Saturday, June 20, 2009

Are They Mental?!

Today, one week after the rigged election process in Iran, Gordon Brown crawls out of the woodwork after Britain has been cast by Khamenei as 'evil' and the 'worst offender' of foreign meddling in Iranian affairs. Heaven knows what political expediency warranted that mysterious declaration! An English summary of Khamenei's Friday sermon is available on Memri.

For Obama the entire situation is far above his pay grade. After giving vent to personal anxieties for a week, the White House said today it had no reaction to Mr. Khamenei's remarks. (...) "We're not going to be used as political foils and political footballs in a debate that's happening by Iranians in Iran," Mr. Gibbs said.

That's right! There's nothing to choose between the protesters and the representatives of the regime. Here we are: eye-witnesses on the global stage to what a false philosophy can do to man's mind, rendering him mentally incapable of separating good from evil, of distinguishing one Iranian from the next - all equally valid! Can we please stop doing moral equivalence now, before even greater damage is done? Read the entire story ...

Wall St Journal: "Pressure on Obama to Act Forcefully Is Growing - Khamenei's Stance Prompts Congressional Resolutions, Adds to Calls for President to Quit Muted Approach to Iran"

(...) Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), who introduced the legislation in the Senate, said administration policy broke with a long U.S. tradition of supporting pro-democracy movements, and said that demonstrators -- who have been carrying protest signs in English -- were "waiting for an expression of support" from the U.S. "The administration does not want to 'meddle' and has refused to speak out in support of these brave Iranian citizens, most of them young, who are risking their very lives to protest what was clearly an unfair and corrupt election," Mr. McCain said after proposing the legislation, cosponsored by his longtime foreign policy ally Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent. (...) >>>

Obama is beaten to it by European and Asian leaders, left, right and center. Most outspoken, French President Nic Sarkozy, unpredictably favoring ethics over pragmatism:

"The extent of the fraud is proportional to the violent reaction. If Ahmadinejad has really made progress since the last election and if he really represents two thirds of the electorate ... why has this violence erupted?"

Somebody name a square after him!

Twitter meanwhile is still proving a strong and invaluable tool. There are words of caution for moles and disinformation, as well as encouraging tweets that "it takes more than a day for Change to take place" (really?) ... prayers, good wishes and counsel to "hold a copy of the Koran since it is a sin in Islam to kill a person holding one", raising the question if it's okay to kill a man who's empty handed; messages of a domestic nature petitioning (twititioning) "Google Earth to update satellite images of Tehran".

Twitter Updates .......

CassandraTroy Just posted: "Politeia: Addresses Embassies in #Tehran #iranelection #gr88" (

.............. Watch
fresh pictures on Demotrix 
- more - video on YouTube ....

Dutch-Iranian refugee and Leiden University lecturer, Afshin Ellian has posted another remarkable story out of Iran. He has it that the protesters are shouting "Nor Gaza (Hamas), nor Libanon (Hezhollah), dedicated only to Iran!" It's a great but very worrisome story: apparently the regime is working on a rapid mobilization of the (para)military. I'll be working on the translation for the rest of the day, and won't be back unless there are significant developments to report.

Washington Times posting unconfirmed report that intelligence services may allow for SMS/text service enabling them to track those who are organizing protest. Also that Tehran bureau blog reports that there are arrests among the IRGC officers for pro-demonstrator sympathies. Very significant if true. 

The Guardian had been live blogging (see below), but presently appears to have clocked off for the day. We'll carry on as best we can, gathering our info from various other sources.

Mousavi has sent a letter to the guardian council alleging that there were plans to rig the election months in advance, according to his website.

Here's the Farsi version, and there is a very rough Google translation here.

The letter sets out a number of detailed complaints about counting discrepancies and concerns about how the ballot was conducted.

4.25pm:">A picture claiming to show teargas being used against protesters today has been posted to Twitpic.

The police have attempt to portray the protesters as rioters by detailing the damage they have caused, and claimed public backing for a violent crackdown.

Iran's deputy police commander, Ahmad-Reza Radan, said 400 police have been wounded since last Friday's vote.

He claimed 10,000 complaints have been been made, according to state-run Press TV. "They have called on the police to deal with rallies firmly," he said.

"The recent rallies destroyed 700 buildings, burst 300 banks into flame, damaged 300 cars and 300 public properties," Radan added.

Mousavi supporters have set to a building in southern Tehran used by backers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a witness told Reuters.

The witness also said police shot into the air to disperse rival supporters in Tehran's south Karegar street.

Does that refer to this incident shown on the BBC Persian service?

An eyewitness in Enghelab square reports around 20,000 riot police, made up of Basiji militiamen and soldiers, and armed with rifles, tear gas and water cannons.

The eyewitness saw dozens of people beaten by riot police in an attempt to frighten them into evacuating the square, with one young man being beaten to the ground by four policemen.

The protesters were not wearing the green insignia that signifies support for Mousavi, and were not making victory signs or chanting.

The eyewitness reports riot police attacking people on passing motorbikes and, on occasion, innocent passersby who have no way of escaping the heavy police presence. Nonetheless, there are thousands of Mousavi supporters, marching peacefully near the square, where rthey have been subjected to these brutal reprisals from the police.

Across Tehran, there is widespread fear and panic, with many desperate to know what is going on in Enghelab square, but unable to find out due to reporting restrictions. Now the question seems to be: what will Mousavi do next?

This video, uploaded today, purports to show an explosion and what looks like teargas shells in Tehran.

The security forces out-number the protesters, according to al-Jazeera.

More on that explosion at the shrine: "A suicide bomber was killed at the northern wing of Imam Khomeini's shrine. Two people were injured," Fars news agency said, according to Reuters.

Khamenei talked about the threat of terrorism in his speech yesterday.

"Street demonstrations are a target for terrorist plots. Who would be responsible if something happened?" he said.

Protesters are being shot at in Azadi Street, according to an unconfirmed report from Saeed Valadbaygi.

One person has been killed in an explosion near the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran, according to the Fars News Agency.

Two people were injured, Reuters quotes it saying. State TV has the same report, according to AP.

There are heavy clashes on Azadi Street, and chants of death to Khamenei, according to this regularly updated live blog from Iran. It also reports intense clashes on Enghelab Square. It's impossible to verify this at the moment.

Witnesses: police using tear gas, water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters in Tehran, says a flash on AP.

- Filed on Articles in "The Pomo Presidency" -


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