Iran Update - 1 Tir 1388

Latest from Revolutionary Road:

180 journalists issued an statement re government pressure stopping them from reporting
Laleh Park and Shiroudi Stadium have become the command center to organize anti-riot police and plain clothes
"Frightening reports coming from Tabriz (Mousavi’s hometown); they resemble Saturday’s massacre in Tehran"
England restricts travels to Iran, withdraws embassy families stationed in Tehran
Police Using Gunfire, Tear gas,Electric Bat. Clashes at Enghelab SQ
people:Regime of Coup d'├ętat, abdicate, abdicate!
Maziyar Bahari arrested in Tehran. he was Newsweek reporter
In Enghelab sq. police shooting the air, using tear gas & electric batons
People are gathering near Mellat Park (North Tehran) Near State TV, Trafic Jamm & Lights and Horn
At least 47 killed and 1206 injured from this days!

Kudos and many thanks to Saeed for this difficult and dangerous work.

Statement from Ayatollah Boroujerdi:

In the name of God the beneficent the merciful

We in addition to honoring the brave people of the oppressed and under religious despotism country, His Excellency Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi and the zealous clergy Mr. Mehdi Karoubi also praising the right protests of the people against inattention to the sacred votes of the nation that has shouted the slogan of justice, announce our multilateral support on the divine and national insurrection of the mass of the oppressed people of Iran moreover we point out that the world concern on the gravity of the Human Rights situation in Iran is an usual matter and based on the aware conscience and no body can call it interfering in Iran affairs because Iran government is interfering in the affairs of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan in an unjustified way by abusing this subject(concern on Human Rights ) with all its equipments.

Today, noble nations have been annoyed for the lack of equality and freedom and the oppression and injustice applied on Iranian nation by the government and are planning to reflect the voice and the groan of millions of the injured people who are tired of this condition.

The followers and devotees of the liberal clergy, Ayatollah Seyed Hosein Kazemeini Boroujerdi who supports the separation of the religion from government

Go to the link for Persian and Arabic text.

Via Howard Baskerville posting at Michael J. Totten, here's an incredible Flickr gallery for the Iran protests. The pseudonymous Baskerville also writes:

If you are worried by the conduct of the Iranian regime, you have understood the country better than many commentators. What Americans now see is that Iranians are a people with spirit who are not easily broken. For all the claims that Americans are an unsophisticated bunch, they know that a regime and its people are not one and the same. What has happened in recent weeks has confirmed that instinct.

Are those protesting true believers in democracy? We do not know, because they have never been given the chance. What we do know is that they reject the dishonesty of a repressive theocracy. For that reason alone, we should stand with them.

At Rahai Zan (Emaincipation of Women), Mino Hemati interviews Soraya Shahabi. In Persian.

Azarmehr pokes lots of holes in the fantasy of "elite" Iranian protesters and a "working class" islamist regime.

For latest updates in Persian and English, don't forget to bookmark Raye Man Kojast?

Via Muslims Against Sharia, here's Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed at al-Sharq al-Awsat:

The anxiety that is being felt by pro-Iranian Arab groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and others, is clearly articulated in their overstated defense of Ahmadinejad and their denial of the uprisings seen in Iran. It is only natural for such groups to be overcome by fear as Iran represents the backbone of their existence, and whatever affects the regime in Tehran will undoubtedly affect them twofold.

On the Arab scene, Iran's defenders rushed to desperately defend it in the media, denying what the rest of the world has clearly seen in terms of hundreds of thousands of protestors being led by members of the [Iranian] regime itself [and therefore not influenced by foreign powers]. These Arabs insisted that the images that we are seeing, and the interpretation of what is happening, is nothing more than conspiracies, exaggeration, and lies. However in reality the excuses mentioned above is closer to [describing] their interpretation of what is happening [in Iran]. These Arabs are either in a state of self-denial, refusing to believe what is happening in Iran, or they are aware of the truth but want to paint a different picture for the Arab world, and especially for their own followers, who must be in a state of shock.

Hezbollah supporters - and I am not talking about its leaders or theorists - believed as late as yesterday that Iran was unified, and that the leaders of the Islamic Revolution saw eye to eye. However all of a sudden they began to hear accusations of treason, treachery, and corruption being leveled [from one side at another in Iran], and they witnessed a large-scale rebellion [in Tehran]. ...

Go read the rest at the link.

Gateway Pundit has some of the best Iran coverage anywhere. First go listen to Gateway Pundit's exclusive audio interview with Ahmad Batebi (with Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi translating). Excerpt:

The regime has dwindled the internet speed down to a minimum right now. They've disconnected all the phones. All the SMS and text messaging has been disconnected. They've thrown out Western and foreign journalists. They've closed down all Iranian newspapers. They've put filters on all of their opposition websites. They've arrested dozen of activists, human rights and civil activists. They are arresting and beating dozens of people on the streets every day. And, people need to know that if they do not stand by the Iranian people shoulder to shoulder right now, that they themselves will come face to face with this very regime. And if this regime is allowed to have a nuclear weapon it will do the exact same thing with the entire world. This regime does not represent the people of Iran. And, morally the people of the world need to support the people of Iran and not what the regime wants."

Go to the link to listen. Gateway Pundit's latest post shows that the protests continue despite threats from the regime.

Steve Schippert at ThreatsWatch has analysis:

This is a huge development. One of the biggest questions I and others have had since the Iranian protests/revolt/revolution began was whether Mousavi would be any different in tangible effect (Hizballah & Hamas support, etc.) than Ahmadinejad and whether Rafsanjani was seeking to sack 'Supreme' Leader Khamenei simply to acquire the powerful position for himself. That question perhaps may have been answered today.

My ears first perked up when word made it through the grapevines over the weekend that Rafsanjani had been meeting with other Ayatollahs and clerics in Qom, and had among them a representative of Iraq's Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Why? Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in 2007 made two very critical statements: that "I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shiite or a Kurd or a Christian," and that Islam can exist within a democracy without theological conflict. You will never hear such words slip past the lips of Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei. Ever.

Sistani's presence at the Rafsanjani talks in Qom, Iran, through a representative brings therefore added significance. And the al-Arabiya report above seems to suggest that Rafsanjani is not seeking Sistani's support for superficial reasons. ...