Assembly of ExpertsImage via Wikipedia

Not that anyone is surprised by the announcement made by the Guardian Council, but the election results have been confirmed following what was evident and blatant voter fraud.

Now comes the moment of truth for those who put their lives on the line in Iran, in an effort to tell their leaders they wanted the truth. Instead of compromise or reconciliation, these unarmed and peaceful citizens were brutally beaten to death, shot, hacked to pieces, thrown off bridges and tortured in ways that we generally only see in B-flick movies. Moussavi, the reluctant leader of this movement has not been seen in more than a week, and former President Rafsanjani has been out of sight, supposedly trying to rally political support in rural areas. In addition to draconian crackdowns on its own citizens, the Iranian government has also returned to old tactics, storming the British embassy and detaining all of it's members; while 5 have been released, 4 still remain in custody. The government is anxious to change the subject from the epic failure of leadership to trumped up rhetoric about the great Satans of the west. While it may seem that the Iranian people are losing momentum, do not be fooled. A revolution takes time, and far to many seeds of distrust, animosity and grief have been sown for this to ever go away. Rest assured, there will be much more to follow as the weeks and months pass by. While things may have quieted down (largely due to the severing of communication and mass arrests), this is only the beginning. The people will not forget, nor will they forgive what their clerical government has done to them. The days of the Islamic Republic are numbered.
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Old Habits are Hard to Break

The Iranian Government, sticking by it's claims of meddling and interference by western powers took the drastic step of actually arresting all of the remaining staff members in Britain's Tehran embassy Saturday afternoon. Luckily, the preceding week the British government ordered all non essential personnel and family members evacuated from Britain's embassy in Iran; thankfully this foresight will help mitigate the diplomatic fallout that is soon to follow. Much like the hostage situation of 1979, the Islamic Republic still believes that what passes as a show of "force" can intimidate other countries into cooperation. They are gravely mistaken.

It is sad to see that over the past 30 years the Islamic regime has not learned any lessons from the past, and worst yet, sees the failures of the past as victories. Feeling that tactics of intimidation are their best weapon against the "Zionists", a failing Iranian government is practically inviting a military conflict with the west. This is combined with the fact that Iran has been running military exercises in the Gulf Coast since the protests started. If I didn't know any better, I would say they want to provoke a conflict with the Western powers in order to distract their people from that they are doing at home.

Picture Library

Pictures are worth a thousand words. In this case, a thousand pictures are the voice of a resistance.

Library of photos from Iran here.

Neda's Family Forced From Home

In the latest from the gaurdian (a uk journalism site) a harrowing story tells the heart breaking tale of Neda's family. The 26 year old girl that was gunned down in the streets Saturday and caught on film is now being hailed by the Iranian media as a Basij militia martyr. The propaganda reports many different stories, one of them being that a BBC journalist hired protesters to kill her for a documentary.

As if the tragedy of losing their daughter was not enough, the family was not even allowed to follow Persian custom in greiving, being told that they were not allowed to hold a memorial service or even hang a black banner outside their window (signifying the death of a loved one). When the authorities realized that the neighbors of Neda's family was becoming enraged for them, they ordered the family out of their home, presumably to prevent them from talking to the people closest to them. Imagine, your daughter dies, the government keeps her body and denies your family a funeral service, and then comes to your home and kick you out. That is what her family is enduring right now.

Read the full story here.

Protesters March on Parliament

Today in Tehran, a large group of protesters marched on the Parliament building as an act of defiance against the regime that has only increased their violence in an attempt to prevent further public protests. The Iranian government is obviously ignorant to the fact that the more they brutalize their own people, the worse it's going to be for them. The people now see Khamenei as a butcher, not a religious leader, this is compounded by what they see as corruption in their government when state TV spews lies, claiming that Neda (the girl gunned down in the street Saturday) was a terrorist. The news from Iran has slowed to a trickle, but what we do know is that the government's violence against its own people is only escalating in the worst sense. Iran, once a model social structure in the middle east has now become no better than Somalia. The Basij (and reports of Hezbollah militia) are no better than the thugs who rape women and hack them to pieces.

To see images of the march on the Iranian Parliament click here.

Inhumane and Brutal

Eye witness reports. Police beating people to death and hacking them to death with axes and machetes. Throwing people off of bridges and shooting them in the street.

This is the height of terror. The actions that the government is taking against their own people, young students and especially women being brutally murdered in the worst of ways. Even a bullet is more humane than hacking someone to death in the street. This is just disgusting.

New Video from Iran

Looks new but there is no way to confirm. The reason I say it looks new is because there were no reports of protesters actually setting up physical barricades that I saw previously. This does not mean that they didn't earlier, I just think we would have heard or seen something about it. In addition, this seems to indicate that the protester's patience with peaceful dissent is waning, and I can hardly blame them. The brutal and honest truth of the matter is this: the regime will not be toppled with peaceful protests and stones alone. They did the right thing, they tried to make their voices heard in a peaceful way, and their government has shot them in the street, stolen them from their homes at night and tortured them in ruthless ways. The regime has given their response to peace, I believe it is only a matter of time before the protesters cease being protesters and become resistance militants. Like or not, it is the only way they will ever have their freedom.

Long Day

I am sorry for the less frequent amount of posts today. There were some unforseens that have deterred me from vigilant relaying of events in Iran. Tomorrow I will be writing a peice on the long haul, or "big picture" if you will. This will be concerning what will more than likely be a revolution that will take a year or so to reach fruition. Remember the revolution of 79 did not happen in a week. Please stay posted. Now, I must sleep so that I can go get a rotary engine (which has blown a gasget and is leaking oil into my coolant) fixed. Oh wonderous joy.

Iran Regime Tourtures 17 Year Old Kid

I saw this story linked at the huffpost. This is absolutely unbelieveable. After the kid was beaten in the streets (not a protester but a bystandard) he was then taken to Ministry Intelligence. Here is an exercpt:

"One of them asked me if Mr. Khatami would come save us, while they were breaking my fingers and cutting the finger webs. Although I swore a thousand times that I had not voted and had never participated in any demonstration, they didn't care and just kept beating me hard. I fainted once or twice but there were some of us who fainted every time their bones were broken, and as soon as they gained their consciousness, the riot police started beating them again. I was trying to contract my muscles to avoid further bone fracture.

This continued till around 1 p.m., when they took us to another place, where security guards were in charge. We were then interrogated by the militia. Again, they kept beating me although I told them that I have never participated in any demonstration. In general, they were less harsh than the previous ones. In the evening, we were transferred to a police station where normal police with green uniform hung us by our hands (you can see the signs of the string around my wrists on the pictures), they hung some of us upside down and started beating us again."

Read the entire story here .

Obama Press Conference

The US President held a press conference today, in which Iran was addressed. Here are the videos.

Combatant Clergy Condemn Regime

Clergy 1Image by celesteh via Flickr

This letter is realeased by the Organization of Combatant Clergy inside of Iran. A highly respected and integral part of the Islamic system. They condemn the regime for violence, dishonesty, corruption, and above all, a perversion of their religion:

"Millions of informed and decent people who believe that their votes have been tampered with, and that their intellect has been insulted, and for the defence of their rights and dignity have in a spontaneous manner come into the streets to express their pain and sense of oppression. You (the regime) insult them, and have stolen thousands of them from the streets and from their homes and taken them to unknown places. You have attacked the students and to these people who call out God is Great or Ya Hossein - you attack them like Moghuls.
You dare to blame these attacks on the people themselves.
We strongly support Mr. Mousavi - especially against the accusations that all the unrest and damage is due to his actions. This damage is the responsibility of those who turned our city into a barracks. They should be identified, arrested and charged."

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Iranian Government Sets Aside Mass Graves for Protesters

In an interview with the father of the now famous slain girl, Neda, he gave a chilling description of where she was taken to be buried:

"We buried her in the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran. They asked us to bury her in this section where it seemed the authorities had set aside spaces for graves for those killed during the violent clashes in Tehran last week."

Something about a government planning on killing its own people ahead of time that just doesn't sit well. Read full interview here . BBC, great as usual.

Knowledge is Power

Cover of Time Magazine 2Image by Ammar Abd Rabbo via Flickr

Time's Andrew Butters writes a fantastic article on the delicate web of alliances between Iran and neighboring allies here at To better understand what is going on in the reigon and why the situation is delicate, please read. Knowledge to the people.

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Unconfirmed: Regime Loyalists to Attack British Embassy

British EmbassyImage by Sebastian Bergmann via Flickr

There are unconfirmed reports that Ahmadi Nezad and loyalists to the regime are going to possibly storm the British Embassy. So far the regime has been facilitating the idea that Western powers such as the US, Isreal and particularly Britain, are behind the protests that have brought the country to a halt in the past week. If this occurs it will be reminiscent of the 79 revolution when the US embassy was stormed. I can't emphasize this enough, regime extremists are rumored to be planning this, NOT OPPOSITION PROTESTORS. Apparently the crazies would like nothing more than to give a western power to actually take military action against the current government. This is along with reports from yesterday that the Iranian air force started conducting war games in the Persian Gulf.
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I Can't Believe I Have to Spell This Out

I'm With StupidImage by swanksalot via Flickr

The CIA did not I repeat, did not spend $400 million dollars to organize the Iranian protests that have rocked the region for the past week. I would have thought that this went without saying, but apparently conspiracy theorists and people with the logical reasoning skills of a doped up schizophrenic are re-reporting regime propaganda like it's actually news. Way to go guys, maybe next you can bring us the gripping story of Sasquatch, or how the moon-landing was false. Or, and I'm just thinking out loud here, you could stop dropping LSD before publishing what is obviously a propaganda campaign designed to undermine the Iranian protests.

When you visit Pak Alert Press you see a nice little graphic banner at the top with letters stenciled into the bottom right corner "We tell you what they don't!". Yes, that's right, you tell me what they don't because they have this thing called journalistic integrity, paired with common sense and a firm grasp on reality, it can make for news that doesn't sound like it came from a fucking clown car. Don't believe me? It's OK, I came prepared with a list of reasons why the CIA didn't spend $400,000,000 on funding the protests taking place in the streets of Iran.

1.) The opposition has been staging peaceful protests. Obvious emphasis on the word peaceful. When was the last time the CIA ever spent $400 million on anything peaceful? Go ahead, take a minute. It's cool, I've got time. Didn't find anything did you? That's because that's not how an intelligence agency spend their money. True, they could spend that money undermining the regime, but they would have also spent a good portion of it on munitions that would have been waiting for the resistance at the appropriate time. The fact that we have not seen protesters walking around with AK-47s should be sufficient proof that the CIA wasn't involved. Morons

2.) I am disgusted that people would try and diminish what the people of Iran are doing right now, and the sacrifices that they have made and continue to make by trying to tag this on US meddling. News flash, those people didn't show up because of some covert black bag CIA operation to undermine the Islamic Republic, the Islamic Republic did a perfectly good job of undermining itself when it rigged the elections to ensure that Khamenei got the guy he wanted. Even the Guardian Council was forced to admit that there was mass voter fraud found, even though they maintained the results were legitimate. The people are protesting because they are not stupid; their government tried to pull a fast one over on them and underestimated the average intelligence of its citizens. Way to go tools. Next time you want to try and con a population carrying degrees in science, engineering and math, you will step it up a notch. If you went into the streets of Tehran today and told protesters that the CIA is the reason they were out there, they would promptly beat you to death and you would have it coming.

3.) Ockham's Razor states that the simplest answer is inevitably the right one. So, would you say that the CIA spent $400 million on a half-assed plan to launch an assault on the Iranian government in the devastating form of peaceful protest? Or, would you say that the ruling regime, scared shitless of an imminent revolution, are spewing as much ludicrous misinformation and propaganda as possible trying to confuse dissidents and distract from the truth. If you chose "regime propaganda" then congratulations, your IQ exceeds that of a squirrel.

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CNN Delivers Smack-Down to Regime Propaganda

CNN was none to happy when Iran's foreign minister got on state television and started spouting off nonsense about CNN training individuals in Iran to "hack" media telecommunications systems. CNN released a statement which Blitzer read in the "Situation Room" effectively calling the regime on their BS.

That Bullet That Killed Your Loved One, Yeah, That'll be $3,000.

Bullets for handloading - Sierra brand in .Image via Wikipedia

When 19 year old Kaveh Alipour was shot dead in protests Saturday, the last thing they expected was to have to pay a "bullet fee" of $3,000 in order to retrieve the body of the only son, but that is exactly what happened. Read the full story here, once again at the Wall Street Journal, where their reporting is rarely found wanting.

When my little brother asked me why the regime would do something so obviously hurtful and insulting to a family in mourning, the answer came quite easily. The regime is attempting to make the prospect of defying the government so awful, that no one will want to do it. If they can demoralize the people enough to dwindle their numbers and make them less of a threat, then they will be able to arrest those truly dangerous individuals with resolve and deliver a crushing blow to the resistance. Moral, and a strong blow to moral can be very potent weapons in an arsenal of psychological warfare, and that is just what the theocratic regime is attempting to employ. Bullets alone cannot defeat an enemy, so they will attempt to break the heart, minds and ultimately, the will of the people.

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McCain Needs a Better Publicist

Seriously, you were just singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" this same exact time last year. So, I am curious why you seem to think it's a good idea to use a dead girl as a battering ram for your political agenda.

Republicans who are pushing for a change of Obama's strategy towards Iran either are woefully ignorant when it comes to the history of our foreign policy, or (more likely) they are simply disingenuous in their argument., you have just been spiked

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase was providing pictures and names of protesters and Iranian tweeters. I myself RT'd the message multiple times along with thousands of other to have the site removed. Google, I have always liked you, and with the way you have conducted your business during this crisis, my opinion of your company has only grown by leaps and bounds. First laxing youtube to make it easier to upload content from Iran. Updating satellite imaging of Iran for GoogleEarth, and now, taking down a blog of someone who was trying to make the names and faces of the resistence known to Basij, within a few short hours. Google, I give you a tip of the hat.
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Iranian Government Preparing for Military Conflict?

Vue satellite du Golfe PersiqueImage via Wikipedia

Just released today was news that the Iranian Government started conducting war games and air combat exercises in the Persian Gulf. This could be a paranoid reaction to US naval vessels in the area, or worse, an attempt to prompt agression. It is unclear what the purpose of these exercises are right now; however, such exercises are usually conducted as a flexing of military might towards one's enemies.

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The Heart of Iran

Even as Iranians fight for their freedom, they still have the heart to help a wounded police officer and lead him away from the crowd to avoid further injury. Yes, they are treating their enemies with more kindness than they have seen all week. Just amazing, I can't say that I would have such kindness in my heart. In a moment of darkness we see humanity at its finest.

Iran Government Prepares to Expel Foreign Dignitaries

The latest coming out of Iran, while unconfirmed like everything else, leaves an ashen taste in the mouth. It appears that the government is gearing up to expel all foreign dignitaries in the country. I don't think I have to elaborate on what that means.

Over the past few days it is rumored that embassies have been providing medical aid to wounded protesters. It stands to reason that the government does not only not appreciate this, but is getting ready to isolate itself even further. In most cases of historical reference, foreign officials from embassies were only told to get out before hostilities broke out. As in war. Now, I don't think that's necessarily what is going to happen, but I do think that Khamenei has gotten it into his head that this is all being orchestrated by western powers and not by the mass discontent of his people. More than likely once everyone is out, the regime will crack down even harder. It is going to be interesting to see the reaction from the international community to this step. Already Italy is threatening to remove Iran from the G8.

As violent action is taken against the citizens of Iran the rest of the world watches, hold its breath, wandering what will happen next.

Iranian Letter to Obama "Thank you for understanding"

The Obama administration has caught a lot of flak (mostly from right wing idealouges who are more interested in drumming up political capitol than helping the people of Iran). But, in addition to support of his strategy from prominent Republicans like Luger and Kissinger, an Iranian writes a letter to the National Iranian American Council:

"Dear friend, if you have any contacts within the American Administration, please send them this message on behalf of us, ordinary Iranians in Iran (whose interests and concerns are very different from those of the exiled Iranians in the United States and in Europe who do not yet understand the mentality here and who have been cut off from the Iranian society for too long). Tell your contacts in the Administration that their point of view regarding Iran is by far the best position that an American Government has ever taken. We appreciate this and thank the President.
During the last two or three decades not one American president had "understood" Iran. All of them got caught in the traps of the mollahs, despite themselves having to play the bad cop .. but this time the intelligent president has decided not to join in their game, bravo.
It is normal that he is criticized vividly by most of the Los Angeles Iranians (and by most Republicans): since a long time they have been asking for just one thing : that America attack Iran and change the regime so that they get their possessions and their former jobs and privileges back, without wanting to know what today's young Iranian wants here and now. It makes me think of the Cubans in Florida ... they don't consider the interests of their country but only what is due to them."

Just as Joe Klein pointed out in an article in Time, the Iranians on the ground fighting for their freedom are just as aware of the dangers of American meddling. Our interference paired with the worst timing possible would undermine the resistence, not help it. People who are bitching because of Obama's calm, collected and cautious approach. Please, read your history.

Banned But Not Silenced

TURKEY-IRAN-POLITICS-PROTESTImage by "SIR: Poseyal Knight of the DESPOSYNI via Flickr

An amazing story from a Time columnist in Iran. Receiving threatening phone calls and informed of the information ban, he still gets a story out to Time today. I just want to take a moment to point out the bravery of those who are out there trying to report the news, knowing full well what the consequences are out there. I blog in safety, this guy does it from the front lines.

Read his article here, at
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Tehran, Iran 7 Tir Sq

Latest videos from Iran uploaded less than half an hour ago:

here we see first aid treatment being administered to wounded. This is happening because the Basij have taken over the hospitals and going there for care will mean immediate incarceration.

The Propaganda Machine Spins Up

The  -foot (  m  )  diameter granite CIA seal ...Image via Wikipedia

Former Pakistani Army General Mirza Aslam Beig claims the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has distributed 400 million dollars inside Iran to evoke a revolution.
This is also the story that is headlining and posing as news for all of the state run media in Iran right now.

Yes, that's right, we totally spent $400 million dollars to get Iranians to stage peaceful protests, then we decided to flush our investment down the toilet with a policy of non-interference. Don't you think if the US was trying to undermine the current regime and was the master-mind behind the protests, that we would have taken more difinitive action by now? I agreed with Obama's strategy toward the situation in Iran, meddling would only give ammunition to Khamenei and Ahmadenijad and their supporters. This latest propaganda campaign does not come as a big surprise, but will more than likely spur a much stronger response from the US administration very, very soon.

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Basij Brutrally Beat Man in the Street

This is happening everywhere in Iran right now. I am unsure how someone got video footage of that without getting beaten as well.

More Video From Today and Late Last Night

This last video was supposedly shot in Tabriz last night (Moussavi's home town). There have been unconfirmed reports from Iranian tweeters that a violent clash took place in Tabriz today between protestors and police.

New Video Shows Protestors Shot

The date that this was filmed is unconfirmed. However, that does not change much. This is extremely graphic, viewer be warned.

When Capitolism Meets Tyranny, It Apparently Sells Out

Nokia n95 SmartphoneImage by KhE 龙 via Flickr

One of the more disturbing stories today is not neccissarily one of protest in Iran, but about the technology that the Iranian government is currently using to track rebellious citizens and arrest them. Where did they get such technology you ask? Why, Nokia and Seimens just couldn't wait to sell it to the Islamic regime. Apparently profit is valued far above people's rights and pricacy. Read the full story here at the Wall Street Journal. Great reporting as usual.
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Shiroodi Sports Compound Turned Into Military Base.

From the reports today, it seems that there are less people out in protest today, leaving those who would defy the government openly far outnumbered for the first time since this started. Information coming out of Tehran grows less reliable and periodic that it has been. Here we see a video of what looks to be the Basij setting up a military HQ in a sports arena before deploying into the streets:

Planned Strikes and Rumors of Harsher Crack Downs

Iran protests for the 5th straight day #iranel...Image by .faramarz via Flickr

The twitter board is aflutter with talk of major strikes tomorrow, Rafsanjani and Moussavi consolidating their political power for a push at the government, and the government shutting down utilities to neighborhoods and of course mass arrests. At this point no one knows what will happen today in Iran, however, there are only a few scenarios that can play out.

Scenario 1: Rafsanjani and Moussavi use their combined political influence and leverage and convince workers in the oil-fields to strike along with other merchants. When this happened in 1979, the Iranian government was forced to purchase it's oil at a ridiculous price from the US, which was key in removing the Shah from power (although the US will not sell to the Iranian government this time, Venezuela more than likely will). This will probably result in violence from the regime, but ultimately victory for the opposition in the end. Depriving the Basij of their payroll will also have a significant impact on how many of them show up to face down protesters. With already waning support inside of his own power apparatus, Khamenei will find himself in an increasingly awkward and vulnerable position, which will only deteriorate further with time.

Scenario 2: Discouraged by violence and intimidation through arrests and suppression, protesters dwindle in numbers Monday (I find this highly improbable, but not outside the realm of possibility). Losing momentum, the government will pounce on the opportunity and will arrest as many protesters as possible as well as anyone who is striking, regardless if the are protesting or not. Now, the government is going to do this anyway, but if they detect a lack of resolve on the side of the resistance they will squeeze that much harder, figuring that their tactic of discouraging dissent is working (right now the government is trying to be somewhat cautious by conducting arrests in the night rather than risk conflagration of the situation through too much open violence in the streets by day). This would be a blow to the revolution as the regime would slowly begin to remove problematic individuals one by one until no one dared stand in opposition for fear of reprisal, effectively marking the end (however temporary) of the attempted revolution.

Over the next week many new factors will be entered into the ever changing equation that is now the People's Revolution in Iran, changing the board and altering possibilities in the future. I simply feel these are the two most likely scenarios to play out on Monday; and, for what it's worth, I am putting my money on scenario 1.
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Guardian Council: Election Was Fraudulent But Legitimate

So, word is coming in now, shortly after the Guardian Council announced that evidence of voter fraud had been found, the election results were still legitimate, and claimed Ahmedinijad the winner for a second time. I am sure this is going to go over really well with the people of Iran.

Really guys? That's like looking at your wife and saying, "Infidelity in our marriage was found on my side but I totally don't cheat on you." The level of audacity it takes for a government to look at the people, tell them that their election was a farce but to like it anyway is epic. There is now a zero chance of this de-escalating anytime soon, as such a slap in the face will hardly go unanswered by the people. I guess to the cheater goes the spoils . . .

Full story on: CNN

Gaurdian Council "There Was Voter Fraud"

TEHRAN, IRAN - JUNE 16:  People attend a state...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

In a huge development, the Guardian Council admitted today that they found irrefutable evidence of voter fraud. The damning evidence ended up being the 100% voter turn-out in over 50 cities, and some cities with more votes than there were people. The council spokesman, however, stated that "it has yet to be determined whether the amount is decisive in the election results," . If anyone has been paying attention, the final result of the election (which we will never truly know now) is a completely moot point. At this point the people are not interested in who won, their government lied and then called it a "divine assesment" even after tampering in the elections was evident.

This movement is no longer about votes, it is about people's loss of trust in their government and the deterioration of the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic and its leaders.

For the official press report read here.
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Passive Aggressive Supression

Protesters burning down basij militia homes #i...Image by .faramarz via Flickr

It seems that the Iranian government is trying a new strategy against the opposition. Instead of direct confrontation, they are making as many arrests as possible, coercing detainees into making false statements and even banning any mourning services for the dead. The family of Neda Agha-Soltan, they young woman whose death was caught on film and broadcast around the world, sparking international outrage, was told that they were not permitted to hold a mourning service. They burried her yesterday.

Intimidation through coercion, this will more than likely be the preffered method of the regime from this point forward. Recognizing that shooting people in the streets generates bad press, the Iranian leaders have decided to launch a passive agressive supression campaign in order to conceal what they are doing. At the very least it seems that the government wants to downplay its crack-down on its own people. More reports on arrests and developments as they come in.

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No Room for Speculation

Yesterday there was much speculation as to whether the crowds were chanting "Death to Khamenei". Today's latest video leaves no room for speculation. The crowd clearly chants "Death to Khamenei". This is effectively the end of his rule, there is not a plausible chance that he can continue to be an effective "leader". As I stated earlier, I believe we are seeing the beginning of the new Iranian Revolution or even a civil war. Right now it is hard to tell, but one thing is certain, while Khamenei remains in charge, this will not end.

Brave Camera Man

Whoever was shooting this video yesterday had some real sack. Count the number of gunshots, there are about 3 dozen clacks that you can hear, and one of the bullets almost hits the camera man. You can actually hear the bullet whiz by, close enough to hear the trade mark "zing". The camera man is unfazed and continues to film. Courage is not the absence of fear, it's doing what you believe you have to in the face of it. This guy and many other citizens of Iran have it by the truckload.

Baij HQ Burning?

This is a very fresh video straight out of Iran. Claims to show Basij HQ burning. It is unconfirmed, but if true, heralds a whole new stage of the demonstrations (ie one step close to revolution).

Just for the Record

I will be reporting on a variety of global, domestic, and political stories in the future, that was in fact the original purpose of this site. However, as of the moment, the situation in Iran has my full and unfettered attention. I will be blogging exclusively on Iran until further notice.

Operation Twitter Sheild

Mark's Twitter FriendsImage by 'Pong via Flickr

In his sermon on Friday afternoon, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei told the protesters "I am following you on twitter". It's true, the Ayatollah indeed has a tweet account and is following over 650,000 Iranians. To combat this and to confuse government officials who are trying to track citizens through Twitter, people have been asking users to change their time zone and location to Tehran. I am encouraging anyone who tweets to do this and then start re-tweeting your little hearts out. Right now they are aiming for 1 million people to change their account information, which would effectively sheild those citizens who are trying to communicate through the message boards. Even if you don't have a twitter account, go create one. As one person said "it could save lives".

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Unconfirmed Reports of Violence

There have been reports of gunfire, smoke in cities. Early videos today showed protesters out in force. So far these reports are unconfirmed, I am currently trying to get something more solid. Stay posted.

Iranian Regime, "Protesters are Terrorists"

Well, it seems to be a popular theme when people don't agree with your policies, label them as terrorists. Something tells me that line won't work nearly as well in Tehran as it did here . . .

Story from the Wall Street Journal here

Some Political Prisoners Released

Hashemi Rafsanjani at Tehran UniversityImage by siavush via Flickr

It seems that Rafsanjani family members who were being detained have been released along with the daughter of the French Ambassador. Reported here. Channel 42 Fox. Details surrounding the releases are practically non-existent; it is not yet clear through which government channels this took place. Stay posted for updates.
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What We're Not Seeing

Iran protests for the 5th straight day #iranel...Image by .faramarz via Flickr

Today, while protesters fill the streets, there is a an odd quiet that has fallen over Tehran. Reports coming in from the boards indicate many protesters are simply sitting in the streets, as if waiting for a sign no one else can see. But the calm is deceptive and only skin deep at best. The real story in Iran at the moment is much less conspicuous than Basij shooting protesters, it has been happening for a week and continues to happen today.

Early Sunday, while seemingly quiet, reports were trickling in of even more arrests of media personnel, political opponents and idealists who have opposed the regime. Al Arabiya’s News Tehran bureau has been shut down and even now the regime works to stifle the flow of information that has been seeping out of its borders and into the rest of the world. Such a crackdown indicates that while there is a calm in the storm, there is still a growing tempest in the not so distant future. This is, of course, compounded with the days of mourning for the dead from yesterday, which will more than likely inflame opposition over the next month. If the violence continues and more people die, the opposition will be mirroring the 79 revolution that operated on 40 cycles according to the mourning period. People would come out en mass to mourn and some would die when clashing with police, thus spurring more mournings, more gatherings, and more conflicts; this becomes a self perpetuating cycle that only feeds the resistance and undermines the authority and legitimacy of the ruling regime.

While religious leaders search for a way to quell this rebellion before it gets out of hand, emotions run deep. Even if the clerics of the Islamic Republic are able to come to some kind of agreement on an alternative to a Supreme Leader, it may be to late.
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Latest Videos Out of Tehran Today 06/21

Latest video in from Iran. Protesters out in full force today, it seems that so far demonstrations today have not turned violent, but by the look of one video, it could easily happen again. There are A LOT of people on the streets. Right now the religious leaders must be working overtime behind closed doors trying to find a solution that does not involve the dismantling of the Islamic Republic. Hopefully the people just demand a system elected by the people and not appointed by religious clerics.

Fareed Zakaria Cites Historical Reference for Non Meddling

Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International...Image via Wikipedia

Sunday morning Fareed Zakaria pointed out George Bush Senior's approach to the collapse of the Soviet Union and how it mirrored the situation in Iran. Bush caught flak for not inserting America into the situation, via rhetoric or otherwise and why history was ultimately on his side:

"I think a good historic analogy is President George H.W. Bush's cautious response to the cracks in the Soviet empire in 1989. Then, many neo-conservatives were livid with Bush for not loudly supporting those trying to topple the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. But Bush's concern was that the situation was fragile. Those regimes could easily crack down on the protestors and the Soviet Union could send in tanks. Handing the communists reasons to react forcefully would help no one, least of all the protesters. Bush's basic approach was correct and has been vindicated by history."
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Replace One Dictator With Many?

Orthodox and muslim clerics at a conference in...Image by N_Creatures via Flickr

Reports are trickling in from Iran, revealing a deep divide in the power structure that has snapped into sharp existence for the Iranian people for all to see. Today, Iran's religious clerics in the Qom are gathering to discuss replacing the position of the Supreme Leader within the political power apparatus of Iran, with a council of religious leaders (this follows closely in the wake of confirmed reports that the head of the Iranian Parliament has called the elctions a farce). While this sounds good in the short run, it is merely the replacing of one dictator with man; and will, eventually, lead to the down-fall of the Islamic Republic.

The problem with Iran's current power structure is academic, not a single person. Currently one man in Iran hold all of the power, ultimately, he has the final say and chooses every position from the Guardian Council (which chooses which candidates are allowed to run for public office, to the head of media in the country. Simply replacing one theocratic ruler with a council of many does not solve the root cause of the problem, which is a theocratic regime posing under the guise of democracy. In the end, having a council replace the Supreme Leader will be temporarily beneficial to the Iranian people, and will eventually lead to a collapse of the Islamic Republic (most likely from within when another divide in ideologies form). Only when the people of Iran choose their leaders, without theocratic rulers inserting themselves into the political process, will the citizens enjoy the social freedom that they so desperately seek now.

As of right now it is unclear whether or not the council's decision will subdue what was shaping up to be the new Iranian revolution, or if it will be too little too late. However, judging by the eerie silence that has settle over Iran today, in the aftermath of Saturday's violence, there may be indications that both sides are ready to end this without more bloodshed. Either way, the prospect of Khamenei and Ahmadenijad surviving this with their political power intact is implausible at this point. Regardless of the outcome, Khamenei and his political power structure are finished in Iran. The people will not forget, or forgive quickly or easily.

Stay tuned for more news out of Iran today.
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In The Night

That's apparently when the Basij feel most comforatable assaulting people in their homes.

"Voice" of Resistance

Posted on twitter: "Her name was ندا (#Neda), which means voice or call in Farsi. She is the voice of the people, a call to freedom - RIP, Neda"

She was the girl who was shot dead in the street, a video which has spread like a wildfire through the internet and across the globe. It is a heart breaking video, graphic and brutally sad. It will be an image that goes down in history along with other iconic depictions that embodied the emotions of their moments in time. She will undoubtedly become a symbol for those in Iran who seek to shrug of the chains of opressive dictators.

If the Networks Don't Know They Need to STFU

Today networks are claiming the turnout for protest have been much smaller in past days, but follow up by saying that this is of course speculation since they have no correspondents on the ground who can confirm that. So . . . we are reporting speculation now? Anyway, the crowd in this video looks pretty big to me:

I Heart Fareed Zakaria

A very enlightening interview with Fareed Zakaria. In my personal opinion, the man is an authority on Eastern policies and affairs. He has a Sunday morning show where these topics are discussed. He is a very intelligent and intellectual guy, I suggest following him.

Reports of Tanks in Azadi Square

Reports are popping up on the boards of tanks in Azadi square, as well as possible blockades of Embassies who are harboring injured protesters. A great many foreign embassies in Iran have been trying to help and protect the injured, since going to the hospital is practically a death sentence. You will get treatment, but the Basij are making lists of everyone in the hospitals being treated, and who know what they are going to do with them. It appears from the reports, from tanks to chemical weapons, that the regime is escalating its tactics. Reports concerning the embassies complicate the matter further. If the Iranian govt keeps it up, they will spur an international military response. Embassies are sovereign ground.

More Videos Straight From Twitter

The Price of Freedom:

ReTweet is the New Vetting Process

With the latest news coming directly from the ground in Tehran on Twitter, retweeting has become the best way to determine legitimate news coming off the boards. I posted earlier that there was suspicion of chemical weapons being used, now there are many reposts for first aid treatment of chemical burns. However, even in moments of great horror, there have been reports of police refusing to attack protestors. It appears that the rift in Iran has also formed amoung its security forces.

Iran Govt Deploying Chemical Warfare?

There are scattered reports coming in from Twitter right now from Iranian protesters on the ground that helicopters have been flying over dumping some kind of liquid that has been reported as causing severe burns on multiple victims. If this is true, the Iranian Government may have ordered the use of chemical weapons to target demonstrators.

Gaurd and Basij Run From Protestors

Hilarious. Apparently it's hard to intimidate when there are more of them than there are of you. . .

Stay Tuned

Barack ObamaImage via Wikipedia

Buzz is that the white house press pool is going to be gathering at 3:10 ET. Stay tuned for a post of what will more than likely be Obama's official video address concerning the crisis in Iran.
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Timing is Everything

This is in from the White House:

"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.
Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness. " -
President Obama

Latest Videos

These are from the Huffington Post, which has been the best source of news coming out of Iran aside from Twitter. These videos are graphic, please be aware.

CNN the Best Fail On Television

Cnn.Image via Wikipedia

I love CNN, I find it entertaining and somewhat informative, and it's a ton better than that propaganda station called FOX that tries to pass itself off as legitimate news. But seriously, CNN really seems to be struggling to keep up with what is going on in Iran. It's kinda sad.
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Old news

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

But I wanted to post it anyway. Google has really stepped it up during the Iran crisis, they are pretty much as valued as twitter is right now when it comes to information streaming out of Iran. Not only has google laxed it's policies on violent content for youtube, but they also launched their persian translator for Google Translate, making it easier for people across the world to communicate and decipher what is going on in Iran. Once again, props go to Google for its putting the people and the information first. There is no business model for that, just the human heart.
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Saturday, Bloody Saturday

It's happening. Right now in the streets of Iran, thick, black smoke fills the air, gunshots ring out, and the revolutionaries don't run, they scream martyrdom and surge toward the police. I do not know if I will ever wittness such a heart breaking scene in the rest of my days walking this earth. Even now, as I type, my eyes well up with tears as brothers and sisters I will never know make the ultimate sacrifice in search for freedom.

It started with a blast at the shrine of the first Supreme Leader of Iran, Khomeini. A suicide bomber acting as the opening to what is still a very long and bloody day. But, the bomber's sentiment was widely expressed and echoed by many revolutionaries, and Even Moussavi himself. Announcing he had "prepared for martyrdom" Moussavi gave his "followers" the green light for revolution. Unafraid of death, angry at a government they know has lied to them, and weary of the theocratic oppression, they demand to have their country back, at any cost. Videos show clashes with Basij, riot police and the gaurd, the people chant "death to the dictator" and "death to Khamenei". When the report of AK-47s rings out and people fall, they chant even louder, only now cries of martyrdom blend with the rythmic chants. This is why the Iranian people will succeed in winning their freedom.

There are more people in Iran willing to die for freedom, than there are those willing to kill them. The Iranian people march with purpose and ignore the fear of death, preparing themselves to pay the ultimate price if neccessary. Last night the message boards were teeming with people who were recieving "good-bye emails" from their friends in Iran. Many of those people do not expect to come home, the fully expect to die in the pursuit of liberty and justice. No dictatorship can stand against such a will, forged by oppression and now tempered with the fire of revolution. It is clear now that Khamenei is afraid, his sermon yesterday made that painfully apparent. He can feel his power slipping, and the only way he knows how to hold onto it is through brutal violence, all while hiding behind the veil of righteousness. But greed and lust for power cannot hide behind a cloak of holy deception forever, and Khamenei's garb is now quite transparent. Even now, the majority of police, Basij and Repulic Gaurd watch over the city of Tehran, protecting the Ayatollah from those who scream for his death in the streets.


While I can feel my heart breaking at the sight, I also feel a swell of inspiration and pride. Freedom comes at only one cost, and it is not cheap, and certainly not paid with ease, but the citizens of Iran pay it gladly. In a homeland I have never seen, brave men and women I will never know lay down their lives for a better future. Today the people of Iran show the world how liberty is won.

China Censors Iran Unrest

Reports are coming in from China that the government has ordered censoring and downplaying of the uprising in Iran as well as the role that technology is playing in the revolution. Apparently, the Chinese government is worried about their own citizens getting some bright ideas. Funny thing about democracy that the previous administration had a difficult time understanding. You don't have to force it off on a society and bring freedom with Humvee and air strikes. Democracy is contagious, it spreads through the power of example, not through the example of power.

The Day of Destiny

Fresh in. Translated so that you can understand what they are saying. Poetic, sad, romantic even in it's idealism. As are all the calls of freedom when they first ring out.

Make no mistake about it, Iranians will only have their freedom at a steep price. In mere hours, when protesters gather, the government will act with force, and people will die. Now the world waits and watches. If resolute in their march towards freedom, then nothing can stand in their way; and, judging by this message : A Facebook user named Seth Eslami posts a message on Christiane Amanpour's page: "So far I have received several goodbye emails from my friends in Iran. It's is sad...very sad & braking my hard.What is the price tag on freedom? We can't tell people what to do from here.I want to see them free but I hate to see them in blood..." the resolve of Iran's citizens is unbreakable. Those people going out there tomorrow don't expect to come back. They don't fear death, they fear a life without freedom, and that, is something that should scare the ones who would oppress them.

To Meddle or Not to Meddle . . .

As the situation in Iran draws closer to a direct confrontation between the opposition and the current government, many people have been asking the same question; why is Obama not intervening on the people's behalf? This is an understandable question, but also shows a lack of understanding and knowledge of Iran's history, specifically in relation to the US. Just as meddling in Iran in 1953 led to a strong anti-American and ant-western sentiment, a direct intervention at an inappropriate time would severely undermine US interests in the region for decades to come, as well as weakening the opposition that is taking a stand against the current theocratic regime.

America's history with Iran is steeped in mistrust, fear, and blood. It began with a coup in 1953, organized and implemented by the CIA and MI6. Both America and Britain were upset about the nationalization of Iran's oil industry by its elected government at the time and sought to install a more cooperative and pro-western government structure. The coup returned the Iranian monarchy to power and replaced the democratically elected government. For 26 years resentment built and radical Islam gained a foothold and legitimacy with its anti-western rhetoric; as the monarchy tried to silence voices of dessent, the resentment towards the pro-western regime grew, along with their sympathy and support for the religious clerics who condemned the west. It came to a head in 1979, when protestors overthrew the monarchy and the Shah and his family were forced to leave the country. The Islamic-Republic was formed, putting the Mullahs and holy men in charge of the government; Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an exile and leader of the revolution, returned to Tehran where he was named Supreme Leader (note: this is the predecessor of today's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei). Radicalizing the revolution was the Iran hostage crisis, which has led to a deterioration and frayed relations with the US ever since. In the time between then and now there has not been a positive development in the dialouge between the US and Iran; in 1988 a US destroyer shot down an Iranian airliner carrying 290 passengers, which the state department stated was an accident. The pretenses of the incident were of course irrelevant and relations between Iran and American grew even more strained.

Even now, as emotions run high and support for the free people of Iran grows in the west and America, our leaders must be cautious. Picking a side right now, or using irresponsible rhetoric would only give Khamenei and his followers the political ammunition they desire, and right now, desperately need. Even in his speech given today, Khamenei railed against the enemies of Islam, America, the UK and Israel. Already the government has tried to accuse the US in inciting the protest and meddling in affairs; luckily, due to the discretion of our President, it is common knowledge that this is false, and has had an empty and hollow impact on the supporters. However, if Obama began saber rattling in the early days of protest Iranian hard-liners would have the scape-goat they needed. When leaders fear of losing power, they often look to "external enemies" to disctract the people, sow fear and mistrust and rally their base of extremists. Also, an international undermining of his legitimacy would cause Khamenei to crack down even harder on the protestors as an example to everyone else in the world.

Had President Obama been seen as meddling in Iranian affairs it would have been a lethal blow to the movement in Iran. The Iranians there know that they alone can change their government, and that, this time, the west cannot do it for them. Joe Klein said it best in his article, "In fact, it seemed clear to me when I was in Iran--and even more clear, given the events of the past few days--that the protesters realize that they have to do this on their own. And that an American endorsement would taint their movement, perhaps fatally." If that was not enough, take Henry Kissinger's word for it. While those GOP members can't criticize the President fast enough for how he is handling Iran, stalwart GOP security experts back Obama. Below is the interview with Kissnger on Fox News. Producers must have shat themselves when he backed up Obama's Iran approach:

Make no doubt, then the government begins to use brutal violence against those protesting, the administration will take a much more firm stance, but the timing must be right. Being careless right now could cost the Iranian people more than just their lives. It could cost them the future of their country as well.

Latest Iran Uprising Videos 6/19

The latest from Iran. First a video showing security officials ransacking what looks like a commercial property of some sort, then, protestors in the street clashing with security officials. The next is UK Channel 4 coverage of Khamenei's sermon, which is not subtle in the slightest with it's threats.

To anyone who thinks that the US asserting itself in this situation right now is a good idea, then you might want to watch that video one more time. Khamenei and other hard-line extremists use America and the West as a political hot button to rally their base. By making provacative statements right now, the US would only strengthen people like Khamenei and Ahmedinajad. I clearly need to go into more depth on this issue, as people on both sides of the isle, including some Iranian American people I know, have asked me why Obama has not stepped in yet. The answer is seemingly complicated unless you are familiar with the history of relations between Iran and America for the past 60 years. It is going to be a long article, so it will be a few hours.