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Iran: 14 Latest Facts and Possibilities from "The Green Brief"

The Latest from Iran (2 July): The “Gradual” Opposition

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IRAN GREENI spent a frustrating hour yesterday on The Islam Channel discussing "The Western Media and Iran". It was frustrating because one of the other panellists, referring to stories of demonstrations, violence, and detentions, kept repeating the mantra, "How do we know?" That question, on its own, is fair enough: indeed, it should be asked every time we post a piece of information. In this case, however, the speaker added the direct charge or implication that the demonstrations were the product of the US Government and that reports of violations of human rights were fabrications or exaggerations of the "Western" media.

So it was a useful test case this morning to read the work of Josh Shahryar, who has been blogging for "Anonymous Iran" during the crisis. Shahryar's "Green Brief" is an excellent starting point to test what happened or may have happened in the last 24 hours. We tested some of his claims in the days after the election, and in light of continuing important (but often hard to determine or decipher) developments, I set the list today against our latest information:

1. There have been unconfirmed reports of a protest in Tehran today. There were reports of clashes in Rasht that could be partially confirmed. Clashes broke out when police tried to disperse people who were mourning dead protesters. A doctor and two nurses were badly beaten in Loghman Hospital in Tehran after they tried to stop security forces from arresting an injured protester from the facility. A tweet source talked to a Basiji in Tehran today. According to the source, the Basiji claimed that he was working for Islam, but hoped that he wouldn’t be forced to quell protests again. [The report of clashes in Rasht, if true, is a rare and important indication of demonstrations outside the capital. The report of the beating of hospital staff has not emerged elsewhere and cannot be verified. The report of the penitent Basiji should be treated with caution; similar accounts, changing various details, are racing around the Net and may be a highly-desired symbol of a crack in the security forces.]

2. Protests are being planned for tomorrow - although none could be fully confirmed. A number of Iranian women who’ve formed a quasi-group called Mourning Mothers have announced that they will gather at Laleh Park on Saturday to mourn the dead. Reports from Tehran suggest that shops are being closed earlier than usual. Several sources claimed that the city is in a virtual state of an unofficial curfew. [A good summary --- see our Morning Update, "The 'Gradual' Opposition" --- but reports of earlier shop closings and "unofficial curfew" are not verified.

3-6 (summarised). 3. Mousavi today released his 9th statement since the elections....Khatami criticized the government in a new, harsher tone that suggested outright contempt today....Khatami later met with several families of loved ones arrested during in the violence the past two weeks....A video of Ayatollah Hadi Ghaffari, another prominent Shi’ite cleric has surfaced in which he directly accuses Khamenei of sinning against the people by ordering arrests and killings. [All verified, except the "video" of the Ghaffari statement, as far as we know, is audio overlaid with pictures.]

7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly said today that there was as much truth to electoral fraud in Iran as there was for the Holocaust. (Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier.) Ahmadinejad reportedly cancelled his trip to Libya to attend an African summit today as well. The media reported that Ahmadinejad was too busy at work and there were ‘other priorities’ for him to get to. This comes at a time when some reformists abroad are secretly planning on creating a shadow government for Iran – according to unconfirmed reports. [The cancellation of the President's trip was reported by state media yesterday. This is the first I have heard of a comparison between fraud and the Holocaust. And great caution should be exercised about any claim of planning for "shadow government" --- this is a key part of the State's attempt to portray an attempt by foreign forces for regime change in Tehran.]

8. The Imam's Way Faction (a group of MP’s) of parliament, which is slightly pro-reform, asked the families of detainees to send them documented information about their arrested family members. More high-profile Iranians were arrested today. Among the arrested were: Saeedeh Kordinejad and Zoia Hasani -members of Mosharekat Party, Vahid Amoozadeh-Khalili - the son of another pro-reform personality and Omid Mosleh - a prominent film critic. Mosleh was later released. Mohammad Mostafayee, a prominent lawyer who had been arrested two days ago, was also released on bail today. [All verified.]

9. Vahid Amoozadeh-Khalili’s detention could only be confirmed today, although he had been missing for two days. A high-ranking official in the Police Department confirmed that 1,032 people had been arrested since the start of the protests. According to independent sources, the numbers are likely much higher. There was partial confirmation of the release of 4 other British Embassy's local staffers from Iranian detention. One still remains under arrest.... [Verified.]

10. The Iranian government claimed that the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan was in no way, shape, or form related to the recent ‘riots’. Iran’s Chief of Police announced today that one of the key eye-witnesses of Neda’s death, Arash Hejazi, is actually wanted by Interpol for unspecified crimes. The government had earlier claimed that the bullet that killed Neda was not shot by any weapon currently in use by Iranian Security Forces. [Verified.]

11. Mohammad Ghouchani, the detained editor-in-chief of Etemade Melli, has denied reports published in IRG’s main media outlet Javan Daily that he confessed committing crimes and breaking the law in organizing protests. He also rejected Javan’s claim that he had been secretly trained in an Arab country to carry out subversion tactics. He claimed to not even own a passport. [Verified.]

12. Etemade Melli will be published again starting tomorrow after being banned for a day by the government for reportedly attempting to publish Karoubi’s statements yesterday. Reports suggest that the government is now heavily censoring Etemade Melli as well as other newspapers in order to stop any such statements from getting out to the public. A reporter of government-owned Press TV has also quit his job over perceived bias in the station’s reporting of the events after the election. [Verified. The Press TV reporter is the British, London-based journalist Nick Ferrari.]

13. Today, reporters accompanying the governor of Fars province and the Friday prayers’ Imam of Shiraz stumbled upon four unopened ballot boxes from the elections in Shiraz’s main library. Per electoral rules in Iran, all ballot boxes were supposed to be shipped to Tehran. According to reports, the governor promptly declared the contents of the boxes ‘national documents’ and asked the reporters not to report the incident. [This claim raced around the Internet yesterday. It rings true, but its significance. On its own, it is proof of negligence or error, rather than fraud.]

14. Chants of Allah o Akbar continued to rattle Tehran and other cities of Iran at dusk. A report published by the Guardian reports through a protester's friend that the protester was arrested, beaten and raped. [Verified.]

Reader Comments (1)

It doesn't matter what the regime thinks or says. We are not a foreign power. We are the Democratic nation of iran. A shadow government developing a new framework and constitution for a future Iran. We are not affiliated with the CIA or any other foreign power. Besides, it doesn't matter because the Islamic Republic accuses every student and every freedom fighter of being a foreign agent. We push for reform and are prepared to take action.
The Democratic nation of iran.

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamshid

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