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« Today on EA (12 February 2010) | Main | Iran Video Special (2): Decoding the 22 Bahman Rally in Azadi Square »

The Latest from Iran (12 February): The Day After 22 Bahman

2150 GMT: A Quiet Night. For the first time in days, a noticeable drop in news and chatter. So we may close shop early and welcome you to a new day in several hours.

1910 GMT: We Take It All Back --- No Rest for Ahmadinejad. Remember how we said (1225 GMT) that Ali Larijani's statement on Iran's uranium programme yesterday --- which could have just as easily been given by the President --- indicated a possible easing of tensions between Ahmadinejad and his conservative/principlist opponents?

Well, forget that. Member of Parliament Ali Motahhari, who has taken the point in the challenge to the President, has resumed the attack, and he has done so in the Larijani-affiliated Khabar Online:

NEW Iran Video Special (2): Decoding the 22 Bahman Rally in Azadi Square
NEW Iran Video Special (1): The 22 Bahman Attack on Karroubi?
Iran: 22 Bahman's Reality "No Victory, No Defeat"
Iran Analysis: The Regime’s Pyrrhic Victory
Iran: The Events of 22 Bahman, Seen from Inside Tehran
Iran on 22 Bahman: Ahmadinejad “Wins Ugly” (This Time)
Iran: Greening YouTube — An Interview with Mehdi Saharkhiz
Videos: The 22 Bahman Protests From Around the World
Iran Document: Interview with Hossein Karroubi (11 February)
Latest Iran Video: The 22 Bahman Protests (11 February — Set 4)
Latest Iran Video: The 22 Bahman Protests (11 February — Set 3)
Latest Iran Video: The 22 Bahman Protests (11 February — Set 2)
Latest Iran Video: The Marches of 22 Bahman (11 February — Set 1)
Latest Iran Video: 22 Bahman – TV Coverage
Latest Iran Video: President Ahmadinejad’s Speech
The Latest from Iran (11 February): Today is 22 Bahman

We cannot claim the crisis is totally over until both sides make up for their mistakes. The differences of opinion between the government and [the opposition] might have been eased to some extent, but they still exist. Our statesmen should not imagine that people's massive presence in the Thursday rally reflects the approval of their performance.... The presence of political elite in the rally does not mean there is no longer any criticism or objection towards the regime.

Motahhari declared that the Government must stop banning the press and should release all political prisoners. And he made clear that Larijani's apparent conciliation on the nuclear issue was more of a demand that Ahmadinejad stick to a hard line against the United States:
People expect their governments not to seek compromise with big powers. The government should be honest with people and tell people if it is engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations with big powers. Nor should the government tie Iran's nuclear issue to normalization of ties with the United States.

(English-language summary in Los Angeles Times)

1730 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayers Update. Hojjatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi takes the podium to sweep up after 22 Bahman. Very much a junior member of the Tehran FP group, he keeps it simple, "The epic [turnout] of the highly dignified Iranian nation was a manifestation of power, solidarity and national unity." And Western powers were disappointed, etc.

1605 GMT: More on Mousavi's Alleged Flight. A relative of Mir Hossein Mousavi has denied the Fars report that he was unable to fly from Tehran to Tabriz, because of crowds protesting at Tabriz's airport (see 1235 GMT).

An EA correspondent adds this twist: the crowds who arrived in Tabriz were not demonstrating against Mousavi but for him. Letting this story out, however, would have undermined the regime's projection of unity and support on 22 Bahman, thus Fars' re-telling of the tale.

1600 GMT: The sites of Tahavol-e-Sabz, Rah-e-Sabz and Kalemeh have been attacked by the Iranian Cyber Army. Rah-e-Sabz is now operating from an alternative site.

1550 GMT: Back With Not One But Two Video Specials. We've got claimed footage of the 22 Bahman attack on Mehdi Karroubi, and Mr Verde offers a detailed reading of an 8+ minute clip filmed in Azadi Square during President Ahmadinejad's speech.

Mr Verde's analysis should also be set alongside a viewing of this footage of Government supporters lining up to get free food and "Sandis" soft drinks, indifferent to the slogans being shouted over the loudspeakers.


1255 GMT: In Case You Missed It. On Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted a sweeping resolution on human rights and nuclear issues in Iran. The headline paragraph:
[The Parliament] reminds the Iranian authorities that, in order to develop fruitful relations with the EU (European Union), Iran must guarantee fundamental human rights and respect for the principles of democracy, freedom of expression, and the rule of law, as this is a prerequisite for all countries which maintain political and economic relations with the EU; emphasises that the possible conclusion of a cooperation and trade agreement between Iran and the EU is contingent on respect for these values, Iran's full compliance with UNSC (United Nations Security Council and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) resolutions and the provision of objective guarantees regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme and the cessation of Iran's support for terrorist activities.

1235 GMT: Totally Must-Be-True Story of the Day. Fars News is alleging that Mir Hossein Mousavi had to cancel a flight from Tehran to Tabriz last night:
Mousavi, who wanted to fly to Tabriz at 9.30 pm..., was forced to cancel (the flight), because the people of Tabriz, who heard of it in the afternoon, started to pour to the airport and block its doors and access routes. When Mousavi heard of the protesters and their blockade, he decided to withdraw, and authorities asked the people to go. Nevertheless some of them stayed there for hours.... {This is like what] we have seen in Tehran on 22 Bahman, where he met with the people's protests and had to flee.

1225 GMT: Larijani Takes Ahmadi's Hand? Looks like one advantage of the President's shift to his "We Will Enrich Uranium" line is that it puts him in step with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. He declared yesterday:
Even if US President Barack Obama dares to repeat threats of tougher sanction against us as much as ten times, we will still be determined to pursue our enrichment program, but with a much faster pace.

Whenever we make a significant breakthrough, whether it is launching a satellite into space or any other technological or scientific achievement, they quickly demonize it and claim that it is aimed at military or spying purposes. But their problem really lies with the fact that our status in the international scene is changing for the better. They can not bear to see our progress, which is why they want to keep us as an underdeveloped country.

(There are indications that the pro-Larijani Khabar Online, which had been hostile to Ahmadinejad in recent weeks, may have changed its political line. We are monitoring.)

1140 GMT: We've posted another analysis of yesterday's events, Pedestrian's "No Victory, No Defeat".

0955 GMT: Regime Beat Goes On. Uranium enrichment, rockets, satellites. Repeat as necessary.

Press TV has two more pieces this morning. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told a rally, ""Today Iran has emerged as one of the top ten forerunners in the field of space research and technology. Our stellar progress in space science is only one of the many benefits derived from the victory of the Islamic Revolution more than thirty years ago." And former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter said on a Press TV broadcast, "I see the truth about Iran's nuclear program prevailing over the fictions" put out by analysts on "Western" media.

0950 GMT: The Green Re-Assessment. One of the key developments of 22 Bahman, beyond superficial judgements (see 0845 GMT), is the re-evaluation amongst the opposition of its political strategy and tactics for protest. Rah-e-Sabz already features an article on the subject.

0910 GMT: Peyke Iran is claiming that more than 1000 people were detained in Tehran yesterday.

0845 GMT: How the Foreign Media Was Blinded (Almost). One of the most striking reports on 22 Bahman by a "foreign" correspondent appears in Slate, written by Jason Rezaian. It's not the headline, "On the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution, the regime drowns out opposition protests", or the reports of the Azadi Square rally that are significant but Rezaian's (sometimes inadvertent) glimpses into the regime's control of the story:
For the first time in months, several members of the foreign press were allowed to cover a public event in Tehran. We all gathered at the foreign-media office of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance early this morning to receive credentials for the day, neon-colored vests marking us as press, and chocolate milk. We then boarded three buses and made our way to Freedom Square. I kept my eyes glued to the window waiting to catch signs of protests, but there was nothing....

We were led to a raised platform less than 100 feet from where President Ahmadinejad would deliver his speech. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to mingle with the crowds, and those near us, mostly teenage girls, were told not to speak with us, but instead to show off their propaganda signs proclaiming "Death to America," "Death to Israel," and "Death to the U.K." Several minutes before the president began his speech, text-messaging service was cut.....

Despite the restrictions, some telling counter-points sneak out. Rezaian estimated "tens of thousands", not million, coming into Azadi. He notes, "Before the president had finished his speech—but after he had made his main points—the crowds began to disperse," as he concludes, "These events...are intended more for foreign-media consumption than for the crowds that are present. Any support won or reinforced among the locals is just a bonus."

Yet, in the end, Rezaian too falls victim to the regime's manipulations. For based solely on his glimpse out his bus window into and out of Azadi, he declares, "Today it seems clear that the street phase is over. The protests have been pushed underground, which means that the green revolution everyone has been waiting for will not be televised."

0830 GMT: The Nukes! Look at the Nukes! And here is one of those signals we mentioned below: the Ahmadinejad Government is putting its foot to the floor to ensure the nuclear issue takes precedence over any internal quibbles. Press TV declares:

"Iran's nuclear chief [Ali Akhbar Salehi] confirms that the country has produced its first batch of higher-enriched uranium for use in a medical-research reactor in Tehran. This comes after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had announced on Thursday that the country has successfully managed to complete production of its first stock of uranium enriched to 20 percent."

0820 GMT: A bit of a late start for us this morning, as we try to assess and move beyond the events of 22 Bahman. We have an insider's view of the day, provided by Mr Azadi from eyewitnesses in Tehran, and two analyses: Mr Verde writes a guest piece for EA on the regime's "Pyrrhic victory", and Scott Lucas considers the political significance for the Islamic Republic, the opposition movement, and especially President Ahmadinejad with his "ugly win".

We have also posted an interview of one of the most prominent post-election activists, Mehdi Saharkhiz, with America's ABC News on social media and the Green Movement.

Now, however, we're moving to the day after 22 Bahman. We're going to be watching for the reactions and manoeuvres of those involved with the political developments. While Iran is now in the midst of a four-day holiday, there may be some signals, not only with the setpiece of Friday prayers but with individuals and groups trying to re-align their positions.

So, not quite back to normal following yesterday's tensions, dramas, and letdowns. But then again, when has the day ever been "normal" since 12 June?

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    [...]EA WorldView - Archives: February 2010 - The Latest from Iran (12 February): The Day After 22 Bahman[...]

Reader Comments (14)

Response to Mr Rezaiian

1- Two US senators, Mc Cain and Kyl support iranian opposition they want to introduce bills denouncing publicly the name of people in iranian regime involved in repressions against iranians people and their family ,violating human rights ; their assets all over theworld will be freezed

2- the" regime of fear", french journalist says about targeted sanctions and defending HR as above

3- USA denounce the blocus of info

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterange paris

[...] The Day After 22 Bahman Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)unsubstantiated threats against the scho…#22Bahman GOOD MORNING IRAN. [...]

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Day After …. 22 Bahm

According to what we can see in the media today,and the morality of the story : we wanted all the countries hear our voice, it was done and the opposition's demonstration yesterday was successful; Arshama, Greeny, Hossein, Wereismyvote, and all the readers here don't be sad, our fight continue, we have to keep our serenity to take good decisions.
Ma Bishomarim V

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterange paris

See this high resolution satellite photo of Azadi Square 22 Bahman (13 MB):
It's 10:47 a.m. local time.

When zooming in, one can see hundreds of buses parked along many different roads.

The picture is from GeoEye

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidar

Some great videos.

Good video with the attack on Karroubi:

A 8 min. long video, walking among the people in Azadi Sq. while Ahmadinejad is talking. Seems half empty (or half full)
At 07:27 one sees a Iranian flag with the Islamic symbol cut out, among the regime supporters!

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidar

The people chant "Mousavi, Mousavi" in their demonstrations.

Mousavi association with this movement has earned him a death "fatwa" by a cleric.

He certainly is a target.

why not have this movement claim the support of people more fundamental to this regime. Rafsanjani, or Khomeini's grandson.

If people come in the streets with their posters in their hands, with their names being chanted, will these people not become a liability?

Ahmadinejad has a way of diverting the attention of foreign media, so why not civil disobedience in his name...crazy?

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdanial

This movement should not just focus on the executive powers...all three powers, judiciary, parliament and president are in the hand of one. The who system is corrupt. Let's not forget during the khatami era, a little bit of courage people gained was used by the system. They identified their opponents and arrested them. There were thousands of arrest back then if you google. serial murders, etc. etc. Khatami always said he had no powers! for 8 years not much political achievement. We should target these powers, green should change from a movement for the interest of some who lost it recently. Because at any time they can go compromise and gain those interests. People will be or are already deceived. The Green should become a movement for reforming a whole corrupt system. How? we don't know..Perhaps we should look into other country's solidarity's and movements to learn from....

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSahar

On the other hand Green should forget about Khomeiny and his agenda. Just go back to history for mass murders of Iranians from 1980 to 1988.
Summary trials. Killing without court and an atmosphere of fear were people were afraid of everybody.
If Musavi cannot apologize for those nasty events in the memory of many people who still cannot trust him enough to risk their lives, at least they can for the moment stop talking about them. Otherwise people will turn their back and let them drown altogether.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnahita


Thank you so much for continous posting after this exhausting day.

@ 1605 GMT: The link to the denial of Mousavi's flight leads to another EA page. Here is the story:

And then a long interview with Noam Chomsky on Jaras! The Greens go international :-)


February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

If international community unveils names of all people, in iranian regime involved in repression , violating HR against their people, their assets will be freezed; they have done all this for money, they will have all wrong !! ( it's a french expression : ils ont tout faux !); all their private plans consumed, all their deams vanished into thin air !! what a pity !! :-)

An other article:
France has denounced the hindrances imposed to foreign media and said:
Iranians leaders move away everyday from their people and isolate themself on the international plan, more and more.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterange paris

It is a big shame for you people that you tiny bunch do not support a leader like Ahmedinejad. Can't you spot the personal interests of 'Greens'. Sitting here in Europe, we see that that this small bunch is morally empty. The moment they land on airport, the first thing the want is Alcohol and a Pub. This is not an Islamic attire and that is their hidden agenda. Down with USA and Israel who support them.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterU need Stick

@ 1235 & 1605 GMT: Mousavi's non-flight to Tabriz

Peyke Iran reports (according to Mizan) that pro-Mousavi activists from Nehzate Azadi, Mosharekat, Tahkime Vahdat (student's organisation) and National-Religious were shortly arrested on Wednesday, i.e. the day before his planned flight to Tabriz, to prevent him from doing so.
Security forces prohibited Mousavi from flying on behalf of people's protests according to False News. Peyke Iran denies it, asking how the people could know his flight number and exact time of arrival. In any case the arrests were meant to create an insecure atmosphere.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Rafsanjani, Larijani, Mottahari, Qalibaf cut deal with SL to sacrifice Ahmadinejad, In exchange for their loyalty to SL. Becomes more and more believable especially when you consider Rafs complete 180 last week.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJames

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