After my jubilant election message of last week, I owe you an explanation concerning the post election situation. So, here it is, window number 55.
* Yesterday, as I followed the progress of the Iranian election, all of a sudden most websites set up by the reformist candidates went down and cell phones in Iran got disconnected. Then the surprisingly early and victorious results for Mr. Ahmadinejad began to emerge from the Iranian Interior Ministry. Around mid night, and out of despair, I e-mailed a good friend in Tehran.
Here is the response I got this morning:
Sorry I did not check my mail, b/c we were, and are, so shocked! Voting ended 10:30 p.m. last night, and 12:30 p.m. last night, about two hours later, Musavi’s votes were unofficially estimated to be 23 million,.But the winner’s votes were announced 67%, and Musavi’s 28%. The percentages have stayed the same up to now. Tehran is like a dead city now. Everyone is shocked, terrified and depressed! Musavi right now made a peaceful (!) announcement, saying that he is going to seek legal solutions to the injustice. It is a vague statement and announcement as far as I can understand. Everybody is expecting a burst out.
Let’s pray for a miracle!“
* During the period of silence, the prominent Iranian Film Maker Mohsen Makhmalbaaf who campaigned for Moussavi and was in close contact with his headquarter in Tehran, gave an interview to the Persian radio Farda in the U.S. I have attached the interview. For those who don’t speak Persian, the gist of his assertion is that yesterday, as the counting of the votes progressed, first the Iranian interior ministry contacted Mousavi’s headquarters and informed him that the counting of the votes indicated that he should prepare for announcing victory and even prepare his victory speech. But in order to avoid any clashes on the streets, he should prevent his followers from premature jubilant rallies etc.
Soon after that Mousavi’s headquarter got attacked by a small anonymous group who smash computers and basically disconnected them from the rest of the world. Makhmalbaf refers to the whole thing as a coup d’etat. Please click here for Makhmalbaaf’s interview.
* Today, Mr. Moussavi’s website was back up for a while. He wrote to his followers and promised that he will not give up on what has come to be called by his supporters “taking their votes back.” Here is clash filmed by the BBC reporters: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8098834.stm and this one from a post election demonstration in the city of Babol: http://www.mardomak.org/videos/42079/
* Demonstrations appear to be spreading in Tehran and other cities:
Most video’s are taken from people’s houses by armatures, yet the content is clear enough:
* Mr. Mousavi was scheduled to have a press conference today (Saturday) at 2:00 pm Tehran time. That has been canceled. Also, his headquarters appears to have been closed (though we are not sure of that).
* This is very much history in the making. As I write to you e-mails and phone calls are pouring in with important news updates. Do stay tuned. For now here are the two latest updates. Ten minutes ago a friend from Tehran called to say had had just returned from lively and escalating street demonstration to revers what he described as the coup d’etat against the lawfully elected Mousavi.
* Just received news of a post by Mr. Mousavi on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mir-Hossein-Mousavi-/45061919453?ref=nf
The content of it is “do not loose hope, do not believe rumors that I have given up” The immediate instruction: carry out demonstrations from rooftops of the houses during the night.” This was a method used against the Shah during the revolution.
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Co-Chair, Iranians For Peace
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399