First off, Strike is in progress but because of the sandstorm the city is in lockdown. Supposedly to prevent a March on 18 of Tir (July 9th).
Also, Ahmedi is supposed to be giving a press conference tonight in Iran...so right now?
1:15 PM ET -- A message from NIAC. The National Iranian American Council has been a crucial source for news and thoughtful analysis on the uprising. They've got a requestion for readers:
NIAC is surveying Iranian Americans as well as the broader American public to get a better understanding on where people stand on the Iran issue in the aftermath of the elections.
We are encouraging non-NIAC members to participate as well, with the understanding that membership views will naturally take precedent in influencing how the organization moves forward. We highly encourage non-members to join and become part of the dialogue by visiting this site.
Click here for the survey.
Strike is in progress and Thursday there will be a march(es).
Want to know how the power check system in Iran works? The Wall Street Journal has an excellent graph.
July 12, 2009 post | July 11, 2009 post | July 10, 2009 post | July 9, 2009 posts | July 8, 2009 post | July 7, 2009 post | July 6, 2009 post | July 5, 2009 post | July 4, 2009 post
Live Blogs on Iran Protests
Nico's Pitney's live blog on HuffPo
The most excellent live blog out there. Has an absolute ton of information dating back the very first day. Filled with pictures and vids.
July 7th | July 6th | July 5th | July 3rd | July 2nd | July 1st | June 30th | June 29th | June 28th | June 27th | June 26th | June 25th | June 24th | June 22nd | June 21st | June 20th pt 2 | June 20th pt 1 | June 19th | June 18th | June 17th | June 16th | June 15th
Andrew Sullivan's blog <- Political blog but he has a lot of coverage on iran.
EnduringAmrica blog <- Political but they have a lot of coverage (they are also sharing tips with NiteOwl (I forgot them earlier...my bad)
NiteOwl's Green Briefs <- Anonymous teamed up The Pirate Bay (before they sold out) to provide logistical help to the Iranians in a safe anonymous forum - the vids of Anonymous declaring 'war' on Iranian govt are interesting to watch. NiteOwl's Green Briefs are compilations of news reports straight from Iranians.
#20 (July 6) | #18-#19 (July 4-5) (NiteOwl's net didn't let him access the archives of twitter (?) so it's late) | #17 (July 3) | #16 (July 2) | #15 (July 1) | #14 (June 30) | #13 (June29) | #12 (June 28) | #11 (June 27) | #10 (June 26th) | #9 (June 25) | #8 (June 24) | #7 (June 23) | #6 (June 22) | #5 (June 21) | #4 (June 20 | #3 (June 19) | #2 (June 18) | #1 (June 17)
Tehran Burea <- The news on Tehran
Eye of the Storm: 18th Tir
The day before the Iranian election took place, a tornado swept through the landscape south of Tehran. A friend recalled to me how he watched it whirl madly as a fierce rain pelted down on cars inching towards Imam Khomeini airport, terrified of its angry and ruthless power. As the election results were announced the day after, it was as though this crazed weather pattern, the likes of which had rarely been seen around Tehran, was an omen of what was to come.
Now three weeks on, the Iranian people’s fearlessness is still steadfast. Despite horrific street violence, deaths, arrests, torture and the severance of communication networks, people have still come out onto the streets where possible, organizing themselves as best they can, and coming up with innovative means of protest to exacerbate the powers that be. Their latest campaign, the boycott of SMS usage, is a witty “two fingers up” to the government’s attempt at suppressing informal communication.
This social movement has captured the world’s attention on a huge scale, with high-profile musicians singing tribute songs wearing touches of green, to Facebook pictures of ‘Where is THEIR vote?’ and Twitter clocks set to Tehran time in support of Iranian bloggers at risk of arrest. Suddenly, the human face of Iran has surfaced internationally, and for the first time it is not clad in swathes of black cloth — it is young, savvy and framed in green, it has an opinion and rights, and the simple desire to have them respected.
Overnight a nation of terrorists have become champions for human rights, with the face of Neda as their emblem. An Iranian flying out of New York reported to me that instead of the usual suspicious looks and “random searches” at airport security, he was met with friendly concern and fellow passengers were eager to know more about Iran and what was happening there.
As the atmosphere in Iran continues to thicken, with the number of arrests rising daily, and several hangings (reportedly on the charge of having been involved in protests), everyone is looking towards the anniversary of the 1999 student uprising at Tehran University on 18th Tir (9 July). Exactly ten years ago, the students of Tehran University began to protest against the regime’s policy on social freedoms. In reply, scores of Basij militia raided the university halls of residence with the sole aim of extinguishing the protest, beating students, throwing tear gas, throwing people from the third floor windows shouting ‘Ya Zahra’, and causing several deaths including Ezzat Ebrahim Nezhad who, much like Neda, became a symbol of injustice.
This clash created a ripple effect in which people all over Tehran came out onto the streets in support of the students who had been treated so brutally. It was only President Mohammad Khatami’s promise to find and try the perpetrators of the violence that managed to quiet down the people, but again they were let down when he failed to provide evidence of a serious trial and reports of the horrific torture of imprisoned student leaders leaked into the public realm.
On June 15, the Monday after the recent election, the university of Tehran’s halls of residence were raided again, but this time evidence remains in the form of videos captured on mobile phones which were shared instantly with the world, thanks to the crucial role of social networking and digital media sites. Unconfirmed reports state five deaths and a significant amount of arrests. It is clear that the government, threatened by the reams of people demonstrating in the streets, tried to frighten the masses into submission by attacking what they thought of as the seat of social upheaval. But they may have been shocked to discover that people were still willing to come out on the streets and protest again the next day, showing that the demographic reach of Iran’s opposition has filtered way beyond the student community, and that people’s fear of governmental retaliation is dissolving.
As of now there is information circulating via the internet in preparation for the 18th Tir anniversary. Websites and blogs have published lists of the locations in each of Iranian’s main cities — Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Esfahan, Tabriz, etc. — where protests are being organized. This anniversary is remembered each year, but it is loaded with a new significance this year, and with a determination to, perhaps, finish what was begun ten years ago.
18th Tir is going to be a crucial turning point in the Iranian election saga; it is likely to result in more violence and arrests, no doubt. The question that remains is what will come of another outburst? Will it boost the opposition’s power in a climate where the arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi is only a clap away? Or will it push the Iranian people further towards an abyss of hopelessness and international isolation?
While the outcome is unpredictable, what is certain is that the 70% of Iranian citizens under the age of 30 are children of the revolution; the experience is in their blood. I recall a quote from a protester outside London’s Iranian Embassy:
‘As children of the revolution we have been conditioned to be revolutionaries. We grew up with the glorification of revolutionary songs, slogans, political graffiti, and stories of fearless characters standing up to the Shah’s army to topple the regime. While these were fed to us as propaganda of the Islamic regime, what they don’t realize is that they’ve trained us to revolt for what we believe in and now we’re putting all those years of revolutionary fervour into practice. The fearlessness Iranians now show towards the police, the slogans and perseverance in pursuing their cause, are all building towards something — we can’t go back from here, only forward.’
Crocodile Tears for Iranians
Two weeks before Iran’s June 12 presidential election, the War Party and the Israel lobby began to worry about the possibility that Mousavi may be elected president. They worried that his victory would take away from them their main propaganda weapon against Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They have always considered Ahmadinejad “Israel’s greatest asset,” and wanted him to win re-election. Many neoconservatives and Israeli politicians stated explicitly that, from their point of view, it would be better if Ahmadinejad won a second term.
They had good reason to worry. During his campaign Mousavi accused Ahmadinejad of using rhetoric against Israel and the West, as well as exhibiting such inflexibility in his nuclear policy, that have hurt Iran’s national interests and security. In his one-on-one debate with Ahmadinejad, Mousavi criticized his stance on the Holocaust and the conference on the same subject that he sponsored in Tehran in December 2006. He promised that if elected, he would pursue a sober and flexible foreign policy that would not only preserve Iran’s vital interests, but would also enable it to reach an accommodation with the West that would bring it out of its diplomatic isolation.
Condemning what has happened in Iran and expressing solidarity with the Green Movement would not be interference in Iran’s internal affairs, because what is being condemned first and foremost are violations of fundamental human and civil rights of the Iranian people, and respect for such rights, and condemning their violations, are universal values.
At the international level, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, Federation of Human Rights Societies, Reporters without Borders, and the United Nations Human Rights Council have credible track records of defending human rights. Thus, they can credibly condemn what is happening in Iran, as they have. They must continue doing so.
When the post-election protests erupted in Iran, the situation became even tougher for the War Party and the neoconservatives. They recognized that Ahmadinejad will apparently be Iran’s president for four more years, even though a great majority of the Iranian people everywhere (including the author) consider his second term as illegitimate. So, how should they react?
Clearly, they could not make a 180-degree turn in less than a week, and declare once again that Ahmadinejad is the most dangerous man on earth and bent on destroying Israel and the U.S.! That would be too ridiculous, even for this crowd, although I must say that nothing that this crowd does surprises me. This crowd never tires of trying to start a war against Iran.
So, the War Party and the neoconservatives decided to do the next “best” thing, namely, shedding crocodile tears for the Iranian people, but also using the tears to prepare the public for a future war. A war would kill at least tens of thousands of Iranian people, the same people for whom they are shedding tears. In particular, they began attacking President Obama’s sensible policy of condemning the violence and crackdown on the protesters, but refusing to take sides.
The Iranian people do not forget the positions of the same people who are now shedding crocodile tears for the good people of Iran. They do not forget that Senator John McCain who now sheds such tears, is the same man who said “bomb, bomb, bomb” Iran, and the same man who has consistently supported the illegal invasion of Iraq and the escalation of the Afghan war by the Obama administration, which has resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people. The decent people of Iran do not need, nor have they asked for, the Senator’s support. He should shed them for selecting a running mate such as Sarah Palin.
The Iranian people do need moral support, and need a lot of it. They can handle the rest by themselves. But, they do not need the crocodile tears of the warmongers who, for years, have done all they can to start a war with their country, or impose sanctions that would only hurt the common people.
In a message to the Iranians in the Diaspora, Mousavi said, “I am fully aware that your justified demands have nothing to do with groups who do not believe in the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran’s system. It is up to you to distance yourself from them, and do not allow them to misuse the current situation.” That is the right message, regardless of whether one is for or against the Islamic Republic. Anyone who supports Iran’s democratic movement should heed Mousavi’s call and support him as the movement’s leader. The movement does not need a leader living in exile.
HuffPo's Iran Page
Khamenei: Khamenei: West's Meddling In Iran's Affairs Will Damage Relations
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday issued a sharp warning to Western nations not to criticize Iran over its crackdown, saying relations will suffer if they are seen as "meddling." Iranians, he said, would "unite against their enemies into one fist."
His warning appeared to be directed at world powers gathering at the G8 summit in Rome this week, who are to consider a coordinated response to Iran's turmoil.
In another sign of the regime's new toughness, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard acknowledged for the first time that the elite force _ controlled by Khamenei _ played the key role in putting an end to street protests.
"We believe that the Guards, in line with the mission to defend the revolution, must play a determining role in preserving and continuing the revolution (by saying revolution, he means ruling system)," he said.
Jafari's comments suggested that the force, which usually works behind the scenes, could take a more overt hand in Iran's politics after the biggest challenge to Iran's system of Islamic clerical rule in decades.
I told you there was a coup by the Republican Guards. Khamenei kowtows to them...in a manner of speaking, as he has never gone against them and Ahmedi's cabinet is full of them. They are in high positions of power and they are the ones who are controlling the Nuclear sites.
Saudi Arabia, Israel Talks For Shared Airspace Against Iran Denied By Saudis
Iran and Saudi Arabia are considered to be the two most powerful players competing for influence in the region, making the possibility for a strange-bedfellow relationship with Israel not totally inconceivable. And by the Wall Street Journal's account, the pro-Western March 14 coalition's victory in Lebanon in June served as a proxy victory for Saudi Arabia over Iran.
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is explicitly denying all such reports that it would allow Israeli Defense Force aircraft to use its airspace, telling AFP, "Of course this is not true. We don't have any kind of relationship with the Israelis."
Biden Israel-Iran Statements Cause Storm Of Regional Responses
China Riots: West Descends Into Mob Violence Between Han Chinese, Muslim Uighurs
Rioting in the Xinjiang region broke out Sunday and killed at least 156 people. Tuesday's new violence came despite swarms of paramilitary and riot police enforcing a dragnet that state media said led to the arrest of more than 1,400 people in the often tense region.
Members of the Uighur ethnic group attacked people near Urumqi's railway station, and women in headscarves protested the arrests of husbands and sons in another part of the city. For much of the afternoon, a mob of 1,000 mostly young Han Chinese holding cleavers and clubs and chanting "Defend the country" tore through streets trying to get to a Uighur neighborhood until they were repulsed by police firing tear gas.
The central government has slowed mobile phone and Internet services, blocked Twitter _ whose servers are overseas _ and censored Chinese social networking and news sites and accused Uighurs living in exile of inciting Sunday's riot. State media coverage, however, carried graphic video and pictures of the unrest _showing mainly Han Chinese victims and stoking the anger.
The violence is a further embarrassment for a Chinese leadership preparing for the 60th anniversary of communist rule in October and calling for the creation of a "harmonious society" to celebrate.
Years of rapid development have failed to smooth over the ethnic fault lines in Xinjiang.
Iran will never be the same
Iran stocks up on censorship tools
Iran joins China in a club of countries developing filters for internet traffic.
When Iranian protesters used internet services like Twitter to gain global attention they also reminded the world that oppressive regimes continue to buy or build technologies to enforce censorship.
Clothilde Le Coz, director of internet research for Reporters Without Borders, says Iran is second only to China in the extent and sophistication of its efforts to stifle dissent online.
“The Iranian government said last year that it was blocking 5 million websites,” Le Coz said in a telephone interview. “They brag about what they can do, perhaps to intimidate their opponents.”
For instance, the relatively new messaging service, Twitter.com, delivered more than 2 million brief reports from inside Iran during an 18-day period, according to one post-election analysis. Villeneuve said Iranian authorities tried to stop the message flow by blocking access to Twitter.com, but many Iranians knew how to evade such measures by relaying their “tweets” through unblocked proxy servers.
Villeneuve said some nations, notably Burma and Nepal, have simply cut themselves off from the internet during periods of civil unrest to deny protesters a world audience, but international actors like Iran and China seem reluctant to go to such extremes, preferring selective censorship instead.
Open Net Inititative report notes that in 2006, the Iranian government told its internet service providers not to offer home access faster than 128 kilobytes. Whether this was to discourage the downloading of porn or the uploading of protest images, according to the report, the policy makes Iran “the only country in the world to have instituted an explicit cap on internet access speeds for households.”
The Washington Times
EXCLUSIVE: Israel declines to ask U.S. to OK Iran attack
RAN: 30 years later, a family again takes to the streets
Three decades ago Mina, an 18-year-old who had recently graduated from high school, took to the streets with her family to protest the injustice and tyranny of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in demonstrations that led to his overthrow.
Last month, the 48-year-old professor of physiology again took to the streets, again her with family, to oppose the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid allegations of massive vote fraud.
At the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, "the military were in the streets but they were just soldiers," she recalled. "They were just doing their duty because of orders from their commander. Most of the time they came and told people to run and not to stay, because they were afraid of their commanders."
But now, she said, it's different. The pro-government Basiji militiamen on the streets "really beat people and they want to kill people," she said in an interview, asking that her last name not be published for fear of retribution.
But after war the ended in 1988, they waited for positive change and got nothing.
"We wanted corruption to decrease. We could no longer accept the government's claim that 'we are in a special situation.' And we started to think that we are far away from the goals we had in the revolution. Now we want to return to those days. We want the good thing we wished for our country back."
Still, she said she and her family don't long for another revolution. They want the system to slowly change, to reform.
"We know that, with a real revolution, you cannot be sure that you will arrive at your goal," she said.
China Embraces The 24-Hour News Cycle
Wall Street Journal
Unrest In Iran Page
A Dual Strategy on Xinjiang and the Media <- Uighers are in the process of their own 'revolution' and they are Muslim Chinese... This might effect how things in Iran plays out. Ahmedi might get tougher or Mousavi and co could be bolstered by realizing another countries Muslim population is standing up against persecution
News of Sunday’s riots in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far west Xinjiang region spread quickly on the Internet, where users posted amateur photos and videos of the violence and its aftermath, including images of lifeless-looking bodies piled on the streets. The official death toll keeps rising, from three on Sunday night to the current 140.
But while officials have been quick to revise the death toll upwards, there are also signs of discomfort with the rapid transmission of news from unofficial sources. Urumqi residents reported that they were unable to access the Internet on Sunday and Monday. Internet users in other parts of Xinjiang also reported service disruptions.
Obama: No green light for Israel to attack Iran
NewAhmadinejad calls election 'the most free' anywhere
Ahmadinejad also said Tuesday he believes the government should be "substantially" reorganized. Although he didn't elaborate, he said the areas of employment, housing, development and civil rights were high on the agenda.
"[We] need to create newer capacities and prepare ourselves for this new period," he said, apparently referring to his upcoming second term in office.
"With this election, we have entered a new era ... in domestic spheres and on an international level," he added. He called it "an era of solidarity."
"The government is at the service of the entire people," Ahmadinejad said. "Things will be done in a better way, more effective way, so we can reach higher aspirations."
He said experts have been invited to help the government achieve progress.
Iran reformists call for end to 'security atmosphere'
Nobel laureates urge U.N. to help free Iran protesters
The group of 10 Nobel laureates, including former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, made the request in a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations on Monday.
They also cited a concern for fellow Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. The Iranian lawyer won the prize in 2003 for her push for democracy and women's and children's rights.
Ayatollah: Western 'lies' depict Iranians as 'rioters'
San Francisco Business Times
Nobel Peace Prize for Twitter Founders?
The Washington Post
Freedom vs. the Firewall:
The Senate can help fend off authoritarian censorship.
The Guardian <- Nothing new, focusing on Israel, Egypt, China
Identifying the Deceased and Detained Project
Translations: TehranBroadcast.com | Translate4Iran
Helping Iranians use the web: Tor Project (English & Farsi)IranHelp.org (Farsi)
Demonstrations: Facebook | WhyWeProtest
Activism: Avaaz.org | National Iranian American Council
Haystack <- The all powerful proxy (still in testing) Want to help? Don't know anything techwise? Then donate some cash and keep this revolution going, you may just save someone(s) life! Haystack is needing donations! Donate Here.
In other news...Ayatollah Khamenei now has his very own Dickipedia entry. I'm sure a Fatwa will be issued soon...once he sees it.
I think I needed to cut down on the quotes but the Tehran Bureau had such important information that I felt it was necessary in order to get reader interest and understand the gist of it.