Iran's Date with Destiny

As you surely know by now, March 20 marked the major confrontation between Iran's regime and its people. Gateway Pundit has updates. Michael Ledeen has analysis. The Spirit of Man writes:
Updated @ 9:35 am ET: There seems to be a bad case of news black out from inside of

Iran. I can't access any of my contacts. I have heard confirmed reports of explosion/blast in Khomeini's grave. I'm hearing that the govt has shut down public transit system, possibly to prevent people from commuting to the assembly sites.

Via TSOM, Revolutionary Road is updating continuously:

In Khosh Street police is attacking people with batons and pepper spray trying to disperse people, shots can be heard around Azadi
They are throwing Teargas constantly people: down with khamene'i
Heavy clashes on azadi street, chants of death to khamene'i,The street is full of rocks and fire!
Voice of shooting in Azadi street...
police using tear gas, water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters in Tehran,They are beating "people" in Enghelab St., not only the protesters!
people are trapped between Behboodi and Enghelaab
people are trapped between Behboodi & Enghelaab. gunshots being fired into the air...
2,000 to 3,000 protesters at Tehran University!
Enghelab street is fulll of people between ghods st. and Enghelab square
So Hard conflict in Azadi ST
Intense clash in Enghelab
Houses in alleys opening doors to injured protestors,hallway is full of beaten people!
Police have closed off Tehran University
Two bomb blasts in Tehran
Many of people arrested
An explosion near the shrine of Khomeini,killing one person and minimum 2 people are injured
metro/subway is closed...
Shooting directly to the people in Azadi ST
Vanak Square reportedly full of civilian-dressed forces
Fars news agency: the blast occurred near the shrine of Iran's revolutionary founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Amirabad was closed of my plain clothes basij, tear gas was used
50-60 basij bikers were present . the amount of people were 2000 in that area due to blockages of roads

And finally, this from TSOM:

This is a brief letter written by an Iranian woman who is going to attend the anti-regime rally tomorrow:

I'll participate in the rally tomorrow in Tehran. It might be violent. I may be one of those who will die tomorrow. I want to listen to all beautiful tunes that I have heard in my life, again. I want to listen to some cheap Los Angeles made Iranian music. I always wanted to have much narrower eyebrows too. Yeah, I'll check in with my hair-dresser tomorrow before I go to the rally. Oh, there are some excellent scenes in the famous Iranian movie Hamoon I want to see before I leave. And I gotta re-visit my own bookshelf. Iran's poets Shamloo's and Farrokhzad's poems are worth re-reading. I've to see the family photo albums once again.

I'll have to call my friends and say good-bye to them. In this big world, my possession is only two bookshelves. I've already told mom and dad whom to give these books to in case I never come back. There are only two more courses left for me to get my BA degree but to hell with the degree. I'm anxious and excited.

I wrote these scattered words for the future generations so that they know we were not sentimental or uselessly emotional. I'm writing this so they know we did every thing in our power to make this work for them and so that they realize if our forefathers surrendered to the Arab and Mongolian invaders physically, but they didn't give in to their tyranny with their spirits. They resisted it. And I wrote this for tomorrow's children...



People have been trying to reach Azadi Sq in groups of 100-200 but at every crossroad there is heavy riot guard presence. Gun shots can be heard throughout Tehran constantly. Riot guards have used high pressure water canons with boiling water to disperse the crowds. Never before has so much tear gas been used. [video at link]


Tension rose in the Iranian capital Saturday afternoon, June 20, when supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi set fire to the campaign headquarters of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Heavy police forces fired in the air to break up a clash between the two groups.

Earlier, demonstrators making their way to Tehran's Enghelab Square and Tehran University on the eighth day after Iran's disputed presidential election were prevented from forming into a procession by military police, anti-riot police and Basijj militia wielding water cannon, night sticks and tear gas. This was reported by witnesses using e-mail and other means of communication.

Two Iranian news agencies reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the tomb of the Islamic Revolution's founder Khomeni, injuring two people. This was not confirmed as independent news organizations are strictly controlled.

The crowds turned out in defiance of warnings of tough action against any attempts to demonstrate from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Friday and later the police. Their numbers could not be independently confirmed but the huge security presence appears to have outnumbered protesters.


Shiro-Khorshid Forever (Sayeh Hassan):

According to one of my contacts who was present during today’s protest in Tehran security forces have opened fire on protestors. My contact witnessed the shooting of three (3)protestors. Right now as we speak security forces have attacked protestors in the Amir Abad Area.

There are also Regime helicopters circling the area, they are mostly Sepah helicopters and to a lesser degree police helicopters.

Another eyewitness has seen a young girl shot to death in Jalalzadeh street.

People are also shouting "death to dictator" "Seyed Ali Pinochet, Iran Chili Nemishe" meaning Ali khameni Pinochet, Iran won't be another Chili"

Roger Cohen at New York Times:

TEHRAN — The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. “I swear to God,” he shouted at the protesters facing him, “I have children, I have a wife, I don’t want to beat people. Please go home.”

A man at my side threw a rock at him. ...

Richard Fernandez:

The President’s actions suggest that he has finally torn up the draft agreements he had hoped to conclude with the Iranian regime simply because there is no one any longer to send them to. ...

TSOM has an appeal, in Farsi, to the Iranian regular army from a veteran:

به عنوان افسر وظیفه سابق ارتش و کسی که از خانواده ارتشی هستم از کسانی که این مطلب رو در داخل سازمان ارتش مردمی ایران مطالعه میکنند تقاضای عاجزانه میکنم که برادران و خواهران خود در خیابانهای تهران و شهرستانها را در مقابل بسیج نامردمی مسلح تنها نگذارید. از همه افسران و درجه داران و سربازان عزیز ایران بعنوان یک هموطن عاجزانه در خواست میکنم پناه مردم ایران عزیز باشید. مردم ایران همگی برای ارتش جان برکف ایران احترام و ارزش فوق العاده ای قائل بوده و هستند. اجازه ندهید مردم کشته و زخمی شوند. از شما عاجزانه تقاضا دارم به فکر مردم عزیز باشید. مردم بیگناه ایران به ارتش بعنوان پناهگاه خود مینگرند. لطفا مردم رو در این ساعت دشوار تنها و بی دفاع نگذارید. مردم همیشه و هر لحظه به سازمان مقدس ارتش اعتماد داشته و خواهند داشت. بعنوان یک ایرانی از همگی شما میخواهم به یاری مردم بیگناه ایران بشتابید. مطمئن باشید مردم ایران هیچگاه جانفشانی ارتش در طول جنگ تحمیلی و سالهای بعد از انرا فراموش نکرده و نمیکنند. مردم ایران و خانواده های ارتشی همگی شاهد تبعیض علیه ارتش و پرسنل معزز ان بوده اند. اجازه ندهید جماعتی بیگانه مردم ایران را در خیابانها قتل عام کنند. از دوستانی که در ایران این مطلب رو ملاحظه میکنند خواهشمندم از برادران ارتشی خود کمک و راهنمایی بخواهند


What you are watching is a vast classroom in action. This is what used to be called a “radicalizing experience”. All the people you see on the video, for however long they live, will remember where they were this day. Whatever happens outwardly the old Iranian regime can never put things back together in quite the same way again because the interior landscape of the country has changed. It has been said that “what is essential is invisible to the eye.” This date has marked itself; and the calendar has singled out the day as a landmark not of a passage to a place, but of a transition between one idea and another. They are on the other side.



A week ago, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the so-called elections in Iran. Supporters of his rival - and opponents of the regime - staged massive protests. Due to personal obligations and the pace of events, I haven't been keeping up with the Iran situation here, but I'm going to try to catch up a little now.

Azarmehr, June 12:

Pro-Ahmadinejad news websites are already announcing Ahmadinejad as the outright winner. Rajanews says 69% have voted for Ahamdienjad and 28% for Moussavi. Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA, has also announced Ahmadienjad as the certain winner.

The picture shows, club wielding pro-Ahmadinejad supporters are already in the streets intimidating the people. [photo at link]

Via Gateway Pundit, the Globe and Mail, June 13:

Thousands of protesters clashed with police after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won an election which his reformist challenger called a “dangerous charade“.

The protests were a rare direct challenge to Iranian authorities. The result and its violent aftermath raised fresh questions about the direction of Iranian policies at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama wants to improve relations with Iran.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iranians to respect Ahmadinejad’s victory, which upset expectations that reformist candidate Mirhossein Mousavi might win the race.

Michael Ledeen, June 15:

To start with, the BBC, long considered a shill for the regime by most Iranian dissidents, estimates between one and two million Tehranis demonstrated against the regime on Monday. That’s a big number. So we can say that, at least for the moment, there is a revolutionary mass in the streets of Tehran. There are similar reports from places like Tabriz and Isfahan, so it’s nationwide.

For its part, the regime ordered its (Basij and imported Hezbollah) thugs to open fire on the demonstrators. The Guardian, whose reporting from Iran has always been very good (three correspondents expelled in the last ten years, they tell me), thinks that a dozen or so were killed on Monday. And the reports of brutal assaults against student dormitories in several cities are horrifying, even by the mullahs’ low standards.

Western governments have expressed dismay at the violence, and Obama, in his eternally narcissistic way, said that he was deeply disturbed by it ...

Before I go on, I want to make a few observations about Mousavi. As some of the more cynical commenters on my Facebook page have correctly observed, Mousavi is not, himself, what we would call a "good guy". That is to say, he is not running on a "freedom, democracy, and secularism" platform and he is no less a part of the establishment than Ahmadinejad. He is simply a rival thug. So, what are we to make of the demonstrations?

Here's Ledeen, June 17:

I think that many pundits insist on thinking about the Iran-that-was-five-days-ago, instead of the bubbling cauldron that it is today. The same mistake is repeated when people say that Mousavi, after all, is “one of them,” a member of the founding generation of the Islamic Republic, and so you can’t expect real change from him. The president made that mistake when he said that he didn’t expect any real difference in Iran’s behavior, no matter how this drama plays out.

I think that is wrong; at this point, Mousavi either brings down the Islamic Republic or he hangs. If he wins, and the Islamic Republic comes down, we may well see the whole world change, from an end of the theocratic fascist system, to a cutoff of money, arms, technology, training camps and intelligence to the world’s leading terrorist organizations, and yes, even to a termination of the nuclear weapons program.

I think that, whatever or whoever Mir Hossein Mousavi was five days ago, he is now the leader of a mass movement that demands the creation of a free Iran that will rejoin the Western world. And yes, the wheel could turn again, this revolution could one day be betrayed, all kinds of surprises no doubt await the Iranian people. Yes, but. But today, there is a dramatic chance of a very good thing happening in Iran, and thus in the Middle East, and therefore in the whole world.

And Michael Totten at Commentary, June 18:
I do not trust Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. He is part of the Khomeinist establishment, although a crudely sidelined one at the moment. His record as former prime minister isn’t much more attractive than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s record as president.

The democracy movement is rallying around him, but the activists should be careful. Ruhollah Khomeini managed to convince Iranian liberals and leftists to forge an alliance with him to topple the Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979, but he brutally smashed them once the revolution swept the old regime out of power. Alliances between liberals and Islamists is extraordinarily dangerous – for liberals.

At the same time, though, it’s possible that Mousavi has changed. Michael Ledeen seems to think so. “He is not a revolutionary leader,” he wrote, “he is a leader who has been made into a revolutionary by a movement that grew up around him…Whatever plans Mousavi had for a gradual transformation of the Islamic Republic, they have been overtaken by events.” ...

Please go to the link for the rest, including Totten's commentary on an article by Robert F. Worth in the New York Times.

Now covering the rallies, here's Azarmehr:

Massive crowds, mourning the martyrs of the protests so far, sing the true national anthem of Iran ["Ey Iran"] and not the official Islamic Republic one [video]...
Protests in Rasht. Young girl is caught badly beaten up, God knows what happened to her afterwards at the hands of those savages. [video]

The Spirit of Man posts running updates:

5:34 am ET: Now calling protesters 'terrorists'? Khamenei wants an END TO STREET RALLIES & threatened the protesters with more consequences.

5:37 am: Khamenei said budging under pressure is dictatorship. He is again threatening the heads of the opposition. He says people should try the 'kinder' way and saying if people go another way, then I'll be more blunt. 5:41 am: He's now taking a jab at the US and EU governments. I think he's trying to link the protests to the foreign governments now.

5:50 am et: Khamenei is saying Iran is no Georgia and there'll be no velvet revolution in this country. Now giving food to the stupid leftists in the western world... saying Iraq war is against human rights. Now criticizing Hillary Clinton and her husband for Waco incident. Khamenei says the Iranian govt is the defender of 'human rights' around the world. 5:51 am ET: He is now basically saying that he is willing to give his life to defend the revolution & Islamic state.
My gut feelings: I predict Tiananmen Square in Iran

Stay tuned for more.