Beth Jones, a senior threat researcher at the Internet security firm Sophos, said the attack did not look very sophisticated and probably was not the effort of a Web terrorist or other professional. “It could have been any number of people doing it,” she said. Ms. Jones said the incident may have been “hacktivism,” an attack with a social or political motivation. “The point could purely be just to prove the site is insecure,” she said
Just gonna say this one more time: if this was just "hacktivism" unrelated to the Iran internal crisis, why did the attackers first go after one of the Green Movement's primary websites for news?
(For an analysis which is more useful, and a lot funnier, see Persian Umpire's interpretation.)
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1730 GMT: Today's Foreign Enemies Will Kill All Iranians Warning. Let's hand over to Revolutionary Guard Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami:
Enemies will not give up their devilish moves against the Iranian nation, they have brought their front to our streets and universities today and the battle is still on....Pointing to the enemy's nonstop strategy to confront the Islamic Republic, the commander noted, "These moves form a chain of profound global plot against the Iranian nation....If we do not practice the necessary vigilance, we could (be obliged to) play in the enemy's court.
Etc., etc., etc.
1345 GMT: Confirming Torture Deaths? Mehr News reports that the judicial section of the Armed Forces has concluded that three detainees in the now-closed Kahrizak Prison died from abuse and not from meningitis, as was originally claimed. The deaths cited are those of Mohsen Ruholamini (son of the advisor to Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei), Amir Javadifar, and Mohammad Kamrani.
In its investigation of alleged abuses, the panel has questioned 22 people and indicted 12, three of whom are involved in the Kahrizak cases.
1315 GMT: Hashemi, Join Us. In an interview in Mizan News, conducted before Friday's events, the son of Mehdi Karroubi, Hossein, was blunt: people expect former President Hashemi Rafsanjani to distance himself from the Government and join those asking for justice.
1310 GMT: Khatami's Latest Statement. The website supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi published a statement from former President Mohammad Khatami to faculty at Hamedan University, insisting on reform and respect for protest:
The Islamic system does not respect people’s votes, those who behave like this should not claim to be on the path of Imam Khomeini and the revolution....The policy that is accepted in Islam is a moral policy. If we commit the worst actions under the name of religion we cannot claim that we are in favour of religion.
1300 GMT: Did the Clerics-Rafsanjani Initiative Reach Khamenei? Remember our analysis of recent weeks about discussions between senior clerics and former President Hashemi Rafsanjani in a bid for "unity" between the Government and the opposition?
Well, eyebrows are raised over this item from the reformist website Rah-e-Sabz, which claims secret but futile meetings of high-ranking Tehran and Qom clerics with the Supreme Leader. The website adds that the clerics warned Khamenei that many of his religious supporters, and indeed members of the Revolutionary Guard and Basij militia, are now searching for another "marjah" (source of emulation) after the brutal suppression of protest. (hat-tip to EA reader "Arshama")
1250 GMT: It Just Isn't Going Well. A public sign of doubt after the mini-marches yesterday: an EA reader points out the complaints from a pro-regime website about the "meagre popular support for yesterday’s rallies" and the focus of slogans attacking the opposition, rather than praising Ayatollah Khomeini. (And the comments aren't much more hopeful, with plenty to say about the "lying government".)
1230 GMT: Oh, Mahmoud, You Do Say the Darnedest Things.... Normally I wouldn't bother with this, but it's a relatively slow news day and the statement is kind of funny for its brazenness:
Iran's president says he will soon write to the UN Secretary-General asking for his country to be compensated for World War II damages. "We will seek compensation for World War II damages. I have assigned a team to calculate the costs," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a Friday press conference in the Danish capital.
"I will write a letter to the UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] asking for Iran to be compensated for the damages," he added, pointing out that such a move is necessary to ensure that justice was served. Ahmadinejad told the reporters that the countries that won the Second World War had inflicted a lot of damage on Iran by invading the country and using its resources.
The president added that while the former Soviet Union, the United States and Britain received compensation after the conflict, Iran had been given nothing to make up for the suffering its people had endured.
Dude, I don't want to rain on your rhetorical parade, but the UN Secretary-General has no authority to order reparations. You could try the UN Security Council, I guess, but as three of its permanent members are the US, Britain, and Russia....
(And forgive me for being provocative, but wasn't there a really costly war for Iran more recently than 1945? One with a neighbour that supposedly has a bit of money from the oilfields it is auctioning?)
1020 GMT: And if you're into the Iran-Iraq border incident that is not war, Reuters indicates that Iran is seeking a "diplomatic" resolution over the alleged 11-troop occupation of the oil well.
0950 GMT: On the Nuclear Front. In case you want a break from the internal battle in Iran, the latest from Tehran, at least in the form of Ali Akhbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, is good-cop/bad-cop noises.
On Friday, Salehi said that about 6,000 of Iran's centrifuges were operational. That comment was jumped on by some media in the "West" and Israel as a sign of Iran's aggressive intention. In fact, it was far from that: Iran's chief enrichment plant at Natanz has 8000 centrifuges, so Salehi was admitting that, at most, Natanz was 75% effective. (The most recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency said that half of the centrifuges were working.) Salehi added that Iran would not be adding extra capacity soon, with a new generation of centrifuges not ready until 2011 and the heavy-water plant at Arak still "three or four years" away from service.
Today, however, Salehi is taking a tougher stance, declaring that "the IAEA Board of Governors' resolution against Iran is ineffective" and there would be no halt in the construction of the second enrichment plant at Fordoo.
0920 GMT: We've posted a guest analysis by Austin Heap of yesterday's cyber-attack on Twitter by an Iranian group.
0755 GMT: Mousavi Defiance Behind Regime Threats? One intriguing story this morning: the reformist website Rah-e-Sabz claims that Iran's judiciary pressed Mir Hossein Mousavi to withhold or at least moderate any statement of support for protests on 16 Azar (7 December). Mousavi's refusal, and indeed his publication of a high-profile message to Iranian students, angered the authorities and led to the ominous threats of arrests and trials.
0745 GMT: A morning, and possibly a day, to relax and assess after the fizzling of the regime's attempt to show strength on Friday (see our special analysis, "RegimeFail").
No sign yet of counter-moves by the opposition, either within or outside the establishment, and Western media are likely to be wandering around after the Iran "invasion of Iraq" story (we're still treating 11 Iranian soldiers raising a flag over an oil well as a political manoeuvre which will bring more politics, rather than confrontation) and whatever pops up on the nuclear front.