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News From Iran
It’s damned near impossible to get any. Josh, aka NiteOwl has been producing The Green Brief for more than 2 weeks now. This is the best source of gathered sources which are verified as well as they can be, under the circumstances. Some of these things he reports I can somewhat verify, in that I have seen the same reports from very trusted sources. An extremely small set of sources. Josh is more connected to the #iranelection than I am. I trust him to be as accurate as is possible.
The following is from trusted reports from inside Iran and describes events of July 6th, 2009.
The Green Brief #20 (July 06)
I’m NiteOwl AKA Josh Shahryar – twitter.com/iran_translator on twitter – and I’ve been immersed in tweets from Iran for the past several hours. I have tried to be extremely careful in choosing my tweet sources. What I have compiled below is what I can confirm through my reliable twitter sources. Remember, this is all from tweets. (My work is released under Creative Commons (CC). So use it freely. A big apology for not being able to brief yesterday. I was in a different city and the internet connection at the hotel was just…)
These are the important happenings that I can positively confirm from Monday, July 6 in Iran.
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1. As reported yesterday, people did indeed gather in front of Evin Prison with flowers and gifts for prisoners. These individuals were there to celebrate Iranian’s Father’s Day. However, the peaceful gathering resulted in the presence of security forces – which again used force in order to scatter the crowd. It has not been confirmed if anyone was injured in the incident. Videos of people chanting in front of the Evin prison have been released, but dates cannot be confirmed on any of them.
2. UAE police last night prevented roughly 100 Iranian expatriates from signing a piece of cloth which said, “Ahmadinejad is not our president!” It was supposed to be sent to Paris and used as a petition where it would’ve joined similar petitions from around the world. The UAE police told protesters that they had the right to gather, but did not have the right to sign petitions against the Iranian government.
3. In an interview on an Iranian website, the spokesperson for Imam’s Way Faction (members of Parliament) accused security forces of attacking people’s homes and abducting Iranian students from universities in Tehran. He also complained that the government was blocking their website, Parlemaan News, from time to time. He demanded the government to stop filtering news from reaching the people.
4. Protesters are widely being dubbed as “rioters” by the Iranian Media and government officials. It has increasingly replaced the word protesters in government channels. Ayatollah Khamenei called the participants of the post-election protests a ‘depressed’ and ‘distressed’ minority.
5. There were reports today of a meeting between Rafsanjani and Mousavi, however, it could only be partially confirmed. Rafsanjani is proving to be very elusive for both sides of the conflict – so anything attributed to him needs to be considered with great caution.
6. Mousavi celebrated Imam Ali’s birthday today with a small group at his house. Mousavi said, “The flaws in the system had become more apparent because of the election.” He called the government illegitimate and stated that he and his followers will continue to work to achieve their goal of nullifying the election. He went on to say, “the real issue has not disappeared simply because the protests have quieted down – on the contrary, we will continue to work to the very end.”
Government / International / Clerics
7. Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, congratulated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his victory as President today. He was being eyed as a key member of the government who might be swayed to join the pro-reform movement, however, despite earlier indications; he has remained firmly in Ahmadinejad’s side.
8. It must be noted that except for one statement from pro-reform clerics in Qom supporting the protesters, no pro or anti-protester statement has been released by major clerical organizations from Qom. Reports indicate that the majority of clerics in Qom are against crackdowns on protesters and meetings are daily held between various factions to determine their course of action.
9. Hossein Subhani-Nya, a key member of the Iranian parliament’s foreign relations committee, told Iran’s Al-Alam TV today that they had indications that 6 member nations of the G8 group had already decided to call back their ambassadors from Iran after being urged to do so by Britain. He did not divulge the names of the members. He added that Iran would never bend to Western pressure and that it will take action against countries who call back their ambassadors on a case by case basis.
10. After Joe Biden’s statements yesterday, Alaeddin Broujerdi, the head of Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, said today that Iran was going to take ‘real and decisive’ action if attacked by Israel. He defended the government’s crackdown on protests and called the situation in Iran calm and peaceful. Today, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the Iranian people deserved a better government.
11. Ayatollah Khamenei warned the West to not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. He urged Western countries to not meddle in Iran and warned them of a reaction by the Iranian nation if they didn’t pay heed to his warnings. News of Khamenei being abandoned by senior officials is intensifying. It was reported today that the spokesperson for the Guardian Council – Mr. Kadkhodaie – will be resigning soon to focus on teaching. Reports indicate it is a move by Kadkhodaie to distance himself from the government.
12. Grand Ayatollah Abbas-Ali Amid Zanjani – a former chancellor of Tehran University and a member of the Combatant Clergy Association – said today that every healthy mind doubted the impartiality of the election. He said that the large scale arrests of post-election protesters was regrettable and slammed the government for killing protesters and then branding them as rioters.
13. Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the IRG, said today that the IRG had taken a large role in quelling the protests. He said that the opportunity had presented itself and the Guard had to take action in order to restore calm in the country which it did almost flawlessly.
Arrests / Releases / Killed
14. Ahmadi-Mogham, a high-ranking police official in Tehran, today said that the police had not fired a single shot at protesters. He also denied any relationship between plainclothesmen and the police and the Basijis. This comes at a time as more and more sources report that at least 100 people were killed in Tehran during the protests – many of them by Tehran’s police.
15. Reports indicate of the arrest of at least one female French citizen in Iran. It cannot be positively confirm when she was arrested and where she is kept at this point. It has been reported by the BBC that she’s an academic who had spent 5 months in Isfahan and was arrested on her way out of Tehran at the city’s main airport.
16. Farnaz Moyerian, a student activist and reporter, was released today from Evin Prison. It has been reported that Mousavi will be meeting with the families of detained protesters sometime in the next few days to discuss their release.
17. SMS services have been disconnected in Tehran again. Iran’s national broadcasting agency has been removed again.
18. Tehran’s Air Pollution Monitor Center warned citizens not to go out on Tuesday as air pollution was above Crisis Level because of recent dust storms. Due to air pollution, all government offices and educational institutions in Tehran will be closed tomorrow. The chants of Allaho Akbar echoed across Iran again at night, even as the roofs could be hardly seen because of low visibility.
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Original NiteOwl Greenbriefs at WhyWeProtest.net