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Sunday, June 28, 2009
Protest in Iran today
Mir Hussein Moussavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, received a permit to conduct a ceremony this morning at the Ghoba mosque in Tehran, ostensibly to honor one of the founders of the '79 revolution, who was killed in a bombing in 1981.
By noon, the streets outside the mosque were full of demonstrators, holding their hands high making the "V" for victory sign. Many were wearing black, to mourn the 17 murdered by various government forces, and they chanted "Allahu akbar." Protesters numbered in the thousands, and police fired tear gas to break up the crowd. I did not see any reports of clashes or injuries, but obviously, information is very hard to come by.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government is continuing to try and pin the blame for unrest on foreigners and journalists, arresting nine Iranian embloyees of the Bristish embassy, alleging they played a significant role in organizing protests across Iran.
Historically, this type of government action and rhetoric has been enough to get the people to fall in line behind the leaders, with such widespread doubts about the legitimacy of the recent election, people are highly skeptical:
“I think no one can predict Iran’s political future,” said an Iranian intellectual who asked not to be named for fear of arrest. “I do believe some things have changed after this recent upheaval and that events will play out in months and years to come.”
Public demonstrations have been largely squelched, but that isn't the same thing as turning back the clock to a point where people were willing to trust the story being dished out by the government.
Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rasfanjani spoke publicly for the first time, seemingly suggesting support for the actions of the public. According to the ILNA news agency:
“The recent events were a complex plot by suspicious elements that wanted to create a gap between people and the establishment and was aimed at people to lose their confidence in the establishment. Whenever people have entered the scene such plots have been neutralized.”
posted at 1:04 PM
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