cover up, by zealous dictatorship of few that have high jacked the name of religion for their personal gains at the cost of Iranian nation. I admire the great people of Iran for their courage. This is a beginning where true Democracy starts.

James B. / June 18, 2009 2:15 PM

The world is watching Iran, its almost like the 80's when people in China had enough, all the freedom loving people are behind you.....no one has the right to force anyone to live under brutality and suffering. Freedom is god given right and should be respected in any society, this is all part of human evolution, the days are numbered for countries like North Korea , Iran and others who suppress their people and societies.....

Toni Lim / June 18, 2009 2:37 PM

Gay marriage defies common sense.


This is a moral representation of our law.

The election process is always in flux and lawful repeals are coming through the hand of they who are taking the step to become Free.


Violence is never Justified.


Just vote for Justice until the process supports your Truth.


Then you will see your Justice done.


This is not Inappropriate to God or myself as an American.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Off Topic:


At 7 AM Saturday 06.20.2009 -4 GMT (EST)


The Supreme Military Commander of Iran is going to use Unjustifiable Bloody Force on the Unarmed people of the Country who were subjects of an election tampering.


This is the result of falsely approving of corrupt politicians and unrighteousness in general.


I hope and pray no more blood is spilled in that country so that freedom may one day come to be enjoyed by all upon this Earth as it in Heaven...Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.


This is not Inappropriate to God or myself as an American.

Stephen / June 19, 2009 10:44 PM

I call on every Iranian to continue their fight for their freedom. What the world want to see is that Khamenei be ousted together with his puppy-Ahmadinejad.


The world is behind you all the way.


Be strong, safe and more vigilant.

shetty / June 20, 2009 7:01 AM

The greatest tragedy would be to see the Persian people follow their insane government down the same road that led Germany and Japan to destruction. "Iamawhackjob" and the fascist Mullahs must be brought down!

Dan Rush / September 30, 2009 7:09 PM

Immediately after the June 12 election Mousavi had a Westernized section of people rioting, despite several US agency polls that wekks before election showed Ahmadinejad favored by about 2 to 1. This was mirror image of 1953 with CIA "AJAX" when after the SAVAK Secret Police was set up to insure Westernized interests.
Before the elections the Western Empires had used covert agencies like US Nat'l Institute for Democracies (NED), that in past has been used to overthrow gov's or interfering in media blitze's using propaganda to direct voting and gov's.
Hearing foolishness that Iran or Ahmadinejad wants all Israeli dead is proven a lie when discovering Iran/Persia has one of the oldest Jewish populations in that part of the world, and these Jewish citizens admant in rejecting Zionist pressure to move into the political State of Israel.
It is not impossible today discovering the rioting for the first few days by the (actually) few wealthy of N.Tehran completely overwhelmed Tehran police, until riot police and Basij finally regained control and stopped the severe rioting damages that were done to Tehran.
After the 1980-88 war Iran surviving population was over half under 30 years of age, indicating the (general population) youth also in majority voted for Ahmadinejad, and considering Iran is 92% Muslim, the US overthrowing Iran in 1953 and Iraq war no doubt remained in the minds of Iran survivors.
Presidential Debates, Electronic uploading of votes for first time, Mousavi rejecting request (for written charges and any evidence to back them up) by Commission established to investigate 2009-elections, many college aged (predominately wealthier) youth hired to collect and input voter data, voting security methods, if any truth of voting irregularity (actually) existed, there would have been thousands of witnesses. The cowards are those trying to return Iran to 1953-79 when a subservient Iran-gov served Western interests, and SAVAK Secret Police for 26-years was torturing and murdering Iran citizen's.

DeWayne / October 1, 2010 9:33 AM