Iran directly accused the United States of meddling in the deepening crisis over a disputed presidential election and broadened its media clampdown Wednesday to include blogs and news Web sites. But protesters took to the streets in growing defiance of the country’s Islamic rulers.
The sweep of events — including more arrests and a call for another mass opposition march through Tehran — displayed the sharpening attacks by authorities but also the unprecedented challenges directed at the very heart of Iran’s Islamic regime: its supreme leader and the cleric-run system.
Any serious shift of the protest anger toward Iran’s non-elected theocracy would sharply change the stakes. Instead of a clash over the June 12 election results, it would become a showdown over the core premise of Iran’s system of rule — the almost unlimited authority of the clerics at the top.
For the moment, however, both sides appear to be using the same tactics since the disputed results showed hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the landslide winner.
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi called for another mass rally Thursday in defiance of Iran’s most powerful figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has urged the nation to unite behind the Islamic state.
Authorities rounded up perceived dissidents and tried to further muzzle Web sites and other networks used by Mousavi’s backers to share information and send out details of Iran’s crisis after foreign journalists were banned from reporting in the streets.
Officials also stepped up claims that foreign hands have been behind the unrest.
An Iranian statement blamed Washington for “intolerable” interference in the showdown over allegations of vote-rigging and fraud. The report, on state-run Press TV, cited no evidence.
……The State Department this week asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintenance shutdown of its service to keep information flowing from inside Iran, three U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
A State Department spokesman said Washington was withholding judgment about the election and was not interfering in Iran’s internal affairs. President Barack Obama has offered to open talks with Iranian leaders to end a nearly 30-year diplomatic freeze.
The “interference” amounts to requesting that Twitter postpone maintenence so that comms can be mantained with the outside world.
It damned sure doesn’t have anything to do with a “deeply toubled” Obama sitting on the sidelines.
In other words, he hasn’t done shit. If anything, Nicholas Sarkozy has picked up the ball dropped by THE ONE.
To all the world-wide imbeciles who supported this corrupt empty suit throughout his campaign: when push comes to shove did you really expect a smooth-talking milksop to have the ability to take the lead in solving a crisis? We need a Ronald Reagan, or a George W. Bush, not a Jimmy Carter clone.
How’s that “change” working out for ya?