akuma_river (akuma_river) wrote in ontd_political,

July 12, 2009 Iran Update

iran protests

iran protests

This is a poster, I believe it is informing people that Ayatollah Rafsanjani (sp) will be, for the first time since the election, conducting Friday morning prayers. There is also a report that Mousavi and Khatami will be there as well. They are calling for rally on that day. But we are not too sure of this since it says on the FB that more details will come on Thursday.

Found a translation:
The poster is clear:
1. Another upheavel (HamAse) is on its way.
2. Our Rande-vous Fri 26 Tir 1388 (17 July 2009).
A. Rafsanjani leading coming week's Friday prayer at Tehran university
3. Green wave ARISE, the promised day is coming.
4. With S Mohamad Khatami & Mir H Mousavi in attendance.
5. Attentions all friends awaiting demonstration and gathering of miliions.
Analysis: This gathering can only happen as a counter-coup! If millions arise the Khamenei-AhmadiNejad coup cannot stop this from happening. Unless this is a not-so-funny joke?!

Until then, it seems pretty quiet. Couldn't find much articles on the usual places so I hit google news and picked up some things. Green Briefs has most of the info on what is going on in Iran.

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


Demotix <- The mighty photojournalism site Iran election page pictures of demostrations outside Iranian embassy in London

Mightier Than

ABC reporter jim sciutto's twitblog

LA Times – Babylon & Beyond First images to emerge of July 9, 2009 protests large crowd gets dispersed by teargass on July 9, 2009 protests

iran.whyweprotest.net 18 Tir / 9 July forum thread <- lots of vids and first hand account by a protester in Iran

goftaniha.org Ex-Basij Founder's Blog being used to ID Basij – in Farsi

Ayatollah Watch <- Information on Ayatollahs

Ahmedi's takeover has been planned since 2004

Out the Basij

ID the Basiji

twit blog about how another Ayatollah has gone against the regime

Lara Setrakian - ABC News reporter's blog TEHRAN UNREST: "IT WAS NOTHING LESS THAN WAR. PRAY FOR US."

National Iranian American Council's Blog July 9, 2009 protest coverage <- vids and pics

NY Times – The Lede Blog July 9, 2009 protest coverage

Retweeters to watch
@LaraABCNews <- Reporter out of Dubai who's been in contact with Iranians
@Pray4FreeIran <- retweeter who spreads messages about Iran
@AustinHeap <- The genius behind ProxyHeap and Haystack (says that Node 1 is a go?)
@StopAdmedi <- twitter account for Mousavi supporters
@nicopitney <- I didn't know he had a twitter account
@Iran_Translator <- NiteOwl
@bistoon <- IRGC already actively hunt him b/c of student revolt in 1999 so I can rec him

Useful Resources

News: NIAC Insight | Kodoom
Translations: Google Translate | TehranBroadcast.com | Translate4Iran
Helping Iranians use the web: Haystack | Tor Project (English & Farsi) | IranHelp.org (Farsi) Demonstrations: Facebook | sharearchy | WhyWeProtest
Activism: Avaaz.org | National Iranian American Council

Mousavi's FB
Haystack's how you can help digg page
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.

Protest Advice
Brainstorm Ideas
Torrent/dl list of videos showing police brutality in Iran
Blog that has links to LA Protest that 35-50,000 people turn out
the pictures

Want to know how the power check system in Iran works? The Wall Street Journal has an excellent graph.
Bearing Witness In Iran Weighs Heavily On Cohen: Roger Cohen on NPR
Voice of the Voiceless
YekIran <- Worldwide Protest Map
Wiki on 18th Tir Protests 1999
Wiki of Iranian Election Protests
Reporters Without Borders <- List of how many reporters are in prison in Iran

radionomy anonymous Sea of Green radio
Eng Trans of Mousavi FB that has protest instructions and routes

Mightier Than Iran: The Rooftop Project <- Site trying to find vids of the roof top shoutings for every single night since the protests began.
Iran News <- One Stop Source
for News/YouTube/Blog/Political Cartoon links about Iran's Election and the aftermath (massive library of information)
The Guardian's list of dead and detained
Voice of America News
Iran 360 <- Photojournalism site
Slate's stash of Iran political cartoons
Green cd hour long video from Iran <- Split up into nine parts on iran.whyweprotest.net

Live Blogs on Iran

Revolutionary Road... <- Live from Tehran UPDATES

Andrew Sullivan's blog <- Political blog but he has a lot of coverage on iran. Andrew Sullivan's blog "Iran Erupts Again" Counter Targeting the Protesters

Enduring America blog

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.
Nico's Iran Page (it seems he deleted off the info from July 7th but it can be found here)
Nico moved offices on Friday...I don't think there's a Saturday update
July 10, 2009
July 9, 2009 |
July 8th | 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

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.
#25 (July 11)
#24 (July 10) | #23 (July 9) | #22 (July 8) | #21 (July 7) | #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)

Newspaper Articles

Tehran Bureau
iran protests,18 Tir 1388 protests
Cartoon caption: The people are ahead of Mousavi. “Wait for me to catch up with you,” he says.

18 Tir: Fight the Power (July 10, 2009)
The city was revved up for 18 Tir. Emails had been circulating all week, outlining ten demonstration routes across Tehran. The emails called on people to “be present” on the streets, even in their cars, if they feared going on foot, expressing solidarity by honking and obstructing security maneuvers by jamming the roads. Locations in provincial capitals were included too; the day was slated for a nationwide event.

Yesterday’s protests differed from previous ones in two ways. First, they were organized entirely online, lending credence to purported theories of a “cyber-revolution.” Second, more significantly, the turnout sprung from the people themselves; it was not prompted by a call from opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. In fact, an open invitation posted to opposition websites bid him to join them. In elegant script on an electronic invite card, Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami were all three requested to join the people “in peaceful marches to honor the tenth anniversary of the student martyrs of June 9, 1999,” in effect signalling that the movement has surpassed its figurehead. It was steering along on an organic course without leadership from above. Thus unmediated, turnout would be a critical measure of how far Iranians were prepared to stand up to the regime on their own.

Thursday afternoon, we headed out in a caravan of three cars for Vanak Square, armed with water bottles and green surgical masks. (Long marches have taught us to avert thirst; filming by Intelligence agents cautioned protection of identity.) At 4:30 p.m., Vanak was dead. Policemen idled on four corners of the square, and a line of buses, apparently intended to transport captured “rioters,” were parked to the side. There were no people though; even the usual pedestrian flow was absent. Our spirits flagged a bit, seeing deserted a scene we expected to be swarming.

“Iranians are always late,” one friend joked. “They’ll show up by 6-ish.”

The consensus was to go downtown (cell phones, surprisingly, were working). As we progressed down Valiasr Avenue, signs of life began to emerge. Pockets of people — interestingly, women considerably outnumbered men — trickled down the sidewalks. We could tell they were one of us, so to speak, by the telltale signs of water bottles and surgical masks. It’s interesting to see how fast these things become trends, suddenly and as if by silent consensus.

We parked near Enghelab Street and joined the water-and-mask-carrying crowd now streaming in larger, denser numbers toward Tehran University. Women still composed the majority.

On Enghelab, pepper spray forced the crowd, sputtering and gasping, to turn back. “Up the other way!” people bellowed. My friends and I, arms linked in pairs, followed our fellow protesters onto Vesal Ave, the nearest cross street. More people had poured in from both sides. We were now more than 2000 strong, filling an entire side of the avenue. Emboldened, we whooped and broke out in applause. “Arms up!” came the next cry. We raised our hands and flashed the V sign. Oncoming traffic blared their car horns and waved Vs back. Even the police, who were too few to stop us, seemed excited. I caught several of them smiling at us.

We marched northward, turning onto another avenue, heading toward Valiasr. The ‘silence’ etiquette of past marches had given way to full-throated chanting. A popular call-and-answer rhymed Mousavi’s first name with that of the epic hero of Ashura: “Ya Hossein!” went half the crowd, and “Mir Hossein!” called the other half. Another chant was in effect the equivalent of holding out an olive-branch: “Police [our] friends, protect us!” And a new, alarmingly radical slogan, venturing beyond the vote dispute, attacked Ayatollah Khamenei’s son, who is rumored to become the next Supreme Leader: “Mojtaba, you’ll die before you’re Leader!”

Chanting, our throng wound its way into Valiasr like a thick snake. I was hoarse, sweaty, and elated. After Enghelab, Valiasr is Tehran’s next big hot spot. Unfortunately the Special Guard (yegan vijeh) had anticipated this.

Whizzing screeches, dense white smoke and the now-familiar stench of teargas descended upon us.

Running half-blind, we scattered into side alleys. Smokers lit cigarettes, puffed on them hurriedly, and blew out smoke into each other’s eyes. It was once odd to have a total stranger’s mouth suddenly inches away, helping dispel the burning sting. But the odd has become standard.

It was about 6:30 p.m. when we returned to our cars. On the way home, we realized the Basij had been called in. Dozens of motorbikes rushed past us on various streets: camouflage fatigues, shielded helmets or bareheaded, clubs in hand. I repressed an urge to floor the gas pedal and ram into them. Instead, I yelled out the window as the last of them were passing (they’re known to attack people in cars too): “Animals!”

At least there is a savage pleasure in letting them know what you think.

* * *

18 Tir lived up to expectations, as I learned later that night at a friend’s housewarming. Everyone had stories to tell from protests and clashes at different areas across the capital: Haft-e-Tir (central), Gisha (west), Sadat-Abad (northwest), Pasdaran (east), Amir-Abad (Tehran University dormitories), and even Vanak (north). It seemed the peak hours had been from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Like in our experience, they appear to have started calmly in the presence of ordinary police, and descended into violence when Guards and Basij moved in halfway through. Protesters fought back by lighting fire barricades; plumes of black smoke were seen rising over Enqelab.

Those who stayed on after we turned back reported that protesters who were dispersed would regroup a few streets over with other crowds. Apparently, the new “multiple route” strategy worked. Decentralized protests threw security forces off-guard and forced them to break ranks to cover all areas. It also allowed people to disband and re-band randomly — kind of like “protest-hopping,” if you like. There was even a general consensus that people felt bolder now, that they’d be out again next time.

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s Fatwa (July 12, 2009 - MUHAMMAD SAHIMI)
In a very important development, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the most senior cleric living in Iran, and one of the top two* marja’ taghlid (source of emulation) in Shiite Islam, issued a series of Fatwas, calling the Supreme Leader illegitimate and saying that he was working with the government against religion. Montazeri has called on people to take action against this injustice, even if they have to pay a heavy price for it.

Ayatollah Motazeri, who has long been one of the most outspoken critics of Iran’s hard-liners, issued the Fatwas in response to a letter that Dr. Mohsen Kadivar, a progressive cleric and a former student of his, wrote asking for answers to several pointed questions. (Dr. Kadivar was jailed a few years ago for his outspoken criticism of the hard-liners and now lives in the United States.)

The letter congratulates the Grand Ayatollah on the occasion of last week’s anniversary of the birth of Imam Ali, the Shiites’ first Imam, and a cousin and a son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammad. The letter says that the anniversary has fallen at a time when peaceful protests against rigged elections have been met by injustice by the government, which has resulted in tens of deaths, hundreds of injured, and thousands of arrests — all carried out in the name of Islam and Shiism by those who use Imam Ali’s name but take the path of his enemies instead.

The letters continues,

Question 3: Will committing the following great sins and insisting on doing so [by the officials] prove that there is no longer any fairness [in their behavior], and that they are unjust [toward people]?

1. Ordering the murder of innocent people;
2. preventing innocent people from gathering in public places and injuring them;
3. preventing people by force from doing their religious duty of preaching good deeds and avoiding sin through banning all the legitimate and peaceful ways of protesting;
4. denying the freedom and jailing of those who preach good deeds and avoiding sin, and pressuring them to “confess” to doing what they have not committed;
5. preventing a free flow of information and censorship of the news, which are the essential and introductory parts of preaching good deeds and avoiding sins to the Muslim masses;
6. libeling the protestors, who seek justice, by claiming that, “whoever that is opposed to the [government] officials is a traitor and spy for foreigners.”
7. lying, giving false testimony, and making false reports about people’s rights;
8. treason against the national trust;
9. ignoring people’s votes and neglecting the advice of the learned and informed people;
10. preventing people from participating in the national process of deciding their own fate;
11. making a bad name for Islam and the religion through presenting a very violent, irrational, aggressive, superstitious, and dictatorial image of Islam and Shiism in the world.

Answer: Committing any of the above sins and insisting on doing so are some of the clearest demonstrations of lack of fairness [by the officials], and obvious signs of injustice. Indeed, if such sins are not viewed by the people as signs of injustice, what sins can be considered as such? It is clear that any sin, particularly the above, that is committed in the name of the religion, law, and justice, will cause even more corruption and elimination of justice, which will have punishments both in this world and even more severe ones in the next world, because such sins, in addition to their own particular effects, also cause the destruction of the good images of religion, justice, and law.

If there are cases in which the government officials believe they are taking just and legitimate actions, but a majority of the people consider them as unjust, illegitimate, and corrupted, the views and judgments of fair and neutral adjudicators must be the criteria [for deciding who is right]

It is clear that Grand Ayatollah Montazeri considers the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as being unqualified and illegitimate, due to what he considers as oppression, use of force, silencing and jailing the opposition, and other acts by him. Given the authority and significance of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, and the immense respect that he enjoys among the population and in Shiite Islam, these Fatwas are bound to greatly influence the thinking of other ayatollahs.

Dr. Kadivar likens Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s Fatwas to the historical Fatwa of Akhnound Mollaa Mohammad Kazem Khorasani, an important religious figure of his era, during the Constitutional Revolution [1905-1908] against the dictatorship of Mohammad Ali Shah, and the Fatwa of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the Islamic Revolution against the dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Los Angeles Times
Honduras had a new type of coup (July 12, 2009 – Tracy Wilkinson)
Iran rally in Washington urges more U.S. action (July 12, 2009 – AP)
Iran's prisons: where protest turns into rage (July 12, 2009 – Zarah Ghahramani)
Advisor to Iran supreme leader calls for tolerance of dissent (July 12, 2009 – Borzou Daragahi)
Opinion: Misreading Iran's Unrest (July 12, 2009 – Alastair Cooke)

Press TV <- Iran's English talking piece
Iran's Inflation rate 'drops 22.5%' (12 July 2009)
Iran to privatize 10 power plants (12 July 2009)
Kidnapped Iranian diplomats back home (12 July 2009)
Iran religious leaders condemn Chinese violence (12 July 2009)
To end nuclear standoff, Iran works on new proposals (11 July 2009)
Symbolic funeral for 'Hijab martyr' in Tehran (11 July 2009) <- Starting to be spin to keep Iranian's minds off protests
12 Jundullah terrorists to be executed (11 July 2009)
Iran will execute 12 Jundullah members who were involved in terrorist activities at the behest of the terror group's notorious ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi.

"Sistan Baluchestan's revolutionary and appellate courts have ordered the execution of 12 members of the Jundullah terrorist group on charges of terrorism. One member of the group has been sentenced to five years of imprisonment in a remote town," the Chairman of Sistan and Baluchestan's Justice Department Ebrahim Hamidi, told the ISNA news agency in Zahedan on Saturday.

Hamidi added that among the charges leveled against the defendants were the responsibility for the killing of 22 people in the Tasuci incident, setting up armed roadblocks on Chabahar road, kidnapping foreign nationals, and carrying out armed robberies.

The Guardian
Western leaders sceptical as Iran offers olive branch on nuclear programme (July 12, 2009 – Peter Beaumont)

Voice of America News
Five Iranians Detained by US in Iraq for 2 Years Return Home (12 July 2009 – VOA News)

New York Daily News
Editorials: Power to the People: Iran's government showing its true colors at home (July 11, 2009 –
The internal crackdown is of a piece with Tehran's approach to the world. Khamenei and Ahmadinejad fund Hezbollah, Hamas, Iraq-based terrorists, the Taliban and radical Islamists throughout the region and beyond, even as far as Sudan.

The goal is to create a bloc of Muslim states that can expel American influence from the region, weaken Sunni Arab states and - coup de grace - return the map to its contours before that little blemish called Israelso rudely appeared.

Honk if you want to see what will happen if and when Iran completes its dream of obtaining nuclear weapons. The United States and the world cannot let that happen.

Ethiopian Review
Anonymous Joins Fight Against Tyranny in Iran (July 12, 2009 – Desta Bishu)

Daily Kos
Say "No" to Talks With Iran's Current Regime (July 12, 2009 – Setrak)

Three drug traffickers hanged in Iran (July 12, 2009)

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Lack of support from religious clerics amounts to a public rebuke of Iran's Ahmadinejad (July 12, 2009 – Michael Slackman)

Korea Times
Damaged Democracy (July 12, 2009 – Ian Buruma)

Huffington Post
Who will win the next phase in Iran, Ahmadinejad or Ira's Ayatollah Ali Sistani? (July 12, 2009 – David Paul)

From the moment the polls closed, when Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared the victory of President Ahmadinejad a "divine assessment," Khamenei undercut his own credibility as a dispassionate ruler committed to the integrity of the electoral process. While Iranians may have come to accept limitations on what candidates are allowed on the ballot, fundamental Shia principles of fairness and justice demand that the integrity of the process be respected.

Instead of showing patience and respecting the process, Khamenei undermined his own credibility. But more important, he opened the door for the narrative that soon emerged: Those who questioned the results were guilty of apostasy. And in Islam, apostasy is a mortal sin, and such accusations have justified the most extreme incidents of Islamist violence.

Today, even though the demonstrations in the streets have disappeared from cable news, the debate in Iran has been elevated from vote counting and ballots to treason and apostasy. It doesn't get much clearer than that.
The issue is no longer about the election results. The issue now is about the core principal of the Islamic Revolution--velayat-e faqih--that Islamic law requires that power over civil society must lie with the clerical order of Islamic jurists.

This debate is deeply rooted in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. At the time of the Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini was the most vocal proponent among the senior Shia clerics of velayat-e faqih, while he was opposed at the time by his peer and rival Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoi, who disagreed with that interpretation of Islamic law, and dissented from the urge to assert clerical dominion over civil society. While Khomenei won the day and dominated the revolution against the Shah of Iran, velayat-e faqih has never been accepted across the senior Shia clerical order as settled law.

The debate over velayat-e faqih has reemerged as the central issue in Iran. Today, even as the Revolutionary Guard--the Praetorian Guard founded by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 to defend the clerical regime--is asserting its control over the streets of Tehran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei's impatience in handling the election may ultimately cost the regime its legitimacy.

A central figure in the debate over velayat-e faqih will be the leading protégé of Ayatollah Khoi, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Iranian cleric who is demonstrating the principals of his mentor in his patient oversight of civil society and the emerging democracy in Iraq. For Iranians in the streets, as well as clerics in the holy city of Qom, Sistani is among the most revered religious figures, and a cleric of greater authority and stature than Ali Khamenei himself.

Boston Globe
Iran's young see conflict differently than their parents (July 12, 2009 – Raja Abdulrahim and Alexandra Zavis)

“It’s a general thing for people my age, that they did not and they do not accept the regime of the mullahs,’’ he said. “She thought that there’s no alternative at the moment, and that’s not something that I think is a good judgment.’’

Pouneh countered that her vote made a statement that Mousavi was at least somewhat better than the hard-line incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The father-daughter political debates are typical of a generational divide among many Iranian-American families. The 20-somethings want to believe that change is possible in Iran through the ballot box. Their parents, on the other hand, have seen enough elections in Iran to be cynical about the voting process. And they know all too well how the political optimism of their own youth has soured over time.

Avesta mumbled a few words in Persian when the face of an Iranian cleric flashed on CNN.

“He’s just cussing at the TV,’’ said Pouneh, dismissing the comments.

Later, when another image of clerics sitting around a room appeared, Avesta expressed his displeasure in English: “Look at these fossils.’’

Pouneh rolled her eyes toward her father.

Pouneh and her father asked that their last name not be published because they have relatives in Iran and Pouneh plans to visit Iran.

Pouneh has played a role in organizing a series of demonstrations in Los Angeles over the past three weeks, donning a black face mask to hide her identity in the wake of government crackdowns in Iran.

Her mother worries about her safety. Her father doesn’t mind the concept of protesting against Iran’s government, a system in which clerics, not elected officials, have final authority. But he believes the recent demonstrations are too pro-Mousavi and not antiregime enough.

“They just rally around him and he’s just one of those criminals, he’s no better than the other one,’’ Avesta said.

The Media Line
Iran clones a calf: A first for the Middle East (July 12, 2009 – Adam Gonn) <-…So only the Christian zealots are against science?

Troops willing to die to stop Iran unrest, general says (July 12, 2009 )
Iranians held in Iraq by U.S. return home (July 12, 2009)

Turkmenistan to increase Iran gas delieveries – foreign min (July 12, 2009)

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AFP)--Turkmenistan is to increase annual gas deliveries to Iran to 14 billion cubic meters from 8 billion cubic meters, Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov said on Sunday.
The agreement followed weekend talks between representatives of the Iranian energy industry and the Turkmen state gas company Turkmengaz in capital Ashgabat, the minister said in a statement.

Additional gas deliveries to Iran will start in the fourth quarter this year through a new pipeline linking Turkmenistan to the Islamic Republic, Meredov said.

Turkmenistan, in central Asia, has some of the biggest natural gas reserves in the world as well as substantial amounts of oil.


Tags: iran

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