28 Jun 2009 14:29
Cartoonist: Nikahang Kowsar
Re "Rafsanjani breaking his silence," our political watcher, Muhammad Sahimi says, "I read what Rafsanjani said. It was not saying much. He was saying the standard things, 'the complaints must be addressed.' He also talked about foreign roles, but did not say much. It is not clear where he stands."
Tehran update: so far ordinary police are out near qoba, and there is a crowd of about 50,000 [5,000?] people standing around and waiting, riot police are stationed in a school near the mosque and will come out if necessary and mousavi has not showed up | 12:31 PM Eastern
These updates just in from Tehran, Sunday 28 June. They are from trusted sources, but they have not been independently verified:
"I think there will be a confrontation or a severing of ties with at least one EU country... The Leader today called certain European countries stupid and "najes," untouchable, so it looks like something will happen.
"I think they are headed toward severing ties with Britain or at least they will act like they will and seriously right now they need a new "Great Satan"... The best way to keep Iranians united particularly the religious people is to have a common enemy that they can focus their hatred on.
"There will be a gathering in the Qoba mosque in Shariati to commemorate the 7 Tir event, and it is the Mousavi camp's first event that they have permission for. They will gather there too and Mousavi is reportedly attending it as well.
"Rumors of a "human chain" from Tajrish to Rah Ahan for tomorrow, but I don't think it will happen. Let's face it, the battle is over, the dust is settling and people have gone home now. But one interesting thing I saw last night was people gathering in front of Evin prison -- families, massive crowd. I asked about it and it turns out they are looking for news about their kids. Karroubi just sent a letter to the Guardian Council giving an ultimatum.
"Torture? I can ask around got sources... but I know for a fact that two people who were released had been beaten in detention.
"I know also that the Tehran University dorm students who had been detained were all sexually assaulted with objects and severely beaten.
"Anyone who the police has arrested is being released but the ones in IRGC detention know one knows where they are..."
An update to 25 June post -- again unconfirmed, but from a good source, and I quote, "The new information I have is that Sepah [IRGC], the major force behind Ahmadinejad, has not agreed to the solution I had communicated to you earlier and Rafsanjani has chickened out. Unfortunately, it seems that we are not going to have an amicable solution."
***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.