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[Update XI: Iran closes Al Arabiya's offices in Tehran] Iran Erupts: Sham Election Ignites Heated Protests

June 13, 2009

Black smoke rises above the Tehran skyline Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 13, 2009.

As I was preparing to post on the recent Iranian election, I decided to go straight to the source as it were and link to Iranian bloggers. One as I mention below is living in Canada the other three are in Iran.

This morning I find the below linked post has been pulled from Opium and Saffron.  Interesting… – VH

– Opium and Saffron

That said, it seems amazing that the incumbent could win by such a margin. Its been pointed out that for him to receive so many votes, many people who voted for reformist candidates in the past election would have had to switch to Ahmadinejad this time, which seems unlikely. There’s also a report that challenger Karoubi lost his hometown to Ahmadinejad by a better than 2-1 margin! Odd.

Finally, and most importantly, I think, a system that allows the incumbent to basically count the votes through his control of the Interior Ministry deserves to be suspect.

Indeed…

Is Ajad being set up to become a dictator of Iran?

Iran Election: Electoral fraud – Rotten Gods

Iran’s electoral commission reported that Mr. Ahmadinejad re-elected as president! of Iran and Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenie approved it. Mr. Mousvai proteted at result and called it charade which will establish dictatorship.

After an extraordinary Election Day and overwhelming crowd, mostly young who were force for Mr. Mousvai headed towards polling stations despite all rumors that Ahmadinejad government would change votes and provides fraud results, this news was shocking almost to all Iranians. Everyone is in shock and denial because most people voted to Mousavi.

Well according to Haaretz Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has been arrested.

A startling first hand account of the Iranian election. Was the fix in before Iranian citizens even arrived at the polls(?)

Iranian blogger Homayoon of The Master’s Thoughts lists several reasons why he believes the election was fixed.

Musavi and Karrubi have already published a list of the violations they saw during the election. I’m not going to reiterate them here. I’m only lisiting the most important reasons that make me sure the whole eleciton was a joke.

* I had read in Musavi’s website that his election code was 77. When I came at the polling station I saw a list of candidates. Next to Musavi’s name I saw the number 4. I was going to write that number actually, but then I asked one of the present officials and he showed me another list, a smaller and less noticeable one, which showed the code numbers. The list started with Ahmadinejad, whose code was 44 and ended with Musavi, 77. I’m sure many people just wrote 4, and the Interior Ministry officials where more than happy to correct 4 to 44.  Read the rest! >>>

Push is coming to shove in Iran. Just look at the numbers hitting the streets of Tehran in protest of the election results.  Literal throngs of Iranians showing their displeasure at the election results. Is this a civil war in the making?

“Death to the government”
Embedded videos


Link @YouTube


Link @YouTube

Strike in Vanak SQ, Tehran, Iran…after huge corruption in election’s result by the current government. people fighting with anti riot forces.

A supporter of Iran's moderate presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi makes a statement Tehran June 13, 2009.

they are shouting for freedom.

Winston (Canada based Iranian) who blogs at The Spirit of Man reports:

Update 5: Some Persian language news websites report that the security is tight in Tehran. There’s an undeclared martial law in place in major cities. The ministry of Interior bldg is now guarded by revolutionary guards. Azarmehr from UK reports that regime thugs are out in the streets.

Update 6 on June 13th @ 2am ET: Regime’s security forces have begun crushing the reformists’ gatherings in several locations across the capital city of Tehran. Chief of Police of the city has announced that any public gathering is illegal and will be crushed. Some reformers’ campaign offices are ransacked.

Update:
It is getting ugly. Real ugly.

A member of the Basij militia part of the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps threatens Iranians with death if they dare go out into the street. Protesters chant “Death to the dictator”

JASON REZAIAN – TEHRAN BUREAU

Amidst the anger, there was still a sense of excitement and exuberance earlier as it seems the nation is releasing frustrations that have been bottled up for decades.

Just south, above Valiasr Sq., one of Tehran’s major commercial hubs, lines of protesters blocked traffic on the city’s most used street. They chanted “Death to the Dictator!” In every direction small groups,
usually four or five, congregated to discuss what they’d seen, sometimes dispersing when the police began to move.

A woman, who was trying to cross the avenue, was shoved onto the sidewalk by a member of the Basij, who spat at her: “We will kill those of you who come into the street!” As she walked away she remarked in disbelief, “They steal our vote and then they talk to us like that?”

Update II:

More from Winston at The Spirit of Man. Keep an eye on his site for updates. I’m posting one here he has much more.

Updated at 9:45 pm ET:  Regime is now cutting off electricity to parts of Tehran. It claims the cut off is due to grid repair. It’s believed that security forces are preparing for a massive attack on opposition groups in the morning/daylight. I’ll keep you posted

Update III:

Farnaz Fassih – WSJ

There was unconfirmed shooting reported in northern Tehran with reports of one woman injured from stray bullets.

Several journalists were beaten badly, and a female protester was beaten unconscious by uniformed police.

Most shopkeepers had closed their stores along the street. But several also opened their doors to provide refuge to protesters. At a traditional Persian restaurant, security forces knocked down the front door, and dragged out dozens of young men and women.

Update IV:

The suppression of American press.

Jim Sciutto (ABC News Sr. Foreign Correspondent) tweets:

police confiscated our camera and videotapes. We are shooting protests and police violence on our cell phones

Update V:

Ynetnews – Al-Arabiya: At least 3 dead in Tehran riots

Update VI:

Open Letter: Fatwa Issued for Changing the Vote in Favor of Ahmadinejad
Excerpt

[TEHRAN BUREAU] In an open letter, a group of employees of Iran’s Interior Ministry (which supervises the elections) warned the nation that a hard-line ayatollah, who supports President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has issued a Fatwa authorizing changing votes in the incumbent’s favor.

[snip]

After several polls taken by the government in May that indicated a rapid loss of support for the President, an ayatollah, who used to speak about political philosophy in Tehran’s  public Friday prayers, held a confidential meeting with the elections’ supervisors. Quoting the Bagharah Soureh, verse 249, of the holy Quran, to justify vote fraud, he stated that,

“If someone is elected the president and hurts the Islamic values that have been spread [by Mr. Ahmadinejad] to Lebanon, Palestine, Venezuela, and other places, it is against Islam to vote for that person. We should not vote for that person, and also warn people about that person. It is your religious duty as the supervisors of the elections to do so.”

“You should throw away those who are unqualified, both morally and lawfully. Your highest call of duty at this time is to preserve your achievement.”

Plenty more here.

Update VII:

Foreign journalists asked (or told?) to leave Iran:

TEHRAN/CAIRO (AlArabiya.net, Agencies

Iranian security forces have asked foreign journalists covering the elections to leave the country as shooting erupted in Fatimi square near Tehran’s interior ministry after the ministry announced President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad’s resounding victory in Friday’s vote.

Update VIII:

Iran is quickly “going dark”

More news of journalists being told to leave Iran. Arrests, roughing up, film seizure, film permits revoked –the whole shabang. As Dutch National Television Current affairs program NOVA reports:

Film Permits revoked
Eikelboom and Hilgers for the headquarters of Mousavi, the opponent of Ahmadinejad, the filming when they were arrested by riot police. They were pressed against the wall and their recording tapes were seized. Their film permit is revoked and they should leave the country immediately.

Also on Saturday, the NOVA team held a number of times by the secret service and police.  In his report Jan Eikelboom said: “The dream of many democratic Iran Irish (<-lost in translation ?-VH) lies in tatters. Iran is again what it was thirty years, a religious dictatorship.”

H/T rzbh

Update VIIII:

Change_for_Iran  tweets from inside Iran:

IRG’s [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] helicopter flying low on yousefabadad Amirabad Gisha right now creating a devastating sound and making windows shake

Update X:

Fox News

TEHRAN, Iran —  More than 100 reformists, including the brother of former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, were arrested Saturday night, leading reformist Mohammad Ali Abtahi told Reuters.

“They were taken from their homes last night,” former vice president Abtahi said.

Authorities released the former president’s brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami, on Sunday, his wife said. She said at least two other top leaders of Iran’s largest reformist party, including the party’s secretary-general, were also released early Sunday, but that others remained in custody.

Additional arrests were expected.

Iranian officials, however, disputed the claims and said the reformists were merely summoned and “warned not to increase tension.”

Tehran deputy prosecutor, Mahmoud Slarkia, told the semi-official ISNA news agency that less than 10 people were arrested on the charge of “disturbing public opinion” through their “false reports” on Web sites after the election.[…]

Update XI:

Iran closes Al Arabiya’s offices in Tehran – AlArabiya.net.

Iranian authorities closed down Al Arabiya’s Tehran bureau Sunday afternoon amid heightened tensions in the violent aftermath of a disputed election victory by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinijad over leading reformist rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Officials gave no explanation for the decision to shut the office for a week, effectively preventing broadcasting from the country amid riots and protests by reformists over what they allege was a fraudulent election and rival protests planned by supporters of Ahmedinijad.

Diaa al-Nasseri, Al Arabiya’s correspondent in Tehran, announced Iran’s decision live on-air and said he was asked by the Ministry of Information to change a report and then notified that the offices would be closed for a week.

Image H/T Fariborz Shamshiri at Rotten Gods (Click link to view more)
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3 Comments
  1. June 13, 2009 7:23 pm

    good reporting. thnx

    winston’s last blog post..Clashing

  2. June 14, 2009 6:14 am

    I’ve been watching Amadinejad’s victory speech on the CNN site. Hitler all over again?

    Always On Watch’s last blog post..Iran: Clashes Within (With Addendum)

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