Welcome to Window 61. I have good news. Due to the hard work of a stellar student of mine, these windows are now being blogged. If you wish to visit the earlier issues or forward the address to an interested friend, the url is:https://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/.
The Speech of the Supreme Leader
The most important event of today was the much anticipated speech delivered by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Mr. Ali Khamenei, during the Friday prayers. The following are, to my mind, the most important features of his speech:
* Mr. Khamenei made it clear that he believes in the authenticity of results of the election.
* He asked the three candidates to wait for the Guardian Council’s verdict on the election results (this council is a half appointed, half elected influential body responsible, among other things, for overseeing the election).
* He warned the demonstrators to stay off the streets or accept responsibility for the outcome of their “unlawful” behavior.
* He blamed a number of western countries for the recent unrest, chief among them Britain. This is surprising particularly that the French authorities have over the past few years been far more critical of Iran’s policies. He may be alluding to the British sailors who entered the Iranian waters and were detained temporarily last year. Mr. Khamenei’s anger may also be a result of the role that BBC Persian service has been playing in keeping the Iranians informed of the details of the protests. Apparently, the Iranian government has been unable to jam the BBC signals due to the latter’s employment of new and powerful satellites.
Mr. Mousavi’s Reaction to the Speech
* Mr. Mousavi has not reacted publicly about the Supreme Leader’s speech. According to the news below, he has been ordered to remain silent by the Revolutionary Guards. I assume he follows that order to avoid arrest.
* 9:46 pm: “The man Iranians want as their leader has been silenced. This is what he wants you to know” – Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the prominent Iranian film director said to The Guardian. Makhmalbaf goes on to say that Mr. Mousavi’s headquarter has given him the responsibility to disclose that the office of Mir Hussein Mousavi has raided by plainclothes police officers and the commanders of the revolutionary guard have ordered him to stay silent. He urged people to continue their protests.
* He is expected to join his supporters in the rally scheduled for tomorrow and has asked the people of the world to rally in solidarity with them wherever they are.
The Nightly ‘Allaho Akbars’
* The nightly chants of protest continue from the rooftops in various parts of Tehran (click on youtube video below).
* Gunshots have been heard in the cities of Tehran, Karaj, and Tabriz
* Evin Prison’s phones have been disconnected for the past 72 hours.
Hacking the Official Web Site of the Iranian National Radio and Television
* Today, protesters to the censorship imposed on them hacked the website of the National Iranian Radio and Television and posted the picture of a protester who was shot by the Baseej members yesterday. The caption read “Why kill your brother.” The site is now down.
Solidarity March in Washington, D.C.
* In response to Mr. Mousavi’s appeal to the international community to organize rallies tomorrow, Saturday, June 20 in D.C. people will gather in front the Iranian Interest Section (2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007) at 11:00 a.m.
* My anonymous e-mailer in Iran is fine. She is planing to go to the rally tomorrow. So are many people who have contacted friends or written on twitter that they are determined to continue their protest. Let us hope and pray for their safety.
The images I have picked from the photos sent by Iranians today.
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