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Archive for February, 2011

Windows on Iran Returns – 2

Greetings Everyone,

I hope you are all well. My breaking news today is a sad one:

Mousavi and Karrubi Taken to an Unknown Location

The two candidates who objected to the results of Iran’s 2009 general elections, and thereafter emerged as leaders of the opposition movement known as the Green Movement, have now disappeared from their homes (where they were kept under house arrest for almost two weeks). The arrest has now been reported internationally, is confirmed in Mr. Mousavi’s official site, and the BBC site.

It all started with the February 14 protests in support of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. The Iranian government which had celebrated the “death” of the Green movement was socked with images such as these:

Thursday, February 24, Tehran was flooded with additional security forces and the Iranian Minister of Intelligence appeared on the state-run TV to give an interview in which he tried to down play the threat of the opposition and at the same time establish certain “secret” links between the Greens and foreign/ hostile sources (i.e. the CIA). He failed in both. However, that evening is the likely time at which Mousavi and Karrubi were taken from their homes under the cover of the night.

Religious Figures Object

From the start of the house arrest, supporters of the Green Movement have tried to get various personalities, including major Ayatollahs, in Iran, and Human Right’s organizations outside the country, voice their opinion about the house arrest (now changed into imprisonment) of Mousavi, Karrubi and their wives Zahara Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karrubi.  Some, i.e. Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, have spoken critically – but cautiously – of the government’s widespread arrests and imprisonments. Others, such as Ayatollahs Dastghayb (below), Bart Zanjani, and Yousef Sanei  have condemned the move directly and unequivocally.

Shiraz University Protests Continue

Shiraz University students continued to hold protests all last week despite the psychological war the media is playing against them. Their class mate, Hamed Nour Mohammadi died during the February 20 demonstrations. While eye witness  students have seen Hamed’s injured body being thrown over a bridge (after being shot), the government claims he died in a car accident.  Hamed’s father was interviewed on the state-run television supporting the official scenario. The students declared a week of morning for their friend

Tomorrow, March 1st, another Day of Protest

While the Iranian government will no doubt flood the streets of all big cities with the army, the police and the revolutionary guards. The Green Movement’s youth group The Green Way of Hope has already called on supporters to come out tomorrow at 5 pm in support of their incarcerated leaders.

Let us hope, it will go peacefully and successfully.

Best,

Fatemeh

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Windows on Iran Returns – 1

Dear All,

Because of the recent developments in Iran, and the region, I have decided to open a new set of Windows on Iran. Let me first say a word of thank you to all of you who wrote to me individually and inquired about these windows.

As you know, on Monday February 14, the Green Movement (the movement against the military and oppressive state which is ruling in Iran) entered a new phase. After a year and a half of systematic attacks on the its supporters, and after the regime had celebrated the so called death of the movement many times, street protests made it clear that the opposition is alive and well.

What is Happening in Iran?

With the absence of foreign reporters in Iran, and the classification of the act of local reporting on the uprisings as “treason,” any picture we get from Iran is bound to be incomplete.  To construct a general view of the events of the past few days, I published the following piece yesterday in Counterpunch.

Recent Updates

In a series of bizarre moves,  which seem to be a result of confusion, and are likely to be counterproductive,  the Iranian regime seems to be testing the waters for arrest, even execution, of the leaders of the green movement, Mr. Mousavi and Karrubi.

  • the first of these was the angry chanting of “death to Mousavi and Karrubi”  by the lawmakers in the parliament a day after the February 14 protests.
  • building an iron fence to block the way into the small street where Mousavi’s home is located is another curious move.  Since Mousavi was already under house arrest and his contact with the outside world completely cut off, it is not clear what function the fence can serve except underlining the regime’s fear of his popularity. This video was taken secretly:
  • Mr. Karrubi has been under an even stranger house arrest in the sense that while his house is surrounded by security forces, these forces have not prevented the thugs from harassing him and his family by breaking the windows, shouting insults at him, and throwing sound grenades to intimidate the family here. Today, the harassment was taken a step further by arresting his son.

Shiraz in Recent Uprisings

  • The historic city of Shiraz in southwest Iran has been at the center of the revived uprisings in Iran. On Sunday, February 20, at least two people died as clashes broke out between protesters and the security forces. The death of one of the two victims, a fourth year biology student called at Shiraz University called Hamed Nour-Mohammadi, is leading to further protests. The Iranian official news agency Fars News reported Hamed’s death to be a result of a car accident.  This has infuriated  Hamed’s friends who say eye witnesses saw Hamed’s injured body thrown over a bridge here.

Sorry to end the blog, on such a sad note. There are indications that the Iranian government has not realized that a year and a half of brutal crackdown has not wiped out the opposition nor ended the discontent.

I’ll keep you updated on the later development.

Best Wishes,

Fatemeh

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