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Pray for the Freedom of Iran (Update)

John on June 14, 2009 at 12:27 am

A quick rundown of what has happened so far:

  • Near closing time of the polls, mobile text messaging was turned off nationwide
  • Security forces poured out into the streets in large numbers
  • The Ministry of Interior (election headquarters) was surrounded by concrete barriers and armed men
  • National television began broadcasting pre-recorded messages calling for everyone to unite behind the winner
  • The Mousavi campaign was informed officially that they had won the election, which perhaps served to temporarily lull  them into complacency
  • But then the Ministry of Interior announced a landslide victory for Ahmadinejad
  • Unlike previous elections, there was no breakdown of the vote by province, which would have provided a way of judging its credibility
  • The voting patterns announced by the government were identical in all parts of the country, an impossibility (also see the comments of Juan Cole at the title link)
  • Less than 24 hours later, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene`i  publicly announced his congratulations to the winner, apparently confirming that the process was complete and irrevocable, contrary to constitutional requirements
  • Shortly thereafter, all mobile phones, Facebook, and other social networks were blocked, as well as major foreign news sources.

Of course no one in Iran is buying any of this. Watch a few seconds of this video of people marching in the streets of Tehran, it’s an unbelievable crowd:

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That’s actually calm compared to what can be seen in this clip. This is a full-fledged street riot:

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There are reports that Iranian police are seizing cameras from foreign journalists. Unbelievably, it looks like Mir Hossein Mousavi or someone using his name has a Twitter feed [Correction: The feed is created by "a group of Iranian professionals and students"]  Eight hours ago this was posted:

Dear Iranian People, Mousavi has not left you alone, he has been put under house arrest by Ministry of Intelligence

This Flickr feed has a bunch of recent photos from the street level.

Update: BBC says Mousavi is not under arrest. Here’s the latest video:

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Follow this link for a Twitter crowd of eyewitnesses inside Iran.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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