Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Overnight Developments in Iran

There were some developments overnight on the situation in Iran.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has landed in Russia to participate in a regional summit. He has made no mention of the unrest in Iran.

There are also reports that Iran's Guardian Council has agreed to a partial recount of some of the votes. From the BBC:

Iran's powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to recount disputed votes from Friday's presidential poll.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election is being contested by rival Mir Hossein Mousavi and other moderate candidates, who are seeking a rerun.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says they may not accept the recount offer.

Several people died in a protest on Monday and Mr Mousavi urged followers not to take part in a rally planned for Tuesday, amid fears of new violence.

Iran's state media is reporting that 7 people were killed yesterday during the protests in Azadi Square:

Seven people were killed when a military post was attacked near a rally held a day ago in Tehran to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, radio Payam announced.

"Several thugs wanted to attack a military post and vandalise public property in the vicinity of Azadi Square," the radio said referring to the site of the rally held on Monday.

"Unfortunately seven people were killed and several others wounded in the incident."

However, a source told AFP that the emergency services department had information that eight people were killed and several wounded in the incident.

Robert Fisk of UK's Independent is hearing more about a massacre of students at Tehran University. I have posted video of what is apparently video of the aftermath. Here is Fisk:

It was difficult to hear over the cries and screaming. But a student began shouting at me in English through those grim black gates. "There was a massacre," he bellowed. "The Basiji and the police came into our student dorms. It all started after the violence last Saturday. The people in the street had been throwing stones, so many of us fled from the campus to our homes. We came back yesterday and it seemed quiet. Then all these armed men burst into the dorms, shooting."

The Wall Street Journal is also hearing accounts of students that were killed in dormitory raids.

The UK times is reporting that there are eyewitness accounts of paramilitary forces on motorcycles that ride through the street and open fire on the youth:

In another incident a witness told The Times how she watched from her car as riot police on six motorbikes opened fire on youths walking under a bridge after the rally. “The riot police started shooting them with big guns,” she said. “It wasn’t like the films where there is just a small hole — the shooting was blowing off hands, limbs. It was terrible, terrible.”

Gunfire was heard in at least three other districts of the Iranian capital. The Ministry of the Interior was rumoured to have authorised the use of live ammunition as the regime struggled to maintain control. Supporters of the defeated candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, fought running battles with the police and Basiji, who have flooded into Tehran.

The Huffington Post is reporting that Fox News footage is being used by the state run media services in Iran. In a Farsi-language video that was translated for the Huffington Post it apparently says:

This video is about yesterday events when people gathered in front of one of candidates' (Mousavi but no name was mentioned in the report) HQ. In brief: The narrator says that a group of opportunistic people supporting a candidate (without bringing the name) are responsible for breaking and destroying the public/ private property. They are blaming the foreign media for supporting the riots and covering the story. They cited Fox News who has predicted the violence and wants to divide Iranian people. They are interviewing a group of people who are mad because their property has got destroyed.

and a more detailed description, also from a Huffington Post reader:

What a propaganda masterpiece. So the gist of it is that there were some minor rallies that started peacefully but some people took advantage of the situation and began vandalizing. Meanwhile, the foreign press tried to make it sound worst and create disunity among the population. It cuts to a Fox News interview that US should take advantage of this situation and make contact with the people in the street. They then interview shop owners -- "victims" -- saying the government should stop such act of vandalism. 'It's unfair to us (shop owners) to come to work and see our properties and business is damaged.'

and here are some recent Tweets from people inside Iran.


Internet is almost dead. Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter, VPN, Proxy, ... #iranelection


state TV is now requesting people (armed forces) to go to valiasr st and protest against the outlaws & criminals! (people) #iranelection


Eyewitness: Mousavi's supporters are walking on Valiasr towards Mellat Park & Jaame Jam. #iran

State-TV is repeatedly telling people to go to Mousavi's protest in Valiasr Sq. One can only imagine what their plan is. :(( #iran

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