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Main | The Iran Crisis (Day 19): What to Watch For Today »

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1925 GMT: Now Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi has reacted to yesterday's Guardian Council verdict: "This government is not legitimate.I'll continue fighting in any condition and with any means."

So, of the leading opposition challengers, only Mir Hossein Mousavi has been silent today. We think we know the reason but will wait until the morning to see if our analysis is right.

1900 GMT: In the category of "Well, He Would Say That, Wouldn't He?", President Ahmadinejad is quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency: "This election was actually a referendum. The Iranian nation were the victors and the enemies, despite their ... plots of a soft toppling of the system, failed and couldn't reach their aims."

The significance is not in Ahmadinejad's words, but in their low-key presentation. Both in a national broadcast the night after the election and in a press conference the day after that, the President was loudly celebrating his win, even taunting the opposition as "dust". Now, the day after the Guardian Council has re-affirmed his victory, his public appearance is limited to a brief statement repeating the "foreign threat" theme.
Interpretation? After his over-enthusiasm in the first 48 hours beyond the vote, Ahmadinejad has been reined in by other leaders. The President's "victory" is looking decidedly Pyrrhic in the wider context of the Iranian system.

1440 GMT: Has Maziar Bahari, the Newsweek journalist detained by Iranian authorities, been forced to issue a "confession"?

1430 GMT: The account of "Reza", a student whose account of detention in Evin Prison was put out by "Change_For_Iran" on Twitter, has been re-posted in a single blog entry.

1345 GMT: Now It's Heating Up. After a slow start today, the post-election political and clerical battles have resumed. Within the past hour, moves against the opposition challenge have come from Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, a former head of the judiciary, who has declared that Mir Hossein Mousavi will not be approved as a candidate for the next Presidential election, and a Tehran Member of Parliament who has said the reformist party Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution "is a half-clandestine terrorist organization".

From the other side, Ayatollah Jaleleddin Taheri has asserted that the long-time nemeses of Ayatollah Khomeini are sending the Islamic Republic "to the museum". (A pro-Government Member of Parliament has claimed that Taheri, a prominent prayer leader in Isfahan, is not a "senior cleric".) And other politicians are feuding with the President of the University of Tehran over whether he "invited" security forces to raid the university's dormitories days after the election.

1320 GMT: The Association of Combatant Clerics have issued a statement complementing Khatami's response (1300 GMT).

1300 GMT: We started this morning by wondering what response would be made to the Guardian Council's attempt to close off debate on the Presidential election.

Finally, an answer: former President Mohammad Khatami has declared that an impartial board must address complaints about the election. Meanwhile, there must be change in the approach of the security forces and military to the opposition movement and the atmosphere caused by detentions and repression.

1215 GMT: The chief prosecutor in Isfahan has announced the release of 280 detainees.

1205 GMT: If true, this article from Eli Lake in The New Republic is a disturbing window on the short-sightedness of US Government officials when it comes to Iranian politics and society. The summary, based on interviews with Government sources and Iran-watchers, is that US analysts are "forced to make guesses about the Iranian freedom movement from afar" as they are "not in touch with organizers of the Iranian revolt".

The possibility that an official might be able to get a reasonable view of Iranian devleopments through a consideration of the many different sections of Iranian society beyond "organizers", either for the Government or the opposition, doesn't occur here. Nor does Lake or his interviewees seem to recognise that you don't have to rely on US Government-funded programmes, such as National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, and Radio Farda, to build links for knowledge and analysis.

1200 GMT: An Iranian source says Tehran University students joined the mothers of detainees to protest outside Evin Prison yesterday. Other sources indicate that Evin is now full and detainees are being held in football stadiums.

Press TV English is saying nothing about the detentions. In fact, their current "world news" is saying nothing at all about Iran, preferring to focus on the nominal US withdrawal from Iraqi cities.

A reminder: the project of The Guardian of London to put pictures to the names of those killed and detained can be accessed via the newspaper's homepage.

1045 GMT: An Iranian source on Twitter summarises the situation concisely, "It's like Iran is in shock or coma or something." Still nothing of significance after yesterday's events.

0930 GMT: The calmest morning since the start of the crisis. Almost no information has moved via Internet and personal sources, and there is nothing on news sites beyond the Guardian Council's statement from yesterday. (Ironically, in light of the Iranian Government's restrictions on communication, the English-language site of the Islamic Republic News Agency is down.)

Reports that streets in Tehran are quiet, but a heavy security presence remains. And one piece of good news: the Iranian activist "persiankiwi", whom we have been profiling, is apparently safe and in contact with other reliable sources.

0730 GMT: The Facebook page of Mir Hossein Mousavi offers guidelines for protests, from the writing of Mousavi's name on banknotes to nighttime "Allahu Akhbars", but no specifics on demonstrations beyond the possibility of the days of "religious seclusion" (6-8 July). There is also a message in English: "The manner of a man is better than his gover[n]ance. Help to bring this message back to IRAN."

0615 GMT: Just now on the BBC's flagship radio programme: their Iranian specialist, Sadegh Saba, says the mood in Iran is one of "defeat...hopelessness...despair" with families unaware of where detained relatives are being held or, in some cases, which security branch took them.

0545 GMT: Press TV's website offers the most wonderful (and presumably unintential) ironic comment in 19 days of coverage:
Ahmadinejad's votes increased in the province of Kerman....The incumbent president's tally also rose by 12 votes in Jirof, after 17 of the 170 ballot boxes in the southeastern city were re-counted....The re-count in Jiroft resulted in five votes being deducted from runner up Mir-Hossein Mousavi and one vote being deducted from Mehdi Karroubi, while Mohsen Rezaei's ballots increased by three votes.

However, the changes in the tally were announced as being 'too small' to be deemed decisive in the outcome of the election.
. (Ahmadinejad's original margin of victory was 11 million votes.)

Reader Comments (2)

Odis rocks??


September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterendowment life insurance

Vicente is the greatest!!


September 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfirearm insurance

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