Regime change Iran? [updated]
With hundreds of thousands of Iranians taking to the streets of Tehran in response to what they say is a rigged election, this is looking more and more like it could end with either hope or disaster. It could be either the toppling of “another Berlin Wall” – this time with the toppling of Tehran’s thirty-year Islamic dictatorship – or else the onset of another Tiananmen Square. Don’t know about you, but I’m keeping up with events at Michael Totten’s blog, Andrew Sullivan’s blog, and at Twitter – especially Persian Kiwi. From Andrew Sullivan:
A reader writes:We might be experiencing a true revolution here.
I just talked to my father in Iran a few minutes ago. He had been in the demonstrations. He was telling me people were chanting: "Ahmadi, Ahmadi 24 millionet koo?" ("Ahmadi, Ahmadi were are your 24 millions?") and "Ahmadi, Ahmadi 63-dar sadet koo?"("Ahmadi Ahmadi, where is your 63%").
He said that the protesters were chanting "Nirooye Entezami Hemayat Hemayat" (asking police for support) And he was also confirming that at the beginning when there were smaller groups, the police was attacking them, but as the crowd built up thay had to stand back.
Some recent reports from all sources:
- There are reports of about 3M ppl out on the streets. Millions of people marching in absolute silence.
- The demonstrators headed toward the capital's huge Freedom Square in the largest display of opposition to the election results to date. "Mousavi we support you! We will die but retrieve our votes!" shouted supporters, many wearing the trademark green colour of Mousavi's election campaign.
- And all these people are now breaking the law. The riot police are apparently standing back . .
- “Some Football Match, Mr Ahmadinejad. Some Crowd.”
- Car horn protests could be heard throughout the city, as could chants of "Bye bye dictator", "Ahmadi Nejad is the biggest liar in Iran," and "The president is committing a crime and the supreme leader is supporting him."
- Press TV is now reporting on “hundreds of thousands” in today’s rally from Enqelab Square to Azadi Square, protesting the outcome of the Iranian election. The gathering is in defiance of the Ministry of Interior’s refusal to give a permit. So far, based on video and on the correspondent’s report, the rally appears to be peaceful and calm.
Just to bring home the significance of the previous item, Press TV is state-owned media. Until this morning, it has given almost no attention to the protests against Ahmadinejad’s election. The sudden change to in-depth, even effusive coverage of the demonstrations points to a wider political shift . . .
- Iranian poet Sheema Kalbasi: Today is the day that the Islamic Republic officially transformed from a theocracy supported by Pasdaran to a Junta supported by a handful of clerics.
- Grand Ayatollah Sanei in Iran has declared Ahmadinejad's presidency illegitimate . . .
- Robert Tait, the Guardian's former Tehran correspondent, has been poring over leaked reports of the official results, allegedly leaked by disaffected officials. He and our diplomatic editor Julian Borger write: "The figures have been accompanied by claims from interior ministry sources that fake statistics were fed into a software program and then distributed to vote counts among polling stations to produce a plausible outcome. The same sources have also claimed that the interior ministry's statements announcing the results were prepared before Friday night's count." Such claims are being reported on websites that Iran is frantically trying to block, according to our blogs editor, Kevin Anderson. He explains the cat-and-mouse game between the authorities and internet users.
- Was Ahmadinejad's Win Rigged? at Time magazine.
- Bolton on the basic facts of the #iranelection that reporters are happier ignoring: http://bit.ly/1a4bow
- Former president Khatami has just called for the election to be declared VOID at todays protests in Tehran.
- Grand Ayatollah Saanei accompanies today's anti Ahmadinejad rally.
- NBC offices in Tehran raided, equipment confiscated. BBC told to leave Iran immediately.
- “Our ppl are tearing apart this regime by protesting on the streets”
- “Iran / today / Tehran. Is this really happening????”
- “Thousands has morphed into MILLIONS of people marching in Tehran. Truly SPEECHLESS.”
- “Most important world event since 9/11.”
- 3 students killed at Univ of Tehran.
- “World should know that ppl attending pro-Ahmadinejad rally were civil servants, they are sacked if they don’t participate.”
- “Very glad to see Twitter making a huge difference in information getting out about #iranelection . Hope there's change coming to Iran.”
- “Isn't this the type of change that #Obama should support? Should and Do are 2 separate things.”
- People were holding signs saying: We are not sheep.
- Hundreds of thousands of people are demonstrating from Engelab to Azadi. The number of people is constantly increasing as more people join to protest against the coup d’état.
- “@persiankiwi is now the world's most vital journalist #iranelection”
- “Juan Cole's evidence that the Iranian election was stolen http://bit.ly/pINRc - Juan knows his stuff.”
- “Al-Jazeera reporter - restrictions on media tightening. Unsafe to take camera/mobile on street - relying on ppl sending pics”
- Other cities also having their own parades but with MORE oppression; Mashhad, Babol, Tabriz, ...
- Students are being surrounded in Shiraz Uni civil police (Basij) is in fight with people.
- The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Tehran, says he understands plain-clothed militias [Basij] have been authorised to use live ammunition for the first time.
- Reuters reports gunshots have been heard at the pro-Mousavi rally!
- @abzole: People are getting killed in Azadi Sq.
- @BreakingNews BULLETIN -- GUNFIRE ERUPTS AT PRO-MOUSAVI RALLY IN TEHRAN, PEOPLE RUNNING. #IranElection
- #Tehran Apparently conventional Police's leaving field to Basij. This is usually the way brutal attacks begin.
- Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic is under digital attack (guess who). http://tinyurl.com/kt66sp
- Ambers posts some wise words about how to judge the torrent of information we and others online are bringing you. This is raw data - riveting raw data, but subject to subsequent review, analysis. Skepticism is merited. But open eyes and ears are as well.
- Unconfirmed as yet - Mousavi newspaper offices raided.
- “CNN gets some video, finally. But then you hear a simple statement from the anchor that Mousavi lost the election and telling us to wait for the official results in ten days' time. CNN no longer qualifies as a news channel.”
- Persian Kiwi: reliable soure from Ahvaz. Situation there is bad - violent clashes in streets.
- “Bassej are out in force in darkness. this is when they operate best. Streets are dangerous now for young people.”
- Persian Kiwi: “confirmed - there is shooting in Azadi sq. protesters wounded and shot, no numbers yet, still hearing gunfire.”