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Iranian Government and State-Run Media Escalate Conflict

Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of Ali Rafsanjani

Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of Ali Rafsanjani

It appears that the Iranian government is getting increasingly desperate. Earlier today several relatives of former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani, including his daughter, were arrested and detained for a time. According to The New York Times,

Mr. Rafsanjani, one of the fathers of the Iranian revolution, has been locked in a power struggle with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and worked closely with the reform movement during the disputed presidential election. Sunday morning, state television said five members of his family had been detained, including Mr. Rafsanjani’s daughter, Faezeh Hashemi. Later, family members said all had been released.

The detentions suggested that Mr. Khamenei was facing entrenched resistance among some members of the elite. Though rivalries among top clerics in Iran have been a feature of Iranian politics since the 1979 revolution, analysts said that open factional competition amid a major political crisis could hinder Mr. Khamenei’s ability to restore order.

Now the Washington Post is reporting that the Iranian state-controlled media is calling losing presidential candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi a “criminal” and claiming that protesters are members of a terrorist group based in France, Mudjehadin-e khalq.

Authorities appeared to be seeking to blame the violence on radicals. State television charged that “the presence of terrorists . . . was tangible” in Saturday’s events. It asked viewers to send videoclips of protestors in order to help authorities to arrest them.

Scenes of the violent protest were shown frequently on Iranian state television and in a special broadcast the rioters were said to be members of the Paris based Mudjehadin-e khalq organization, an Islamist Marxist group that is labeled by the United States as a terrorist organization. After siding with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and a series of terrorists attacks, the group has little support among most Iranians.

Audio clips were played of alleged telephone recordings in which people said to be members of the organization urge others to get information about the protests to Western news organizations. Despite the media claims, involvement of the group seems highly unlikely since supporters are rare in Iran.

In addition, the Post reports that Mousavi has not made any public appearances today, and his followers are very worried that he may be arrested. The Post says that it is becoming clear that there is power struggle going on in the Iranian government between Rafsanjani and Ayatolla Khamenei.

The week of unrest has focused attention on the political maneuvering in Iran’s normally opaque power circle, especially between Rafsanjani and Khamenei, who announced Friday that he supported Ahmadinejad. In a rare show of criticism, Iran’s head of parliament, Ali Larijani, who is known for his extreme loyalty to Khamenei, said that the Guardian Council, the elite group charged with certifying elections, should not side with one candidate.

“Although the Guardian Council is made up of religious individuals, I wish certain members would not side with a certain presidential candidate,” said Larijani, according to a Web site affiliated with him.

Another stunning event that appears to have had an immense effect on Iranians, as well as people around the world is the death of the 16-year-old girl who is being called Neda. She was shot in the chest yesterday, presumably by Basiji militia; and her death was videotaped, apparently by a number of onlookers, because a number of different views of the girl’s death have been posted on-line. Video was posted on Twitter and Youtube with along with the following explanation:

“At 19:05 June 20th Place: Karegar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gas used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know.”

"Neda" collapses after being shot in the chest

"Neda" collapses after being shot in the chest

According to Robin Wright in Time Magazine, Neda’s death may prove to be highly consequential for the Iranian regime.

Iran’s revolution has now run through a full cycle. A gruesomely captivating video of a young woman — laid out on a Tehran street after apparently being shot, blood pouring from her mouth and then across her face — swept Twitter, Facebook and other websites this weekend. The woman rapidly became a symbol of Iran’s escalating crisis, from a political confrontation to far more ominous physical clashes. Some sites refer to her as “Neda,” Farsi for the voice or the call. Tributes that incorporate startlingly upclose footage of her dying have started to spring up on YouTube.

According to Robin Wright, during the 1978 Iranian revolution, deaths that occurred early on during protest led to more protests and then to commemorations on 40 days after the deaths. Martrydom is an important cultural tradition in Iran, and a charismatic martyr like “Neda” could be a powerful symbol that will fuel further protests.

During the revolution, the pattern of confrontations between the shah’s security forces and the revolutionaries often played out in 40-day cycles.

The first clashes in January 1978 produced two deaths that were then commemorated on the 40th day in mass gatherings, which in turn produced new confrontations with security forces — and new deaths. Those deaths then generated another 40-day period of mourning, new clashes, and further deaths. The cycle continued throughout most of the year until the shah’s ouster in January 1979.


Shiite mourning is not simply a time to react with sadness. Particularly in times of conflict, it is also an opportunity for renewal. The commemorations for “Neda” and the others killed this weekend are still to come. And the 40th day events are usually the largest and most important.

“Neda” is already being hailed as a martyr, a second important concept in Shiism. With the reported deaths of 19 people Saturday, martyrdom also provides a potent force that could further deepen public anger at Iran’s regime.

The Iranian government is also taking steps to silence journalists, and a number of journalists, both foreign and Iranian have been arrested. From The New York Times:

The Iranian government continued its efforts to block all coverage of protests and the security crackdown. The BBC said on Sunday that the government ordered its reporter in Tehran, Jon Leyne, to leave the country, and other news organization said they were ordered by the authorities not to report on events on the streets.

Since the elections, the Iranian government has revoked foreign press credentials and told reporters not to venture outside to cover protests, and the media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said Sunday that 23 Iranian journalists have been arrested since last week.

Newsweek’s correspondent in Tehran, Maziar Bahari, who is also a prominent documentary filmmaker and holds dual citizenship in Iran and Canada, was detained at his home on Sunday. And two other prominent Iranian journalists, Mohammad Ghoochani and Mashalah Shamsolvaezin, were also reported arrested on Sunday.

But so far Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have not been able to stem the tide of information getting out of the country by way of citizen journalism, news posted on Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube, and sent by e-mail to newspapers and cable TV.

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90 Responses

  1. lets all wear green in support.of these courageous people.

    • It’s fine to wear green, but I wish there was something more substantial we could do. At least we can keep the discussion going her. That’s something, I guess.

  2. BB, thank you for putting this together. This is a hard post to respond to for me because I just don’t know what to say except I hope and pray for the safety of the Iranian people.

    • Hi lisadawn,

      You don’t have to respond to the post. Feel free to discuss the Iranian situation in any way you want or just talk about something else. I just want us to keep up with the ongoing situation at TC.

      • Yes, thanks for keeping the ‘Eye on the prize’, Women’s Rights and Human Rights. The Iranian people need all the moral support and good thoughts/prayers from around the world.

        One Iranian woman protesting in the US, said it was now about HUMAN RIGHTS in Iran. I agree. Thanks again.

        • I agree. Thanks, Woman Voter. I know you have been deeply touched by these events, as I have.

  3. CNN is saying that Jesse Jackson Sr. said Obama’s speech inspired the protests in Iran?!? 😯 Yet a young Iranian person is saying it is ‘Home Grown, by and for the Iranian people’, and he criticized Obama for not condemning the violence and being silent.

    • The protests in Iran have been building for a long time. There have been other uprisings since the 1979 revolution, but none of them has been as far-reaching as this one. Apparently the government is split between supporters of Khameini/Ahaminadajad and the faction that includes Khatemi, Rafsanjani and Mousavi, as well as several high-ranking ayatollahs and mullahs who want to separate government from religion.

      Giving Obama credit for this is blithering nonsense. Hell, he’s been buttering up Khameini (the “Supreme Leader”) and his good dog, Ahmadinajad. The Iranian women who are at the forefront of this movement are fighting for their equality, not for the right to keep their hair covered.

    • obama has nothing and i mean nothing to do with the protests in iran. how racial of jackson jr but then we already know about him. he(obama)is a timid, inexperience bad for america so called leader but he he backs him for politican gain and because they are the same ethnicity it seems to me. how pathetic!

    • One minor problem, he did condemn the violence.

      While there are many things I dislike about Barack Obama I do not feel it is in the best interest to pretend that he hasn’t done things that he has actually done.

  4. Watch Iran’s women. When they stop protesting, it’s over. If they continue, the revolution is on.

    Iranian women were comparatively well-off under the Shah. (No, I’m not advocating a return to THAT kind of totalitarianism. It’s just a fact.) In the thirty years since he was overthrown, they have suffered the worst at the hands of the government. But they remember. And they have passed those memories on to their daughters.

    I believe it is women driving these protests and that is why the young woman with her father was chosen for execution yesterday.

    Watch the women.

  5. I’m sorry. I forgot to say what an excellent post this was, bb. Thank you for new information.

    • Thanks! It is the women who are driving these protests, and I’m glad the corporate media is sitting up and taking notice of that.

  6. In my self-appointed role as the Doubting Tomasina of the popularity and desirability of a “color revolution” in Iran, I just want to point out today’s analysis in The Asia Times by MK Bhadrakumar, which presents a very different analysis from what we read in the US press of the forces at play in Iran.

    The struggle between the worldly mullahs (in alliance with the bazaar) and the republicans is as old as the 1979 Iranian revolution, where the fedayeen of the proscribed Tudeh party (communist cadres) were the original foot soldiers of the revolution, but the clerics usurped the leadership. The highly contrived political passions let loose by the 444-day hostage crisis with the US helped the wily Shi’ite clerics to stage the Thermidorian reaction and isolate the progressive revolutionary leadership. Ironically, the US once again figures as a key protagonist in Iran’s dialectics – not as a hostage, though.

    Imam Khomeini was wary of the Iranian mullahs and he created the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as an independent force to ensure the mullahs didn’t hijack the revolution. Equally, his preference was that the government should be headed by non-clerics. In the early years of the revolution, the conspiracies hatched by the triumvirate of Beheshti-Rafsanjani-Rajai who engineered the ouster of the secularist leftist president Bani Sadr (who was Khomeini’s protege), had the agenda to establish a one-party theocratic state. These are vignettes of Iran’s revolutionary history that might have eluded the intellectual grasp of George W Bush, but Obama must be au fait with the deviousness of Rafsanjani’s politics.

    If Rafsanjani’s putsch succeeds, Iran would at best bear resemblance to a decadent outpost of the “pro-West” Persian Gulf. Would a dubious regime be durable? More important, is it what Obama wishes to see as the destiny of the Iranian people? The Arab street is also watching. Iran is an exception in the Muslim world where people have been empowered. Iran’s multitudes of poor, who form Ahmadinejad’s support base, detest the corrupt, venal clerical establishment. They don’t even hide their visceral hatred of the Rafsanjani family.

    Alas, the political class in Washington is clueless about the Byzantine world of Iranian clergy. Egged on by the Israeli lobby, it is obsessed with “regime change”. The temptation will be to engineer a “color revolution”. But the consequence will be far worse than what obtains in Ukraine. Iran is a regional power and the debris will fall all over. The US today has neither the clout nor the stamina to stem the lava flow of a volcanic eruption triggered by a color revolution that may spill over Iran’s borders.

    I certainly don’t know enough to either agree or disagree with this analysis, but I do have a certain degree of mistrust for the Rafsanjani faction, based not just on this article, but on so much that I have read in the last week.

    • i find it amusing and irriatating to find out that some “journalist” seems to think that khomeini was a democrat at heart and it was “others” who imposed theocratic rule. hmmmm! i have read the revered mullahs for the most part don’t like the political structure of the so called political mullah kahamenei. in fact kahamenei had to use political pull to achive the religeous status he has now and not devotion of the people or continued study. he fact he is viewed as less than average mullah. no shining star he!

      • Yes, well perhaps Rafsanjani, given the chance, will promote a better than average mullah instead.

    • I keep trying to explain this to people, but I’m not taking a position on who should lead Iran. I have no clue about their government and I admit it. My interest is in the struggle of ordinary Iranians and the desire of Iranian women for more freedom. Whether they would have gotten it under Mousavi is a separate issue. Now that the crackdown has happened, I’m interested in the events as a human rights issue.

      As far as Iranian politics go, I’ll have to take a pass. I don’t know enough and I don’t have the time or the motivation to learn.

      • I’m sorry if I made it sound as if you were taking sides beyond wanting wanting to express solidarity with the protesting Iranian women. For my part, I simply wanted to present an analysis of the political situation at odds with the Iran coverage offered by either the MSM or Twitter, Facebook, etc.

  7. Woman with a black eye, she got while protesting for her RIGHTS and her country’s FREEDOM.
    Go Woman Go!

  8. The subjugation of the government to the clergy–specifically to himself as Ayatollah–was a central doctrine of Khomeini’s theology. While he may have preferred a secular figurehead, such as Bani Sadr or the current Ahaminadjad, Khomeini was no proponent of separation of government and religion. Quite the contrary, in fact.

    • Yes, but where did Rafsanjani stand while all that was happening? Do you really think that he wants to create a secular democracy with more rights for women? I don’t have the answer to that–just a certain amount of skepticism about his motives and MO.

      • Well, if he supports the theocracy, why has he been purged and why have several of his family members been arrested? His daughter supported Mousavi.

        • There are competing factions within the theocracy, from what I’ve read.

          • This second bit is from Chapter 1 of Walsh Iran/Contra Report: (http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/chap_01.htm)

            “On or about November 25, 1985, Ledeen received a frantic phone call from Ghorbanifar, asking him to relay a message from [Mir-Hossein Mousavi] the prime minister of Iran to President Reagan regarding the shipment of the wrong type of HAWKs. Ledeen said the message essentially was “we’ve been holding up our part of the bargain, and here you people are now cheating us and tricking us and deceiving us and you had better correct this situation right away.”

            No wonder DC / NYT want him .. This someone they can work with…and have . I feel the pro woman stuff would disappear pretty quick one he’s in . Even Bush 2 played that card. Anything our media wants is to be view with skepticism. Just saying.

          • yes, of course, there are competing factions. no one disputes that. maybe we are hoping for the lesser evil here. none of us are so foolish as to think a secular democracy will evolve in short order. sure these politicans need to be viewed from a distance with concern for their past and present. no one disputes that. however i fail to see why anyone would support or even hope for the present gang of cut throats to continue to their dominance in iran. what have they done in recent years? supported terrorism and are responsible for the deaths of our own soldiers in iraq. they are developing the bomb not for defense purposes. what will obama give away to get their approval. i have more concerns about that to be quite frank.

            so this wringing of hands about the opposition leaders certainly has a place but not at the head of the line for sure. i think we need to look at sadat and his past before he came forward in egypt. he died for his beliefs and plans. many of israel’s former leaders were considered to be terrorists. so mousavi has a varied background? who in the middle east doesn’t?

          • however i fail to see why anyone would support or even hope for the present gang of cut throats to continue to their dominance in iran. what have they done in recent years? supported terrorism and are responsible for the deaths of our own soldiers in iraq. they are developing the bomb not for defense purposes.

            I just want to know this. Where do you get your information that Iran is developing a bomb for offensive purposes? Where is your support for the claim that Iranians have been killing our soldiers in Iraq?

  9. “I am here to say that men and women are equal”-Zahra Rahnavard

    NOW that is what a feminist looks like! Daring to say the truth, in an Islamic Theocratic State. WOW…Go Woman GO!

    • “I am here to say that men and women are equal”-Zahra Rahnavard”

      Isn’t it amazing how radical that statement is, WV? Not just in Iran, but also here in the US in the year 2009.

      • Zahra Rahnavard killed Vince Foster and wants Obama dead.

        • for sure she did. don’t forget she was mixed up in whitewater someway and her grandchild is really her own baby.

          that is so ridiculous on it’s fact, yet “progressives” bought it.

  10. I am urging people, especially women, to wear green bracelets in solidarity with our Iran sisters and brothers – will you do it ? And tell others?

    • Hey I like the sign:
      No To Theocracy,
      Yes, To Democracy

      • I’m still partial to Selected, Not Elected, but that’s because I can relate to it so well.

        • It isn’t one bit funny, but the irony made me burst out laughing.

          I totally feel ya on the “Selected, Not Elected!”

    • I already have a volunteer with a sewing machine, preparing for the green bands and head band and green strings. On it, like a Greenie, in support of Freedom and Human Rights and of course Women’s Rights!

    • You’ve posted that at least three times now, and it’s starting to feel like spamming. Please understand that we are as aware of what is happening as you are. We don’t need to be “urged” to do things. We’ll do what we believe is productive.

      • Greenconsciousness,

        We prefer our commenters to be polite here. No I don’t know it isn’t spamming. Posting the same comment over and over again is spamming. If you can’t be polite, I’ll have to moderate your comments. It’s up to you.

  11. The murder of the beautiful young girl, Neda, on video will come back to haunt the government of Iran, even if the protestors fail. Sincere hopes and best wishes go out to the courageous people of Iran in their struggle for freedom.

  12. mods – please remove my comment at 8:47pm. The poster I was responding to has been removed.

    • done.

      • And thanks for the support!!

        • Thank you for all of your efforts to keep us informed.

          I was talking with my brother earlier today and he asked me what I thought was really going on in Iran. I took a deep breath and said it was hard to sort out but here goes…

          After about 20 minutes I stopped and said – I’m sorry, is that too much information? He laughed and said – that is why I called you but really didn’t expect you to start with 1953 and take me through 1979 and Jimmy Carter/Ronald Reagan/William CaseyBush I, the neocons, the CIA, and two generations of Norman Schwarzkopfs mucking around in the region.

          Turns out he was taking notes. My brother is retired but works part time with a bunch of retired military and techie people and apparently he likes to show off. He has been asking me questions for a couple of years and has been taking notes the whole time. I should have guessed by some of his followup questions.

          Anyway, several old farts in Orlando will be having a wild time tomorrow thanks in part to your efforts that help me keep up with the news. Thanks again.

          • ROFLOL! You could certainly teach me a thing or two. I haven’t ever paid much attention to Iran other than the Iran-Contra scandal and that was mostly about Latin America.

  13. Hard to believe, but after an entire week of this, Larry King is finally going to cover Iran instead of some teen idol or reality show star!

  14. everytime i talk to Friends and ask them what they think about whats is going on iran . most common answer i say there where surprised that after this past elect that. the same thing did not happen on our country

  15. Can someone explain to me why David Gergen is treated like an expert on everything under the sun? I’m sure they could have found better people to talk to on a show about Iran–like maybe Christan Ammanpour? Or any Iranian woman off the street?

    • he’s been an adviser on a lot of different things to four different presidents on both sides of the aisle

      • I know that, but he’s also a pompous ass who kisses Obama’s butt every chance he gets.

  16. Paul Wolfowitz should be sent to a very far away place and told never to return. Why is it that all these people who were so very wrong are treated as experts by cable TV? Like Newt Gingrich, why does anyone care what he thinks? Or Dick Cheney for that matter?

    • “Paul Wolfowitz should be sent to a very far away place and told never to return.”

      Perhaps we could trade him, Olbermann, and Matthews for those two women being held in North Korea? Sounds like a reasonable trade to me.

    • Like Krugman said, all the “serious” people were wrong. They aren’t going to really admit it so having someone who was right around is kind of embarassing for them.

      Thus Froomkin is fired and the PUMA blogs are discounted.

  17. Story in NYT about Washington tapping into social media.


  18. OT (but possibly due to O’s Iran response?)

    O has hit -2


  19. Thanks BB for the update! I have been reading the net throughout the day and your thread has helped to bring it all into focus.

    The motorway of life is moving faster than I could have ever imagined and my wardrobe of ribbons could soon require its own Human Rights museum.

  20. just a weird aside, but if it looks like there’s going to be a general strike in Iran on Tuesday, I’d make sure my tank is full … my guess is that oil markets will move on that starting tomorrow

  21. i think that seeing what is going on in iran & the level of decent and revolting is a good thing for our country

    what dose everone else think?

    • I think it’s a gift from manna. It’s showing the world what life under dictatorship is really like. Maybe waking up some of the moderates who supported Omememe.
      I hope it blows Ome Omy’s dictatorial plans out of the water. He can put to bed the thinking about a police state here in July. I just wish he wouldn’t use the people’s house’s halls as his own personal skateboarding arena and I wish he would tell his talking heads to stop calling it “Obama’s House” because it’s NOT!.

  22. New post up. Neda has been identified.

  23. geez inky, do you honestly believe that iran is developing nuclear arms for defense purposes? do you really? have you heard what the token president says about wiping israel off the face of the map? and if you use google as your friend, there are numerous references to iran’s support for the shite milita who have attacked and killed our soliders in iraq ie sadr? if you don’t care to do the research the i refer you to the 2008 crs report to congress.

    • Jeez. stodgie, given that Iran has not attacked another country for well over a century, given that the US has called out Iran for being in the Axis of Evil, given that Israel, whose leadership has openly threatened to bomb Iran, has upwards of over 300 nuclear warheads, and given that Juan Cole, no friend of Ajmedinejad, has noted that Ajmed was misquoted about wiping Israel off the face of the map, I think there’s every reason to believe that you are full of it when you say that Iran is building a bomb for offensive, rather than defensive, purposes (assuming for now that Iran’s nuclear program is not, as it claims, simply for producing nuclear energy).

      I also think that many observers would disagree with you about the Iran link to US soldier deaths. Here is just one contrary analysis. I could point to several others if you’d like.

      • Not to overstate my case–even though I’ve heard that Israel has 300 warheads, even the more conservative (and quite possibly more realistic) number of between 60 and 200 warheads would be enough to cause a country like Iran to desire defensive warheads of its own.

        • inky, thanks very much for revealing your real agenda. i believe from your comments there is an agenda and it is not in support of the uprising in iraq. shame!

          or it is that you want to argue every point with everyone about everything? hmm! that should make for a lot of research! you take care now!

          • What difference does it make whether we support the uprising in Iran or not?

            What is going on has nothing to do with us right now.

      • Also, I screwed up my second link. I meant to link to this article.

        • also inky, in your rush to make your case you forgot to cover all the bases like the comments made by the representativesf o the iran goverment in the last 30 years that involve wiping israel off the map. iran hasn’t attacked another country? well maybe so and maybe not. however they were involved with a horrific war with iraq for quite a long time killing many many people. their hands are bloody also no matter how you try and slant it.

      • i read the article. that deals with exactly what was meant about wiping israel off the face of the earth or regime change etc. there was NO COMMENT ABOUT AMERICAN SOLDIERS’ DEATHS.

        • It is Israel and some politicians in the U.S. who have been pushing to attack Iran, not the other way around.

          • bostomboomer, i never said that israel isn’t aggressive. their having nuclear warheads worries me also. they are also responding to the rhetoric from iran.

            i never said iran attacked iraq. saddam was no angel, in fact quite the opposite. i did however comment that the iranian leadership had blood on their hands also.

            whether we support the uprising in iran? well, if we put pressure on obama to speak clearly for democracy in the world and not apoloigize all the time, i think we’d be off to a good start. whether any of you support or not won’t make that much difference sure. but it is very important to stay informed on these issues.

            confluence has done one of the better jobs in reporting what is happening. it is also important to discuss both sides for sure. none of the pols have cleans hands it seems and that includes the mullahs. but who does in the middle east? i don’t subscribe to the neocon rhetoric, far from it. but this knocking of the the opposition doesn’t offer much either beyond just the ongoing criticism and arguing about every point made.

            we need to remember here exactly what the activities iran has indulged in recent years. they are supporters of terrorism over in the middle east. the leadership has shown a great deal of outright hatred of the usa warranted or not. iran helps creates the lack of stability in the middle east and is one of our main opponents. having the same crew in charge for the next decade worries me especially with a such a timid apologetic president which directly follows one who didn’t want discourse. neither of these two approaches makes sense to me.

          • Stodgie:

            Do you know how many Iranians died in the invasion by Iraq that we encouraged and supported? It’s no wonder they hate us. We’ve been fucking up their country since 1953.

            Bush II followed a bellicose policy towards Iran and got nowhere. What do you suggest? Should we invade or just nuke ’em?

        • I already said that I messed up that second link, and it looks which I then provided above.

          Look–I’d be perfectly happy to see a revolution in Iran if it represented the will of the Iranian people and did not involve the machinations of a corrupt thug like Rafsanjani. Who knows? Maybe even the wily and powerful Rafi can’t control the tempest that has been unleashed, and maybe something good will come of these protests. I’m just not holding my breath.

          As for my comment about the number of warheads Israel has, I originally used the number 300, which I recalled from a documentary I saw, but then I double-checked my information, and found that more conservative estimates put the number between 60 and 200. So I decided to make note of that.

  24. Wow. She has a beautiful soul and spirit. She gave her life to the fight for freedom. Her own countries leaders murdered this innocent woman who had her whole life ahead of her. If that’s not evil then nothing is.
    She never got to be free. Karma is hitting the regime swiftly and deliberately. No ONE gets away with anything ever. These IslamoFascist men are out of their minds and super crazy dictators. They and North Korea’s Kim (man has a woman’s name-no wonder he wants to fight everyone) are so worried sick of everyone and everything that they have ended up super paranoid and looney tunes in their view of the world.

  25. Thanks for all the great coverage of these historic events. It’s really starting to look like the so-called Supreme Leader could fall, especially if the Guardian Council turn against him. The question is: what happens then? Which way would the military and the Revolutionary Guard go?

    Another possibility in all of this is an actual military coup. This revolution in progress is the world’s last best hope of avoiding a nuclear Iran.

    • I doesn’t seem to be a revolution as much as a civil rights movement by people who want their votes to count and their constitutional rights to be respected. Plus women demanding more freedom.

      • BB, I think that adds up to a revolution against a regime that terrorizes its own citizens.

        • Yes, but not a revolution in terms of overthrowing the government and installing a new form of government.

          • I think we have a possibility of at least a highly modified form of Islamic Republic, bb. If the uprising succeeds and thus becomes a revolution, Khameini’s likely replacement will be Grant Ayatollah Montazeri. He’s the one who’s declared three days’ national mourning for the murdered protesters. He’s also part of the faction that wants to separate government and religion.

            We won’t get a functional western democracy in Iran-you know, the kind of thing WE used to have–but it will be a lot freer than anything Iran’s seen since Mossadegh.

          • Separating religion from government would welcomed as most conflicts/arguments start over religion.

  26. sorry myiqzxu, i do very well understand that the usa has had foreign policy issues for decades and has made many mistakes. however please tell me what country in the middle east hasn’t been “messing” with their neighbors? that is a very general question i understand but my intent is this. iran has been interfering in a number of issues outside their country. maybe we should “hate” them? of course i don’t think that, but that is my response to your view. i can see where people in the world wouldn’t like us. however i can see where we don’t like the iranian leadership with dang good reason.

    there is no excuse for what they are doing. there is none! and i am sick and tired of obama running around the world apologizing. some may like it, i don’t. the current iranian leadership poses a major threat in the middle east.

    • What is your solution?

      I’m no fan of Obama but what can he really do right now? Make speeches?

      The Iranians really don’t GAF what he thinks or says.

      • well myiq2xu, if i had all the answers i’d be in dc giving orders. i am no expert in these matters and never made that declaration. i have my views same as you.

        obama? larry johnson makes a point that walking a delicate line is a fine thing as long as one is working behind the scenes to get china and russia in our camp. problem is they have no respect for ole zero and in my view laugh at him. obama could and should show more substance but it isn’t there for him. so what to do? redo our election is a thought!

  27. Inured young students die in Iran by BASIJIS

    Worst Violence yet…Please, please write a letter to stop the killing of unarmed citizens in Iran.

  28. has anyone heard from or read anyting about sistani in iraq? he is iranian and i understand it enjoys both popularity and great respect in the shia world.

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