Iran has been responsible for the spread of terrorism, including the support of Hezbollah and the Mahdi Army in Iraq.
I’d have rather seen Iran vaporized along with several other ME countries on 12 September 2001, but if there’s a chance we can help destroy the Islamofascist bastards and bring democratic reform from within, lets do it.
Iranian government thugs use rape, torture, and murder to silence protesters, and President Punchdrunk still thinks Ahmadinejad is the ‘legitimate’ president of Iran.
Taraneh Mousavi is a 28 year old trainee beautician who was arrested more than two weeks ago by security forces on the fringe of the rally on 7th tir (28th june)
Reports indicate that her family were told that she was in danger due to damage to her anus and womb.
According to reports, this young woman was arrested by plain clothes security forces at 6 pm after participating in the 7th tir ceremony at Ghoba mosque. While after interrogation all other detainees were brought to Nobonyad police station by basij and intelligence agents, the plain clothes agents kept Taraneh in a building near Hosseinie Ershad.
According to witnesses, while most of the participants in the ceremony were dressed in normal clothes and trainers, Taraneh was wearing chic clothes and high-heeled shoes, and caught the interrogators’ attention because of her hairstyle, make-up and beauty.
When Taraneh’s family, who live in Jeyhoun Street in West Tehran, went to look for her at Nobonyad police station, the officers at the station said they didn’t know anything about her. But the other detainees told the family that Taraneh was in custody with the Basijis and hadn’t been turned over to the police station. This made the family even more worried.
The probability the she had been gang raped increased when a couple of days later an unidentified person telephoned the family and said that after an “accident” Taraneh had been admitted to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj because of tears in her womb and anus.
Tens of thousands of Iranians flooded the streets of Tehran Friday to hear the country’s most influential powerbroker pronounce the Islamic Republic in crisis, calling for the release of those arrested in recent pro-democracy demonstrations.
In a devastating attack on the regime, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a leading cleric and former President, told a crowd at Tehran University that the Government had lost the people’s trust. Referring to the handling of last month’s disputed election, which President Ahmadinejad claims to have won, he said that the custodians of the Islamic Revolution had undermined its basic principles.
Iraqis Mum on Iranian Protests
The street clashes and other political protests that followed Iran’s disputed presidential elections last month have dominated regional and world news for weeks but caused barely a ripple in Iran’s old rival, Iraq.
No statements have been issued by Iraqi political parties that got their start in exile in Iran during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Although as many as 2,000 Iranian religious pilgrims enter Iraq daily, there have been no demonstrations, like the sympathy protests that have taken place from New York to Dubai.
Dozens of Iraqi politicians, when asked for comment regarding the events in Tehran, have either declined to answer or said it was “an Iranian internal matter.” One politician, who asked not to be named, called the question “embarrassing” and stormed off.
One reason for the reticence is the influence the Iranian government wields on its western neighbor since the United States overthrew Iran’s nemesis Saddam Hussein six years ago. Many of the Shi’ite Muslim leaders of Iraq, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, spent time in exile in Iran while Saddam was in power.
“Many of us are afraid to talk about it at all, or to even say the word ‘Iran,’ ” said Mithal al-Alusi, a popular Sunni Muslim lawmaker who is known for speaking his mind. Mr. al-Alusi and other politicians who agreed to speak only off the record said key Iraqi political parties still receive substantial funding and “instruction” from Iran.
That’s pretty screwed up. The Iraqis have a fledgling democracy which was paid for with the sacrifice of American troops, but they don’t have the guts to stand up to Iran. They had better grow a pair, or they will never survive.
The latest on the crackdown on freedom:
Iranian government thugs reportedly hang Mousavi supporters.
As the Iranian authorities warned the opposition on Tuesday that they would tolerate no further protests over the disputed June 12 presidential elections, a report emerged of the hangings of six supporters of defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Speaking after Iran’s top legislative body upheld the election victory of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sources in Iran told this reporter in a telephone interview that the hangings took place in the holy city of Mashhad on Monday. There was no independent confirmation of the report.
……Underlining the climate of fear among direct and even indirect supporters of Mousavi’s campaign for the election to be annulled, the sources also reported that a prominent cleric gave a speech to opposition protesters in Teheran earlier this week in which he publicly acknowledged that the very act of speaking at the gathering would likely cost him his life.
……On Monday, witnesses said thousands of policemen and Basij militiamen carrying batons were deployed in Teheran’s main squares to prevent any recurrence of the opposition protests. Drivers who so much as shouted “Allahu Akbar” or beeped their horns had their windows smashed by the Basiji and riot police.
……”Some people are still going out into the streets, but there is despair and sadness,” said one source.
Iran’s feared Basij militia asked the country’s chief prosecutor Wednesday to investigate embattled opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi for his role in violent protests that it said undermined national security in the aftermath of last month’s presidential election.
The semiofficial Fars news agency said the militia — known as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s street enforcers — sent the prosecutor a letter accusing Mousavi of taking part in nine offenses against the state, including “disturbing the nation’s security,” which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Iranian authorities have banned a newspaper allied to presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi after he denounced Iran’s government as “illegitimate” because of claims of voting fraud in last month’s election, a reformist political group said Wednesday.
The closure of the daily Etemad-e-Melli, or National Confidence, is another blow by officials seeking to block media and Web sites critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed June 12 re-election was confirmed this week by Iran’s powerful Guardian Council.
……It’s unclear how many people have been detained during the post-election riots and protests, but at least one group, the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights, claimed at least 2,000 arrests have been made. Officials place the death toll at 17 protesters and eight security forces, but the figures could be not independently verified because of media restrictions.
Mahmoud says Neda’s death “suspicious”. Especially since it was a government assassin who took her out, ya swarthy fuck.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked Iran’s cleric-controlled judiciary on Monday to investigate the killing of Neda Agha Soltan, who became an icon of Iran’s ragtag opposition after gruesome video of her bleeding to death on a Tehran street was circulated worldwide.
Ahmadinejad’s Web site said Soltan was slain by “unknown agents and in a suspicious” way, convincing him that “enemies of the nation” were responsible.
The regime has implicated protesters and even foreign intelligence agents in Soltan’s death. But an Iranian doctor who said he tried to save her told the BBC last week she apparently was shot by a member of the volunteer Basij militia. Protesters spotted an armed member of the militia on a motorcycle, and stopped and disarmed him, Dr. Arash Hejazi said.
The investigation will be conducted by the same thugs who did the “recount”.
The protests against the election fraud continue.
Iran’s election oversight body on Monday declared the hotly disputed presidential vote to be valid after a partial recount, rejecting opposition allegations of fraud and further silencing calls for a new vote.
State television reported that the Guardian Council presented the conclusion in a letter to the Interior Minister following a recount of a what was described as a randomly selected 10 percent of the almost 40 million ballots cast June 12.
The “meticulous and comprehensive examination” revealed only “slight irregularities that are common to any election and needless of attentionegularities that are common to any election and needless of attention,” Guardian Council head Ahmed Jannati said in a letter, according to the state TV channel IRIB.
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi claims he, not incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was the rightful winner and has called for a new election, something the government has repeatedly said it will not do. “From today on, the file on the presidential election has been closed,” Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said on state-run Press TV.
Mousavi supporters have taken to the streets in protest after the election, outraged by official results that gave Ahmadinejad the victory by a roughly 2-1 margin. Police and the feared Basij militia have taken increasingly harsh measures against the demonstrators, prompting widespread international criticism.
Hundreds Missing in Iran
MORE than 2000 people are still in detention and hundreds more are missing in Iran since a government crackdown on protests over a disputed presidential election, the FIDH human rights group says.
“According to the latest information we have, more than 2000 people have been arrested and are currently in detention,” Karim Lahidji, vice president of the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), said.
“Hundreds of people are missing, according to independent information that has came to us from Tehran since yesterday,” he said at a protest meeting in Paris held to denounce the crackdown in Iran.
Lahidji, who is also president of the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights, said the information had come from several different sources inside Iran, including from families with members missing or detained.
Ahmadinejad opens his piehole to slam the U.S.
Iran’s hardline president lashed out anew at the United States and President Barack Obama on Saturday, accusing him of interference and suggesting that Washington’s stance on Iran’s postelection turmoil could imperil Obama’s aim of improving relations.
“We are surprised at Mr. Obama,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks to judiciary officials broadcast on state television. “Didn’t he say that he was after change? Why did he interfere?”
“They keep saying that they want to hold talks with Iran … but is this the correct way? Definitely, they have made a mistake,” Ahmadinejad said.
Obama was strongly criticized at home and by many abroad, for his initial measured response to opposition allegations that Ahmadinejad was re-elected by fraud in the June 12 balloting and to the harsh crackdown on protesters. The Obama administration wants to improve contacts with Tehran, especially because of concern that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and Obama appeared unwilling to jeopardize that goal with strong statements against Iran’s authorities.
But on Friday, he hailed the demonstrators in Iran and condemned the violence against them.
“Their bravery in the face of brutality is a testament to their enduring pursuit of justice,” Obama said. “The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous. In spite of the government’s efforts to keep the world from bearing witness to that violence, we see it and we condemn it.”
Interfere? Outside of finally condemning the brutal crackdown against the protesters, Obama hasn’t done squat.
The repression continues.
State Department officials monitoring events in Iran from Dubai have relayed back to Washington that Mousavi’s Web site “Kalemah,” his last link to the outside world, is completely shut down.
They also noted reports on Iranian Web sites alleging that jailed Mousavi supporters have been tortured in an attempt to force them into TV “confessions” of a foreign-led plot against the Islamic regime.
A newspaper with strong ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has published a letter calling on Iran’s Justice Minister to prosecute Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi for allegedly violating Islamic and constitutional law through her human rights advocacy.
Ahmadinejad says Iran “pioneers democracy”.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad emphasized that Islamic Republic of Iran is a forerunner in democracy and global management. According to IRIB, addressing Iran Armed Forces Industrial Research Festival on Sunday, President Ahmadinejad underlined that currently Islamic Iran pioneers the scientific scenes, democracy, and global management and that the recent presidential poll is the beginning of the end of World Arrogance domination over the world.
President considered 10th presidential poll as a source of major development in international relations and underscored: “In this election, the role model of democracy that was displayed in Iran was unprecedented and exclusive such that it challenged the democracies in Western countries.”
President noted: “In Western countries, democracy is 100% controlled and people’s role is ceremonial. But, what happened in Islamic Iran was the true manifestation of the nation’s resolve and determination.”
He added: “Following Iran’s election, the US and British leaders became concerned about their own existence and launched a sinister effort to defend the oppressive system that they have imposed on the world.”
President Ahmadinejad stressed: “Today, the enemies are upset because a nation has understood its capacity and is turning into a role model for the international community.”
Iran “pioneers democracy”? That’s what that fucking moonbat calls a rigged election and a brutal crackdown. What a role model.
This oughta ‘move’ Barack somemore:
The family, clad in black, stood at the curb of the road sobbing. A middle-aged mother slapped her cheeks, letting out piercing wails. The father, a frail man who worked as a doorman at a clinic in central Tehran, wept quietly with his head bowed.
Minutes before, an ambulance had arrived from Tehran’s morgue carrying the body of their only son, 19-year-old Kaveh Alipour.
On Saturday, amid the most violent clashes between security forces and protesters, Mr. Alipour was shot in the head as he stood at an intersection in downtown Tehran. He was returning from acting class and a week shy of becoming a groom, his family said.
The details of his death remain unclear. He had been alone. Neighbors and relatives think that he got trapped in the crossfire. He wasn’t politically active and hadn’t taken part in the turmoil that has rocked Iran for over a week, they said.
……Upon learning of his son’s death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a “bullet fee”—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.
Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn’t amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour’s body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.
Said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs of Obama: “I think he has been moved what we’ve seen on television. I think particularly so by images of women in Iran who have stood up for their right to demonstrate, to speak out and to be heard.”
THE ONE had more to say about George Tiller’s murder than Neda’s. Well, he’s gotta have his priorities. After Tiller, ice cream comes second.
And of course, the invite to the 4th of July celebration is still on:
The United States said Monday its invitations were still standing for Iranian diplomats to attend July 4 celebrations at US embassies despite the crackdown on opposition supporters.
…Obama’s administration said earlier this month it would invite Iran to US embassy barbecues for the national holiday for the first time since the two nations severed relations following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“There’s no thought to rescinding the invitations to Iranian diplomats,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters.
While you’re munching on hot dogs Obama, maybe you can ask yourself if you see any parallel between the fight for our own independence and what’s going on in Iran right now.
A beautiful, classic analogy via comatus at Ace of Spades:
I finally looked at her picture, and she looked familiar somehow. I think we have a statue of her in the harbor at New York. Delacroix caught a glimpse of her once on a barricade in Paris. She carried water to the cannon crews at Monmouth, and drove a chariot at Watling Street. She cut off Holophernes’ head.
She will be missed, but she will be back. She’s that kind of girl.
Posted by: comatus at June 22, 2009 01:27 PM (XTm8J)
Guardian Council refuses to nullify ‘election’:
Iran’s top electoral body said Tuesday it found “no major fraud” and will not annul the results of the presidential election, closing the door to a do-over sought by angry opposition supporters alleging systematic vote-rigging.
Iranian government officials have repeatedly suggested that a revote is extremely unlikely. However, Tuesday’s announcement by Iran’s top electoral body, the Guardian Council, was the clearest yet in ruling out a new election.
The announcement on Iran’s state-run English language Press TV is another sign the regime is determined to crush the post-election protests — the strongest challenge to its leadership in 30 years — rather than compromise.
Government warnings to the protesters have intensified.
Ebrahim Raisi, a top judicial official, confirmed Tuesday that a special court has been set up to deal with detained protesters. “Elements of riots must be dealt with to set an example. The judiciary will do that,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run radio. The judiciary is controlled by Iran’s ruling clerics.
In recent days, Iran’s supreme leader has ordered demonstrators off the streets and the feared Revolutionary Guards has threatened a tough crackdown. At least 17 people have been killed in near-daily demonstrations, including at least one that drew hundreds of thousands.
In recent days, members of the Revolutionary Guard, the Basij militia and other Iranian security forces in riot gear have been deployed across Tehran, preventing any gatherings and ordering people to keep moving. A protest of some 200 people Monday was quickly broken up with tear gas and shots in the air.
In a boost for the embattled regime, Russia said Tuesday that it respects the declared election result, which the Iranian government described as a landslide victory for hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The U.S. and many European countries have refrained from challenging the election outcome directly, but have issued increasingly stern warnings against continuing violence meted out to demonstrators.
Stern warnings…is that all you got?
Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has charged massive fraud and insists he is the true winner.
However, the Guardian Council found “no major fraud or breach in the election,” a spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted by Press TV as saying. “Therefore, there is no possibility of an annulment taking place.”
The 12-member council has the authority to annul or validate the election. On Monday, it said in a rare acknowledgement that it found voting irregularities in 50 of 170 districts, including vote counts that exceeded the number of eligible voters. Still, it said the discrepancies, involving some 3 million votes, were not widespread enough to affect the outcome.
Iran has 46.2 million eligible voters, one-third of them under 30. The final tally was 62.6 percent of the vote for Ahmadinejad and 33.75 percent for Mousavi, a landslide victory in a race that was perceived to be much closer.
Much closer…as in rigged.
A backstage struggle among Iran’s ruling clerics burst into the open Sunday when the government said it had arrested the daughter and other relatives of an ayatollah who is one of the country’s most powerful men.
Tehran’s streets fell mostly quiet for the first time since a bitterly disputed June 12 presidential election, but cries of “God is great!” echoed again from rooftops after dark, a sign of seething anger at a government crackdown that peaked with at least 10 protesters’ deaths Saturday.
The killings drove the official death toll to at least 17 after a week of massive street demonstrations by protesters who say hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole his re-election win. But searing images — including gruesome video purporting to show the fatal shooting of a teenage girl — hinted the true toll may be higher.
Police and the feared Basij militia swarmed the streets of Tehran to prevent more protests and the government intensified a crackdown on independent media — expelling a BBC correspondent, suspending the Dubai-based network Al-Arabiya and detaining at least two local journalists for U.S. magazines.
Iran stands at the precipice. They can either continue to fight like hell for reform and freedom or succumb to the brutality of an Islamofascist regime. If Mousavi does succeed in assuming power, he needs to distance himself from the extremist clerics and prove that he and Ahmadinejad are not ‘two of a kind’.
Via Michael Ledeen at The Corner:
This may help clarify matters for those who wonder what the Iranian dissidents want. I posted it on my blog a while ago. As I said on my blog, we are all getting various things whose authenticity requires skepticism. I’m confident of the channel—a person who is directly in contact with Mousavi and his people—but I can’t swear this has been approved by Mousavi himself. Still, I do think it reflects the state of mind of his people. Notice that it doesn’t bear his signature; it’s from “the office.”
From the Office of Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi
To the President of the USA, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama:
Dear Mr. President,
In the name of the Iranian people, we want you to know that when you recently made the statement “Achmadinejad or Mousavi? Two of a kind,” we consider this as a grave and deep insult, not just to Mr. Mousavi but especially against the judgment of the Iranian people, against our moral conviction and intelligence, especially those of the young generation that comprises a population of 31 million.
It is a specially grave insult for those who are now fighting for democracy and freedom, and an unwarranted gift and even praise for Mr. Khamenei, whose security forces are now killing peaceful Iranians in the streets of every major city in the country.
Your statement misled the people of the world. It was no doubt inspired by your hope for dialogue with this regime, but you cannot possibly believe in promises from a regime that lies to its own people and then kills them when they demand the promises be kept.
By such statements, your administration and you discourage the Iranian people, who believe and trust in the values of democracy and freedom. We are pleased to see that you have condemned the regime’s murderous violence, and we look forward to stronger support for the rightful struggle of the Iranian people against the actions of a regime that is your enemy as well as ours.
06/20 11:26 PM
If the statement is actually from Mousavi, it’s quite a bombshell.
Ahmadinejad comes out of hiding, says U.S., Britain not in his ‘circle of friends’.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned the United States and Britain Sunday to stop meddling in Iran’s internal affairs, the ISNA news agency reported.”Definitely by hasty remarks you will not be placed in the circle of friendship with the Iranian nation. Therefore I advise you to correct your interfering stances,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
“They (Western countries) want to portray as small the great and powerful position that has been created for the Iranian nation inside and outside after the recent election, by which of course they made a mistake and they showed they still do not know the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said.
“Definitely recent events will add to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s greatness and might,” he said.
Iranian officials said Sunday they will announce the results of their investigation of complaints related to the disputed election by the end of the week, Reuters reported.
Rafsanjani, 75, has made no secret of his distaste for Ahmadinejad, whose re-election victory in a June 12 vote was disputed by Mousavi. Ahmadinejad has accused Rafsanjani and his family of corruption.
The influential Rafsanjani now heads two very powerful groups. The most important one is the Assembly of Experts, made up of senior clerics who can elect and dismiss the supreme leader. The second is the Expediency Council, a body that arbitrates disputes between parliament and the unelected Guardian Council, which can block legislation.
His daughter’s arrest came as something of a surprise: Just Friday, Khamenei had praised Rafsanjani as one of the architects of the revolution and an effective political figure for many years. Khamenei acknowledged, however, that the two have “many differences of opinion.”
In Iran a “difference of opinion” with the government can get you killed. Looks like the Obamessiah’s savior personna is wearing thin. He didn’t even criticize the Iranian government that badly, and Mahmoud is acting like he’s been jilted. ‘Pretty please stop the oppression’ and “monitoring the situation” isn’t meddling. And besides, Obama was the first one to insist he’s not.
It’s been a bloody day in Iran. The Government militia cocksuckers have tallied up more brutal deaths. The video at the link shows a woman being shot to death.
This is the accompanying text:
Basij shots (sic) to death a young woman in Tehran’s Saturday June 20th protests
At 19:05 June 20th
Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st.
A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes.
The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St.
The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me.
Please let the world know.
Hey B. HUSSEIN OBAMA, can you take time out of your little ice cream trip so lovingly described by CBS hack Mark Knoller to oh, I dunno….CONDEMN THE MUTHERFUCKERS WHO DID THIS?
The young woman’s name was reported as Neda Agha Soltan, she was only 27.
Here is her picture:
The girl in the video is called Neda Agha Soltan. born 1982, she was a philosophy student. Neda’s body has been given back to her family by the police under the condition that there is a quick and disrete / secret / low profile funeral. The Mosques in Tehran are under pressure not to accept the funeral proceedings for Neda. Already the original ceremony at Masjed Al-Reza Mosque located on Niloufar Square was cancelled. It was scheduled for 4.30pm today. The man with the striped shirt is her father.
More at Hot Air:
Patterico offers a contrast between the maelstrom in Iran and THE ONE’s little ice cream outing.
Iranian police brutality at Shiraz University
Remember what happened in 1979? This is delicious irony because Ahmadinejad was part of the 1979 government overthrow as well as the hostage taking at the American embassy. Iran was plunged into a 30 year theocratic dictatorship, and hopefully it will be over soon.
By the way, Ahmadinejad is in hiding. He’s letting his ‘superiors’ do the talking.
Obama came out from under his desk just to tell the Iranian government to ‘stop’.
Obama on Saturday called on the Iranian government to “stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people” amid calls for the White House to go further in showing support for the Iranian people after the country’s disputed elections.
Republicans, in particular, have pressed Obama to speak out more forcefully, as protesters and authorities clashed Saturday in Tehran during a government crackdown.
“The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights,” Obama said in a written statement.
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.
As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.
Okay, now that you’ve got them shaking in their turbans with a lecture about “rights to assembly and free speech”—freedoms that have not been allowed in Iran for the last 3 decades—maybe you can find your missing gonads and do something forceful. Like cutting off all diplomatic relations with the Iranian dictatorship, cutting off all foreign trade (including GE’s unethical business relationship) and freezing assets. You might also express open support for the protesters and their candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
All photos courtesy of Reuters.
More news to burden the “deeply troubled” Obamessiah.
Witnesses said police beat protesters and fired tear gas and water cannons at thousands who rallied in Tehran Saturday in open defiance of Iran’s clerical government, sharply escalating the most serious internal conflict since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The eyewitnesses described fierce clashes near Revolution Square in central Tehran after some 3,000 protesters chanted “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to dictatorship!” Police responded with tear gas and water cannons.
……between 50 and 60 protesters were seriously beaten by police and pro-government militia and taken to Imam Khomeini hospital in central Tehran. People could be seen dragging away comrades bloodied by baton strikes.
Helicopters hovered over central Tehran. Ambulance sirens echoed through the streets and black smoke rose over the city.
Tehran University was cordoned off by police and militia while students inside the university chanted “death to the dictator,” witnesses said.
……Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned opposition leaders on Friday to end street protests or be held responsible for any “bloodshed and chaos” to come.
……Tehran Province Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan said earlier in the day “police forces will crack down on any gathering or protest rally which are being planned by some people.”
……The government statements were the most explicit warnings yet of force against protesters who gathered in massive rallies last week to demand the government cancel and rerun elections that ended with a declaration of overwhelming victory for hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. ( Mir Hossein) Mousavi says he won but Ahmadinejad stole the election through widespread fraud.
Khamenei sided firmly with Ahmadinejad Friday, saying the result reflected popular will and ordering opposition leaders to end street protests or face the consequences.
The statement effectively closed the door to Mousavi’s demand for a new election, ratcheting up the possibility of a bloody confrontation.
Bottom line: Khamenei and company guaranteed Ahamadinejad’s “re-election” and that’s that. Anyone who doesn’t like it, gets beat up, arrested, and/or killed.
THE ONE doesn’t have much to say….as a matter of fact he has nothing to say. He’s just “monitoring” the situation…from under his desk.