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The videos coming out of Tehran are truly terrifying:

Scattered reports are starting to come in saying the Greens have begun beating back the Basij at the University of Tehran and in other areas.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:18:53 AM EST
Just read somewhere -- can't remember which site, but probably Sully or Nico or Tehran Bureau -- that Shiraz is exploding.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:39:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the big questions was where Moussavi would come down, seemingly having a great deal of weight on his shoulders.  State TV there has already reported that he will be held accountable for violence.  Moussavi was left to decide whether he wanted to keep going or back down in order to save lives.

And I guess we get our answer on that now, in a speech he is giving as I type this (via Sully):

11.40 am. Mousavi: I Am Ready For Death.


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well there was meant to be a meeting of the candidates with the ruling council today, twitter rumour says that Mousavi didn't turn up.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hadn't heard about that.  Sure it was a good source?  Did Kharoubi show?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said, Twitter rumour, so could be no more than smoke from either side.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bit tough now to deal with Twitter outside of a web connected to a few sources.

CNN is absolutely disgusting, by the way.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:02:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fiskrsquos-world-in-tehran-fantasy-and -reality-make-uneasy-bedfellows-1710762.html


Filtering truth out of Tehran these days is as frustrating as it is dangerous.

(...)

Earnest reporters check this out - in fact, I have been spending at least a third of my working days in Tehran this past week not reporting what might prove to be true but disproving what is clearly untrue.

(...)

Fantasy and reality make uneasy bedfellows, but once they are combined and spread with high-speed inaccuracy around the world, they are also lethal. Sham elections, the takeover of party offices, a massacre on a university campus, an imminent coup d'état, the possible overthrow of the whole 30-year old Islamic Republic, the isolation of an entire country as its communications are systematically shut down.

(...)

But then we had the famous instruction to journalists in Tehran from the Ministry of Islamic Guidance that they could no longer report opposition street demonstrations. I heard nothing of this. Indeed, the first clue came when I refused to be interviewed by CNN (because their coverage of the Middle East is so biased) and the woman calling me asked: "Why? Are you worried about your safety?" Fisk continued to spend 12 hours a day on the streets. I discovered there was a ban only when I read about it in The Independent. Maybe the Guidance lads and lassies couldn't get through on my mobile. But then, who had cut the phone lines?

(...)

But our coverage of this poll has been deeply flawed. Most visiting Western journalists stay in hotels in the wealthy, north Tehran suburbs, where tens of thousands of Mousavi supporters live, where it's easy to find educated translators who love Mousavi, where interviewees speak fluent English and readily denounce the spiritual and cultural and social stagnation of Iran's - let us speak frankly - semi-dictatorship.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:56:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but these reports are largely coming from Twitter sources in West Tehran, not the North Tehran suburbs.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:59:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Big problem is total lack of confirmation of any of the reports from Iran.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 01:09:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But our coverage of this poll has been deeply flawed. Most visiting Western journalists stay in hotels in the wealthy, north Tehran suburbs, where tens of thousands of Mousavi supporters live, where it's easy to find educated translators who love Mousavi, where interviewees speak fluent English and readily denounce the spiritual and cultural and social stagnation of Iran's - let us speak frankly - semi-dictatorship.

Foreign Correspondent Disease...

A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds; a man of deeds and not of words is like a garden full of turds — Anonymous

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of rumours that the Army is not getting involved, rumours that they have pledged Loyalty to Rafsanjani and will not open fire on the people, also messages to avoid hospitals, and instead go to embasys that are offering medical care.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:03:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Word is a lot of the cops are standing down, too.

Now the question becomes: Will the cops and soldiers turn on Khamenei, even if not explicitly?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well this is reported to be todays protest.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:18:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At 12.26 from Nico: Moussavi's Facebook page apparently confirms he is on the street and has "washed in readiness to be martyred."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:37:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that Khameni's speech yesterday was a message saying "back down, go to your villa, take a bath and cut your wrists and save my face theocracy. It is allah's will."

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:17:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doh, hit post instead of preview.

So Mousavi knew he had a choice. Saying he was ready for death was him saying to Khameni "Full acknowledgement of Broadcast"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:18:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and if the government kills him, they're going to wish they hadn't, I suspect.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meir Javedanfar: Khamenei's Speech: Learning From the Shah?
The main goal of Khamenei's speech this morning was consolidation. The recent demonstrations have been unprecedented. The Supreme Leader is aware of their impact, and the main goal of today's speech was first and foremost to create some kind of cohesion in the system. This was done by emphasizing the large number of people who took part in the elections. He also tried to reiterate that despite their differences, his relations with Rafsanjani are important, and that any accusation against his children should be settled in court, rather than on the street or television screens. He also said he is close to Ahmadinejad and that his point of view regarding domestic and foreign policy is closer.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:19:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More from Sully:

11.24 am. Chemical warfare? It is not boiling water but something else:

Helicopters spraying water with agent in it onto crowds. Skin irritant, will make it feel as though water is scalding.



Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:41:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Supposedly it sounds like they're dumping a mixture of water and CS teargas.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:54:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European embassies being opened to take the injured.  Apparently the Basij had been throwing the dead and injured in vans and taking them God-knows-where.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's apparently confirmed now: The hospitals are allegedly being used as traps by the Basiji.  European embassies have been opened to care for the injured to avoid the hospitals.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:16:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's Iran fucked either way. Even if the regime win this battle their legitimacy is shot.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:18:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. Khameni must have been out of his mind to make that seech yesterday, it left no wiggle room whatsoever.

That's the problem with theocracy. the people in charge have got so used to justifying their every whim by saying "it is god's will" that they forget that political power in a supposed democracy has to at least pretend that it reflects the people's will.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Khamenei's actions over the last couple days are starting to have the smell of desperation.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Per Nico Pitney at HuffPo: Australian, British and Dutch embassies.

Metro system being shut down to prevent more people from entering central Tehran.  Reports of Iranians leaving work and home en mass to join the protests.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
several other embasies as well, mostly European. (Portugal often mentioned)

reading of clashes in other cities (Ahvaz and Shiraz most regularly)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:26:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, Ahvaz is a separate city.  Having trouble making sense of the names.  Dunno whether I'm looking at names for cities elsewhere in the country or those of Tehran's streets or neighborhoods.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:28:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huffington Post and others are reporting crowds are starting to chant, "Death to Khamenei!"

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:04:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.  Which is apparently a very big thing.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Ahmadinejad government - faction? - has moved to active repressive measures using police, military, or Revolutionary Guard helicopters to drop CS crystals mixed with water, according to reports, and the basij are out shooting and beating protesters.

There are also reports some of the Greens are out "basij hunting" at night.

This could get really ugly, very quickly.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Already getting really ugly.  They're shooting people on camera.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The shooting seems to be somewhat random and sporadic.  

"Getting ugly" = "machine gunning into the protesters"

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They've done that, too, although you're right that it seems a little sporadic.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
seen the odd report of continuous gunfire in the university area.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:39:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Been going on all day.  Word, for now, is the Greens have largely regained control of the University.  That's apparently primo "Basiji Hunting" territory.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
twitter stream becomes readable if you cut all the retweets out

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:55:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just saw this off the twitter feed:

tareshen: RTIran: This is not a 'small protest' considering the expected to die today this is a huge protest.

Interesting.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:24:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TehranBureau's Twitter feed says the protesters beat back the Basiji at 7 Tir and are entering the square.

Interesting that the most intense confrontations seem to be happening in SW Tehran today.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:27:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Protesters have apparently taken Tohid Sq, a little north of Jehun where Moussavi was speaking and NW of 7 Tir.

What little I can cobble together: Sounds like the protesters may be steadily taking West Tehran, to the S, SW and W of the airport (looking at Google Maps), and pushing towards Central.  The government's going to have a real problem if they're pushed back from the North, too.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Off twitter feed:

Just now from Tehran: Assembly of Experts calls on Rafsanjani for meeting!!!

Wow.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:40:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rafsanjani and Montazeri may well move on Khamenei.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
twitter feed:

studiosus_25: RT more and more army's generals refused shooting to people. They are with Rafsanjani


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assembly of Experts meeting, military standing down, Basiji losing ground.

Just me, or does it seem like the tide has slowly turned over the last five hours?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paging Chris Cook;-

Have you anything to add based on your experiences ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:41:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone I am working with said that two of his sisters - one is a university lecturer - and most of the people he knows there are out on the street. Of his family of maybe 200 in Tehran, only one is an Ahmadinejad supporter.

These are middle class people who have been badly hit by the 75% or so inflation rate (as opposed to the official rate). They are the people in the marzipan layer who actually run Iran.

The participation of women is widespread, and could well be crucial to the outcome, as it was in Iceland.

My friend says that there will be no going back to the staus quo ante, and that the next few days will be crucial.

This quote two days ago from a very well placed (and genuinely religious, although he makes nothing of it) contact of mine in Iran summed it up.

Yes, the situation is very unpleasant and unexpected. We have no doubt that we are now facing a situation that a group with some sort of ideology that in our opinion is very different with what late Emam Khomeini presented to us are consolidating their administrative power. What worries me is the fact that they have not yet clearly indicated what sort of political view as well as religious sect they would like whole country to follow.


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 02:14:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mousavi has called for a General Strike if arrested.

[Meta:  Should we take this off the Open Thread to a diary?]

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:46:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've posted a diary we can use if people would like to.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:48:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's move it.

See everybody there.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 12:50:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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