Here We Go...
Isfahan: "Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, dedicated to Iran" and "Confessions and torture have no influence on us."
Pictures and videos from Tehran
Liar, liar, where are your 64% of the votes?
Tehran: probably Hafte Tir Square and the slogan in support of Karoubi at the moment of his arrival:
Karoubi we support you.
Very good site with a cool name: http://homylafayette.blogspot.com/
09:56 BBC Persian Service announced that crowd attacked security forces in Shiraz and freed some demonstrators who had been arrested.
And in Tehran, crowds now chanting in support of grand ayatollahs Montazeri and Sane'i.
10:03 Tweeted report of gunshots in Tabriz. Also reports of demonstrations in Shiraz, Isfahan, Qom, elsewhere.
Finally pictures from Tabriz:
"Support for Mousavi, freedom for political prisoners."
Also, persistent rumors that Khamenei has ordered the arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi tonight after the fast is broken. That would be a sign of real fear by the supreme leader.
Timeout. I just got an audio I'm going to listen to it. And then do my exercises (I'm a recovering patient, remember, gotta work the HIP).
11:00 Some parts of Tehran can no longer be reached by telephone. Mobile phone system has been switched off.
From RFE/RL: an interview with a "reformist journalist"
Journalist: There are two important issues here. First of all, the Revolutionary Guard had announced last night that it will confront anyone who creates discord. But people took to the streets despite the warning. The Revolutionary Guard was discredited by this because they were not able to do much.
The other issue was that they kept saying the Green movement has died out and there are no more protests. They say that the "Allah Akbar" chants at night have decreased. But people came out today. They were determined. And from the beginning, they called on the government to resign. They demonstrated, despite the public revelations about rape in prisons, torture, and forced confessions. None of this has had any impact on the Green movement.
RFE/RL: What does the latest protest tell us about the future of the Green movement?
Journalist: Musavi now has a winning card. Three months after the [June 12 presidential vote], he can say: "I have many serious supporters who can come out in the streets despite the threats." In fact, we have thrown the ball into Musavi's court. And we have said: "Now it's your turn to find a solution."
This winning card should be used for political purposes. The ironic thing about today's protest was that when Ahmadinejad was saying in his speech that the Israelis kill Palestinians, we were being beaten and subjected to tear gas. It was very, very interesting.
PARS broadcasting, based in Southern California, has been jammed. The jamming apparently comes from Venezuela (previously it was Cuba). There is no excuse for this; it is another failure by the American Government. And it is not a failure unique to Chamberlain, because Bushitlercheney also failed to ensure good quality broadcasting to Iran, whether by "official" organizations like VOA (which used to attack Bush and defend the mullahs) or by the independent stations of the diasapora like PARS.
Senator Coburn has been a lonely voice on this subject, and here once again we have American "leaders" who, by their silence, have become accomplices to evil. I will shortly be praying for forgiveness, I would hate to have to beg forgiveness for their complicity in the great evil of our time.
11:10 I am getting "server error" on twitter
11:14 Whew! it's ok again.
There have been reports of shooting in other cities, but not in Tehran, where on the contrary there are some reports of security forces joining the people. In Azadi Square there was considerable violence from the security forces, and the assault against Khatami was very serious, led by shariatmadari, a nasty man with a noble name. But Khatami's bodyguards were up to the challenge.
When Mousavi's car was attacked, on the other hand, hundreds of people defended him, and the thugs had to retreat.
It's getting to the end of the fast now, and you can expect a new round of demonstrations. If the regime is going to try to demonstrate strength, now is the time. Otherwise it will have been a very good day for the revolution, and a decidedly negative one for the ancien regime.
11:30 As I feared, reports that internet/SMS are down in many areas of the country, and security forces going house to house. They will find that some houses are ready for them, I suspect.
Have a look at Tehran Bureau. Nice photos of damsels in distress.
11:47 Tweet: "Confirmed list of protests in: Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz, Rasht, Ahvaz, Qom, Mashhad and Kerman".
I don't know what "confirmed" means. Caveat emptor. But certainly Isfahan, Tehran, Shiraz, Qom and Tabriz are right. Mashad would be important, it's a key city for the regime (supplying Taliban etc., and likely secret nuclear facility).
11:57 Well, at least one tweeter thinks he/she knows about Mashad: "Mashhad: Clashes between Greens n secforces in different parts of the city Tear gas was extensively used."
12:12 Green wit again: "Reports coming in Quds Day protests were fault of invasion of Leprechauns imported from Ireland by Zionists."
12:35 More good humor: "MadeUpNews: Coup Gov to knock 3 zeros off currency to add to AN vote percentage -> GOOD ONE!"
Machiavelli says that the most dangerous thing for any leader is to become an object of contempt. That may well be happening now in Iran. The Basij were truly feared, but today they were blocked and beaten and their motorcycles were burned. Some of them reportedly went over to the masses.
Can you imagine the volume of the cries of "Death to the Dictator!" tonight?
12:58 " No or awfully slow and weirdly filtered internet connections reported from everywhere!"
13:13 Another sign of fear from the regime, perhaps the most menacing to their legitimacy, heh: "Popular soccer match is not broadcasted BECAUSE PPL R CHANTING"
UPDATE: Some of the game was broadcast in black and white (so you couldn't see all the GREEN), and with no sound (so you couldn't hear the CHANTS).
timeout: i'm in need of chicken soup. and my green eyepatch is missing...
15:00 Protests continuing into the night (it's now 23:30 in Iran), as expected. This will be even more difficult for foreign reporters to cover.
15:30 I thought it was time for an overview. I have some direct reports that make it possible, I think. First of all, there was one big surprise, namely the remarkably passive behavior of the security forces. Why was that? Surely the regime did not decide that it was going to permit a big protest, so in all probability we have seen the first fatal crack in the instruments of repression. Police, RG and Basij all failed to display their usual viciousness, and an Iranian friend says that if you watch some of the videos carefully you will see the police laughing with the demonstrators, and the demonstrators calling out "thank you, police."
My friend Peter Ackerman will delight in these pictures; he has long been an advocate of non-violent revolution. As I have.
If the instruments of repression aren't going to do their dirty work, can the regime survive? Not. And the rumor of the day is that Khamenei is so upset, he has stopped eating. I have no idea if it's true, but I'm going to repeat it, because it's so delicious, so to speak. He would certainly be right to be terribly concerned.
How big were the demonstrations? I stink at estimating crowd size, I could never do it in Italy when there were some huge crowds (usually red rather than green), so here are some estimates from ro-Green Iranians.
Tehran: millions of people, not a shot was fired and only three tear gas cannisters were launched;
Isfahan: 1.2 million people;
Shiraz: More than eight hundred thousand people, and considerable violence. Unlike Tehran, the security forces were typically vicious;
Mashad: no estimate of turnout, a very violent day, there's a new governor, a very cruel and fanatic ex-RG general;
Ahwaz (the heart of the oil region): no estimate of turnout, but "very big demonstrations."
Ahmadinezhad tuned up for his triumphal arrival in New York by proclaiming that Israel would be wiped off the map;
And finally, a video showing people in the Tehran Metro cheering Mousavi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TZSVqohkVo
- video: a good summary by, of all places, the BBC:
Maybe I'll have a few more updates later, but I think that's basically 'it' for the day. Happy New Year, and we must now all mourn the passing of Irving Kristol, one of the nicest men ever to walk the earth. He brought good cheer and original thought to every room he graced. Condolences to his good wife and all the remarkable Kristols.
the son of Shariatmadari, an ex-interrogator at Evin
[prison], now chief editor of Kayhan, tried to kill Khatami with a