tehranbureau An independent source of news on Iran and the Iranian diaspora

Updates from 8 Mordad (30 July)

30 Jul 2009 16:3935 Comments

Photo: A young woman refuses to budge, Behesht Zahra cemetery, 30 July 2009.
Blog Watch | Notes From the Underground

We headed to Behesht Zahra Cementary in the afternoon to join the 4pm ceremony at their gravesites. Behesht Zahra is about a one hour drive south of Tehran and as we neared the cementery, about five police cars and officers were directing traffic. Waiting to enter the cementery compound in the traffic, one of my companions pulled down the window and half jokingly asked the police officer what was going on. He smiled back and said, "nothing, just go towards row 257." For those not familiar with Behesht Zahra, it's an enormous cementery with wide avenues and squares. Knowing it would take us a while to find our destination, the police officer decided to help by telling us in which row we could find Neda's grave (others in Behesht Zahra would help lost drivers by directing them to Neda. That's all people said: "Neda ounjast" (Neda is there), pointing in the direction of her grave). Throughout the ceremony it was obvious the police force was very sympathetic with the people (as opposed to the anti-riot police and the revolutionary guard factions that were present in large numbers and were standing by the graves of both Neda and Sohrab). Continue reading...

From Tehran Bureau staff:

I went to the Beheshteh Zahra cemetery today. The police did not permit Mousavi or Karoubi near the graves. When the car transporting Mousavi and his wife approached, police did not even allow them out of the car.

But more than 3000 people were out on the streets near Mosalla.

Basij was there too. People flashed V signs with their fingers. Traffic was crazy; people kept honking their horns.

People put trash bins, and one motorcycle, on fire. Police and Basij started to use tear gas. They even used it at the cemetery.

The gathering at the Beheshte Zahra cemetery was supposed to be at 4 pm, but before that could happen, baton-wielding Basij and the special guard were there to break it up.

Police told mourners that if they didn't leave, they would attack. They arrested many people at the cemetery and in the streets around Mosalla.

Some people started attacking police with stones; police then started to attack them.

Two film directors, Jafar Panahi and Mahnaz Mohammadi, were arrested.

I think more than 7000 people were at Beheshte Zahra. They were not all gathered in one spot. They came and went. Beheshte Zahra is huge. Some traveled there by metro. The main slogans were in favor of Mousavi and also "Allah o Akbar."

It was such a hot day, and Beheshte Zahra is so far from Tehran. Yet so many came.

From Tehran Bureau staff in Tehran | 3:30 pm US Eastern

I got home an hour [and a half] ago. I couldn't reach Beheshte Zahra because security forces were turning cars away before the main entrance. Those who had reached Beheshte Zahra got there early. However, after 6 pm, I saw a lot of action in Yousef Abad, Abbas Abad, Vali Asr and Takhte Tavous. The crowds were huge but in groups of several hundred. I saw at least seven separate demonstrations in different sections of Vali Asr, Yousef Abad, Abbas Abad, etc.

Surprisingly there were no Basij or IRGC. The security forces were all riot police and special forces. At 8 pm, on my way home, I sat mostly in traffic.

Here are some of the slogans the demonstrators were chanting:

1) "Rahbare Maa Ghatele, Velayatesh Baatele": "Our Supreme Leader is a Murderer, His Rule is Illegitimate"

2) "Mojtaba Bemiri, Rahbari ro Nabini": "Mojtaba You'll Die Before You Become Supreme Leader"

3)"Marg Bar Russiye": "Death to Russia"

4)"Faaghede Har Fahmo Nejad, Mahmoud-e Ahmadinejad": Mahmoud Ahmadinajd is a Fool and Hobo"

5)"Marg bar Dictator": "Death to Dictator"

6)"Marg Bar Khamenei": "Death to Khamenei"

7)"Zendani Siyasi Azad Baayad Gardad": "All Political Prisoner Should Be Released"

People are still honking their horns right outside my house.

Eyewitness account: Interview by Tara Mahtafar

Male, 33

There was a heavy guard presence at the Interior Ministry. No protesters there, but forces were on standby [amadeh-bash]. There were clashes at Fatemi Square. One man honking in his car was dragged out and ruthlessly beaten. People around him began screaming, "They've split his head open!" He was thrown onto a motorbike and taken away.

Near the Yousef Abad cross, teargas was thrown. I and a dozen others took shelter in a pharmacy, crouching in the dark and peering through the windows where Guards were chasing and beating people on the street outside. We felt enraged but powerless to help them.

Further up, near Jam-e-Jam (IRIB headquarters), candles had been lit and placed on the sidewalk. My friend and I went into a grocery store and bought a couple of candles. As we were lighting them, a group of plainclothes forces began running toward us and we took flight into a nearby alley.

Eyewitness account: Interview by Tara Mahtafar

Graduate student, male, 29

I was at the south entrance of Mosala Grand Mosque at 5:30 pm. Forces stood guard menacingly and ordered passers by to move on, preventing the formation of a crowd. People -- young, old, all stripes -- kept walking. The unspoken consensus seemed to be to circulate in the streets randomly, since the originally-planned location was


I took a taxi up to Vanak Square. I could not believe my eyes: every few hundred meters I saw knots of 500 or so protesters flanking both sidewalks on Valiasr Avenue, screaming at the top of their lungs as cars honked in the background. I kept wondering, "Where are the cops?" There were no forces in sight; people had the streets freely to themselves.

Big throngs stood by on intersections clapping rhythmically and chanting. Wild, shrill whistles also pierced the air. The atmosphere was electric and ecstatic.

Two interesting new slogans I heard today were:

-- Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic! (A spin-off of the 1979 "Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic!")

(Esteqlal, Azadi, Jomhuri Irani!)

-- "Khamenei is a murderer, his leadership is null and void!"

(Khamenei ghatel-e, velayatesh batel-e!)

Around 8 pm, as I was leaving, I saw droves of motorbikes speeding through Vanak firing shots in the air.

Eyewitness account: Interview by Tara Mahtafar

University student, female, 23:

I arrived at Behesht Zahra cemetery at 3:30 pm. A crowd of two or three thousand people had gathered at section 257, where the post-election martyrs are buried. Most were dressed in black and many carried flowers (but no placards) and everyone prayed Quran suras aloud in unison.

At first only ordinary police officers were stationed there; but by 4 pm the Guards poured in and began yelling to disperse the crowd. People refused to budge (and new arrivals were joining in); the baton attacks began. The crowd re-convened and began chanting: "Our Neda is not dead, it's the government that's died!"

We heard from others that Mousavi had indeed arrived but had been turned away by police.

Update | around 9:10 pm Tehran time

Reports coming in [from VOA] that a memorial protest was staged in the northern city of Rasht at City Park (Park-e Shahr), and attacked by forces.

From Tehran Bureau correspondent Tara Mahtafar:

A new chant being heard on the streets in Abbas Abad right now (9:10 pm): "Khamenei haya kon, velayato raha kon!" (Khamenei have some shame, let go of the leadership!")

Vanak Square and Valiasr Square were also the sites of massive numbers of protesters.

Update | around 9 pm Tehran time

Although their effort to disperse protesters was ineffective compared to previous episodes, the Guards and Basij forces were unusually savage today -- I saw many women beaten without reservation and glass shattering on cars with small children inside.

Yet people were more bold than I'd ever seen them. As I write this at 9:00 pm from a location in Abbas Abad district, the shouts of "Death to Khamenei!" and chaotic honks are drifting in loud and clear from the window. It is dark, night has fallen - and protests are still continuing strong. Never have they lasted this late except on the first few days following the election.

It's NUTS! I've never seen it like this before! It's still going on, 9 pm now -- raging! As I said, its more like a riot, totally out of control.

Earlier: This appeared to be the most successful protests since the crackdown began. It was more akin to a riot... The forces were decidedly not in control of the situation. The protests were too widespread and numerous, up and down Valiasr; and east and west, around the Mosala area entire main roads chock full -- even stretching into side streets such as Yousef Abad (central


Guards would storm the crowd but even then the chants would continue amidst the beatings. People held their ground much more boldly than before; they would not be subdued. The guards did not remain in any one spot long, since chaotic protests swarmed in all directions. No sooner would they turn back when the crescendo of "Death to the Dictator!" would peak again and furious honking would resume and Vs would go up triumphantly.

This time, the cars were very actively involved in the protests. Honks blared incessantly in the Thursday rush hour gridlock. Drivers joined in the shouting. The traffic also helped obstruct the flow of pickups carrying Basij troops -- stuck, they gazed out at the sea of cars in dismay. Some would weave in between cars and smash windshields; shattered glass lay on the asphalt at regular intervals.


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Thank you so much for keeping me as informed as I can be.

Good luck to Iran and her people!

Jane / July 30, 2009 12:47 PM

thank you for your coraje

you will win

jose manuel vieira / July 30, 2009 12:51 PM

Thanks...stay strong, Iranians!

Canada / July 30, 2009 12:53 PM

Order must be restored. Ahmadinejad is our president, Mousavi is a traitor.

Radical Guy / July 30, 2009 1:10 PM

What a people! Thanks!

Ulla / July 30, 2009 1:16 PM

Continue to be inspired by the courage of the Iranian people. Never again will I take news of this region at face value.

May God bless and grant you freedom from this great evil.


Paul B, New York / July 30, 2009 1:29 PM

Your courage is amazing. You put us in the west to shame. Thank you for you updates and your inspiration. Blessings to you and know that you are never forgotten.

Roni / July 30, 2009 1:39 PM

People in Iran will bring change to their country with their courages outpour. More power to you. God bless Iran and Iranian people

Al A / July 30, 2009 1:50 PM

May the courageous people of Iran soon be free of the wicked totalitarian regime shackling them.

dsinc / July 30, 2009 2:21 PM

we are with you very brave Iranians!!

John ( USA ) / July 30, 2009 2:41 PM

You are really Iranian heroes and I am proud of you. Shame on me that I am not there with you in front of bullets.

proud iranian / July 30, 2009 2:54 PM

The iranians are very courageous to defy their tyranical government. Stay strong!

Matt / July 30, 2009 2:55 PM

Channel 4 in England this evening showed a report of the doctor that tried to save Neda after she was shot now in England with the identity of her killer, he showed Lindsay Hilson, the revolutionary guard's I.D. card with the face blotted out for legal reasons. I know he emphasized it wasn't a Basij guard. The guard after doing the bloody act, shouted to the crowd present he didn't want to do it, but the doctor now says he should be investigated now they have the Identity & for justice to be done by him standing trial. But with the present leader-ship I can't see that happening. This whole corrupt government should be tried collectively for hers & the other murders of all the innocent protesters. Ahmadinejad & Khamenei should be hanged or stoned to death first...then the rest after that. This is one crime that is so solidly ingrained in their torsos that they can't be allowed to get no lesser a punishment. That day is drawing, "Closer"!

v.gerrard / July 30, 2009 3:12 PM

The world is praying and caring. What is important is that the people of Iran get the government THEY voted for and that they wish and that they be safe and unharmed. We admire your courage and determination and weep for your losses.

Kathleen Pfeiffer / July 30, 2009 3:25 PM

Thanks for the updates! We are all behind you and I hope everyone is safe tonight.

larissa / July 30, 2009 3:59 PM

If you decide there is no alternative to a change of regime, then all

must plan and act together at same time at right places, and with

support of the good parts of the bad forces.

You might find that some are planning a coup for the people.

Good people in the military should act at same time with you,

and it should be very soon, or not for another year.

Maybe next year is better, but the purge will have time to crush all.

Remember Sicily under the Mafia ?

All were gripped by fear until they acted together at right time.

edward brown / July 30, 2009 4:04 PM

Salam va dorood bar Iranian people.

In solidarity with all the freedom fighters in the world, all human right activist and......

What is so impressive and important in this current movement in Iran is the insistent on Democracy, non- violence nature of it.

Reading the comment or hearing here and there what is being wished for the so-called "enemy" " the current government of Iran" is sometimes scary. Doing to the criminal what they have done to us, is repeating the criminal act.

Lets please hope, wish, pray, act, persist and demand a peaceful democratic and humanitarian state. And let's not wish for propagation of violence and killings and revenge and......

Violence only brings more violence; True democracy will have true justice system no torture killing chambers.

If this is what we want to do to them then how is this movement going to be any different.

Let us all be the channels for democracy, peace, tolerance, understanding, compassion, humanity, love, forgiveness and kindness.


mitra fard / July 30, 2009 4:31 PM

"Order must be restored" Really? Why? A fraudulent election is not valid.

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp / July 30, 2009 4:37 PM

[Comment deleted.] Sorry, Anti-Radical Guy. I can't encourage those types of attacks by publishing your comment. kgn

Anti-Radical Guy / July 30, 2009 5:00 PM

Our hearts, minds, and souls are with yoouuuuu Iran

Sogol / July 30, 2009 5:11 PM


I live in Germany for more than 20 years. I grew up here, but nevertheless I am and I feel like an Iranian! Since 22nd khordad 1388 there hasn't even been one day of laughter and mental peace for me and my entire family. We're observing the happenings in Iran all the time the best we can. I make music. That's why I decided to show my solidarity with my "HAMVATANS" by recording a song dedicated to my Iranian brothers and sisters all over the world who love a FREE IRAN! Please listen to it, it comes from the heart.


Sepasgozar, Sahand

Sahand / July 30, 2009 5:14 PM

A non-profit tribute by Canadian musicians to Neda and the courageous people of Iran.


Martin / July 30, 2009 5:17 PM

Here is a song about Neda, there's a big buzz in the Iranian community in Canada about it:


Slap999 / July 30, 2009 5:30 PM

Great job, thank you.

atlatl2 / July 30, 2009 6:20 PM

Never can imagine there are people like them..

Never saw these people..

Never heard these people...

Never lived in unfreedom..

Never saw such a heroes..

Never so a lott off praying..

Never so much hoped for freedom all over the world..

Never can imagine the sadness...

Never believed there are people more bad than animals..

Never corrupted in a discussion..

Never people said: keep your mouth...

Never have to choose for a religion...to dance...to dress...to speak...

Ever will be FREEDOM FOR IRAN!

Heleen / July 31, 2009 1:41 AM

I am in awe of all you women and men in my motherland and your bravery. God bless every one of you and God break every arm that hurts you.

The entire world is watching you and gasping in disbelief. Meanwhile, most of us outside Iran are trying to use anything at our disposal to help...even in a miniscule way at times. You are all in our thoughts, prayers, and dreams (and sometimes nightmares).

To freedom!

farzam / July 31, 2009 3:50 AM

This should be on the front page of all websites:


jaleh / July 31, 2009 2:28 PM

the whole world sings with you brave Iranians


g / August 1, 2009 1:12 AM

Sorry, this one.

It must now be the world's most wretched place to live; where beautiful young people like (Neda.RIP) can't even in a future believe. I hope I'm wrong...because right now only the birds are able to sing. For Iran, these days, I'm always praying...God; it's now time to "Save them"!

Jaker / August 1, 2009 11:03 AM

Those Who Think They Work For God, Work For Evil!

A truly caring government should persecute those fanatics (of its own) who murdered our young Iranians such as Neda and Sohrab, and others. And again a truly caring government of people won't sabotage and violate the mourners at Neda's grave. Is this how the so-called caring people's government under Mr. Ahmadinejad exhibits its solidarity to the entire nation for losing its brave children i.e. by attacking the mourners at the graveyard?

Shame to Mr. Ahmadinejad and his entire government. The SS gangs of Nazi Germany and Stalin's secret police (NKVD) would react more humanely than Mr. Ahmadinejad's brutal security forces that attacked the unarmed mourners at Neda's 40th day of mourning occasion. This is total disgrace to those who claim to be Muslims and carry out the most vicious inhuman acts.

In the early history of Islam, they were those who prayed and fasted but also murdered prophet Mohammad's grandchildren. What kind of a Muslim would sanction killing young unarmed protestors and then attack the mourners as well? This has nothing to do with Islam. This is the thirst of greedy evil people for more power. Those who have been misusing religion and God for holding on power and for power. Indeed, Mr. Ahmadinejad's understanding of Koran and Islam is extremely primitive.

Dr. Kazem Zarrabi,

Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dr. Kazem Zarrabi / August 1, 2009 12:08 PM

Dr. Kazem Zarrabi Said: "This is total disgrace to those who claim to be Muslims"

No Dr. This IS THE TRUE FACE OF ISLAM, thats it! ISLAM is what you saw on 9/11, what you saw in India, Taliban, and beheadings in Iraq. THIS IS ISLAM.

THIS IS ISLAM! THIS IS THE TRUE KORANIC ISLAM! That's it! there is nothing else! There is no such thing as a pure and beautiful ISLAM that no one on earth can really really achieve. NO. Thats it! This is IT. Torture and blood IS ISLAM. TORTURE AND BLOOD IS RELIGION PERIOD.

By the way; CHRISTIANITY IS THE SAME (Google DARK AGES for more info)

JUDAISM IS THE SAME (Google PALESTINE for more info or just watch MUNICH)

What we need is no Mousavi instead of Ahmadi, WE NEED A SECULAR IRAN.

IranianAmerican / August 3, 2009 1:22 PM

I truly hope you change your totally distorted views. But, this is not entirely up to you because there is God.

I wish the dear Mr./Mrs. Iranian-American who wrote the above comment had a name so that I could refer to him/her. Therefore, I use the title of "dear friend." I hope he/she doesn't mind it.

Dear friend, all that I can say is that you are totally wrong on all your assertions. Nevertheless, I respect your views in not believing in God, which is itself a kind of belief-system after all.

The atheists "believe" in the "notion" that there is "no God". That is ok with me because I believe in God, Islam, secularism, and democracy. I hope you dear friend also decide to respect my views and tolerate me in democracy that we both do strongly support (I hope!).

Please recall that great majority of the people on this planet i.e. Americans, Iranians, and other nationalities believe in God and a belief-system i.e. a religion. So are you going to insult us all by calling us all sorts of names? Should you not respect democratic norms and values, which also include tolerating all world religions? So you say you have it right and the great majority of the people on this planet are fools because they have faith?

You see my friend, this is not the way to treat the believers i.e. neither in America nor in Iran. The kind of aggressive atheism that you advocate i.e. by attacking God and religions has nothing to do with democracy that you live in. Your extreme views rather resemble totalitarian communist regimes that tried to eliminate the religions and their believers i.e. the people!

As you pointed out the solution, not only in Iran but everywhere, is in secularism. However, secularism and atheism are not the same things. I assume you already know this! Please read my article posts at the Lede blog, the NYT. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/updates-on-irans-post-election-turmoil/#comment-337179

The other point of your post was on the "Green Movement (GM)", which is the only real alternative in Iran. You totally fail to realize that there is no other alternative in Iran. Please also keep in mind that the leaders of the GM - similar to their young followers like Neda -- are very brave and decisive people who have given up all their high social status in order to support the people and their votes.

Can you try to understand this? Never forget this fact, and please treat the GM leaders with some respect because Iranian people do so. The leaders of the GM do not deserve your harsh and unfair treatment. Unfortunately, you are totally out of touch.

Only after you decide to be -at least--brave enough to put your "real name" next to your comment post and your harsh and insulting words then we can compare your bravery with those of the Iranian people and their leaders at the GM who are fighting Basij and other armed forces with their faith and love in God, country, and freedom.

And what are you doing my friend? Insulting brave Iranian people, their leaders, their faith, and struggle from the USA? You and I have no right to misjudge the Iranian people, their faiths and their leaders.

Please show some respect. Please note that I have no time to reply. Therefore, do not reply. I was forced to reply because you insulted Iranian people, their leaders, and their faith in God. I truly hope you change your totally distorted views. But, this is not entirely up to you because there is God.

Finally, you may find some of my essays on science and religion useful. Chck my blog and other posts.

Dr. Kazem Zarrabi,

Copenhgen, Denmark.

Dr. Kazem Zarrabi / August 3, 2009 10:23 PM

I have mourned for Neda. I choose to believe she has not truly died, but only in body. To her killers; and the defenders of that evil: what you have brought upon yourselves is such punishment that I have only horror at the realization...and no anger left for you, only cosmic sadness. You did more than spill the blood of ALLA: the love, and the joy, and beauty, and the peace of His Daughter, Neda.

A message for all on this matter : FeastofDragons.blogspot.com

Wylde Otse

Wylde Otse / August 4, 2009 3:11 PM

My Dear Iranian Brothers and Sisters,


This is my lyric poem called "The Brave Iranian Children of the Green," which I have composed is my present to my brave Iranian brothers and sisters and their Green Movement.

I strongly believe that Turkish and Iranian people are brothers and sisters. I am part Turkish and part Iranian. Long live Green movement and Iranian people and their struggle for freedom and Justice.

Please send my lyric-poem: "The Brave Iranian children of the Green" to Iran.

Farzandane Dalir Sabz Iran Zamin:

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from Kazim Pasha,

Istanbul, Turkey.

August 5, 2009

Kazim Pasha / August 5, 2009 5:24 PM

When it happens in US or Europe , I mean a murder; It always is under strange circumstances and odd conditions . Everything must be watched and examind then you know wht realy has happened


if it's in mideast

Be free just blame it on everyone you're more pleased with. DO NOT HESITATE ABSOLUTELY . YOU'RE EUROPEAN, YOU ARE ALIANSes(more than a simple human being) just do as you wish !!!

by the way

<bat about dear and brave children of Iran with flags as badge?

lida / August 14, 2009 10:28 AM