Iran Election Guide

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Iran: New Technology, New Protest, New System? 

The Latest from Iran (24 June): Peering Through the Clouds
LATEST Video: The “Neda” Protests (20-23 June)
Twittering Iran: What the “New Media” Means for Politics, Protest, and Democracy

IRAQ PROTEST WOMAN IN REDDr Colette Mazzucelli, who has written for our partner website Libertas, joins Enduring America to offer her thoughts on the possibilities and challenges of new technology in the current political crisis in Iran:

The aftermath of the Islamic Republic’s national elections are a testament to the will of a people to protest in unprecedented ways against the results of the June 12 vote. The reform movement has gathered momentum to demonstrate the widespread use of new technologies, cell phones, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and video imaging uploaded to the Web, as it voices popular opposition to the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the last week, this mass revolt has evolved into a direct confrontation with the rule of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; the nationalist argument that dissent is fomented by the interference of foreign powers fails to impress the protesters. Although the state ban on reporting by the Western media continues, citizen reporting of a brutal crackdown by pro-government militia, the Baseej, and the police provides a moment to moment chronicle of events.

Thus, the world bears witness to a loss of legitimacy in a theocratic regime that is neither republican nor respectful of human life.

Those Iranians who voted for the reformist challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, made the brave choice to lay down their lives for the right to be heard in peace without fear of retribution. The clerical leadership, whose grip on power is tightening, relies increasingly on the militarization of the regime in its attempts to quash popular grievances and to deny millions of Iranians the right to channel their dissent in peaceful ways. Will the Islamic Republic, legitimated by the 1979 Revolution, use this crackdown to deny the Iranian people their human right of expression, which is the popular hope for the future of the women and youth across the country? Or will another revolution spring in time from the right of Iranians in a republic to choose their leaders?

The outside world continues to rely on the images, the quotes, the accounts coming from Iranians in the midst of civil violence. In a week, their movement evolved well beyond a contested election within an accepted regime. The Supreme Leader’s edict at Friday prayers on June 19 stating that the election results were a “definitive victory” for Ahmadinejad unleashed a furor that crossed sacred red lines in the system. Observers arguing that the elections reveal the potential to open the system to democratic forces cite rising aspirations of key groups: the two-thirds of Iran’s population that is under 30 years of age and the university-educated women. These groups dominate a growing movement on the streets of Tehran and other smaller cities.

Since the 1979 Revolution, different governments have left their mark on the revolutionary Islamic Republic’s regime. Under Ahmadinejad, observers witnessed the progressive and systematic undermining of republican government. Institutions, which, in a republic should be responsible to break up government information monopolies, are under state control. Professional journalists inside the country are the victims of brutal repression. Public forums online, which normally allow a variety of ideas to challenge erroneous argumentation, are subject to deliberate interruption.

It is that Ahmadinejad effort to curb public space and responsibity that is now challenged by the reaction to the attempts to use the Presidential vote to propagate the myth of legitimacy. Even the Supreme Leader is now open to criticism from the segment of the population led by the protesters. The demonstrations have also exposed fissures within the clerical elite.

There is not yet a call for regime change, but will the crowds of protesters grow in size if Ahmadinejad is sworn in next month? In his campaign, Presidential challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi was able to tap into the frustrations of highly educated youth and a population where the elimination of illiteracy led to rising expectations. Their future is bleak in an economy that faces double-digit unemployment and high inflation.

It is here that the new media technologies come into play. In a vibrant marketplace of ideas, individuals must be exposed to diverse ways of thinking. A segmented marketplace, defined by scholars such as Snyder and Ballentine, is characterized by blockages that prevent the exposure of individuals in one market segment to ideas expressed in others.

On the surface, that segmentation can reinforce a system, as it seals off much of the population from troublesome political, economic, and social challenges or filters (and thus distorts) ideas until they are "acceptable". However, the segmentation can also leave areas open to capture by partisan segments. In the last two weeks in Iran, the media inside the country has not been able to compete with the amateur reporting of the citizens on the streets who use Twitter to provide real-time accounts of civil unrest. Their voices define a public space separate from state control.

The audacious and extraordinary use by the Iranian population of social networking tools and new media is a call to explore ingenious ways that America, in concert with Europe and other countries, can use public diplomacy to demonstrate solidarity with the people in Iran. Intervention in the classical sense is not an option. The Iranian people must decide their own fate without the interference of foreign powers.

At the same time, the brutal repression of the Iranian movement for reform is a striking illustration of “sovereignty as responsibility”, meaning that “sovereignty carries with it a responsibility on the part of governments to protect their citizens.” What are the international consequences of the failure, as in iran, to exercise that responsibility? In the aftermath of President Obama’s Cairo speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the opportunity to forge a global coalition, which can weigh those consequences aand respond as events in Iran evolve.

It is difficult to ascertain, day to day, how widespread the popular defiance to the Supreme Leader is likely to be. In the absence of organized leadership, can this movement endure over the time period necessary to foment revolution? If challenges to the regime also emerge from the bazari or from the oil industry in the form of strikes that paralyze the economy, there could be changes in leadership. In Qom, an important center of Shiism, clerics are not unified behind President Ahmadinejad. Dissent among ruling conservatives is unlikely to subside in the wake of parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani’s statement about the election result, explaining that “a majority of people are of an opinion separate” from that of a minority.5

In his reference to the influence of outside powers, particularly Britain, the Supreme Leader spoke on behalf of the ultimate victor in the June 12 election, Iranian nationalism. Fundamentally, his address reiterated the myths which Ahmadinejad and his supporters in the Revolutionary Guard exploit to “overemphasize the cultural and historical distinctiveness of the national group, exaggerate the threat posed to the nation by other groups, ignore the degree to which the nation’s own actions provoked such threats, and play down the costs of seeking national goals through militant means". Inside the regime, the population is experiencing a militarization unprecedented in its 30-year history. The influence of the Baseej is particularly disturbing, given the wide latitude its members have to act beyond the rule of law. None of the horrific acts by these paramilitary forces to enforce the power of the state are condemned by the regime.

President Obama cited Martin Luther King in his recent statement: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The world must bear witness to what analyst David Gergen has termed a “Tiananmen Square unfolding in slow motion". New technologies can play a decisive role to prevent darkness from descending on the country.

In the last four four days, social networking tools have captured the fate of Neda, the name given to the young Iranian woman shot in the chest this weekend. As Robin Wright explains, Neda, which means “the divine calling,” has emerged as the symbol of a popular movement whose dynamics begin to resemble those of the 1979 Revolution. In the Shia country that is Iran, has the regime made her a martyr for the freedom its people die to achieve? Time will tell if those segments of Iranian society whose will to forge a democratic revolution is collectively anchored in the concern for people, not regimes.

Twittering Iran: What the "New Media" Means for Politics, Protest, and Democracy

The Latest from Iran (20 June): Will The Rally Go Ahead?

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TWITTER IRANThere has been a lot of ink spilled in recent days, particularly with "traditional" broadcasters unable to operate, over the significance of media like Twitter and Facebook for the demonstrations over the Iranian elections. Most of this, as we have noted, has been a fatuous, superficial "Twitter is fantastic" or "Twitter is overrated" reaction.

An American colleague, however, has pointed us to a thoughtful analysis by Professor Henry Giroux of Canada's McMaster University, published originally in CounterPunch: "The uprising in Iran not only requires a new conception of politics, education, and society; it also raises significant questions about the new media and its centrality to democracy."

The Iranian Uprisings and the Challenge of the New Media

As the uprisings in Iran illustrate, the new electronic technologies and social networks they have produced have transformed both the landscape of media production and reception, and the ability of state power to define the borders and boundaries of what constitutes the very nature of political engagement. Indeed, politics itself has been increasingly redefined by a screen culture and newly emergent public spaces of education and resistance embraced by students and other young people.1

For example, nearly 75 percent of Iranians now own cell phones and are quite savvy in utilizing them.2 Screen culture and its attendant electronic technologies have created a return to a politics in which many young people in Iran are not only forcefully asserting the power to act and express their criticisms and support of Mir Hussein Moussavi but also willing to risk their lives in the face of attacks by thugs and state sponsored vigilante groups. Texts and images calling for “Death to the dictator” circulate in a wild zone of representation on the Internet, YouTube, and among Facebook and Twitter users, giving rise to a chorus of dissent and collective resistance that places many young people in danger and at the forefront of a massive political uprising. Increasingly reports are emerging in the press and other media outlets of a number of protesters being attacked or killed by government forces. In the face of massive arrests by the police and threats of execution from some government officials, public protest continues even, as Nazila Fathi reports in the New York Times, the government works “on many fronts to shield the outside world’s view of the unrest, banning coverage of the demonstrations, arresting journalists, threatening bloggers and trying to block Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, which have become vital outlets for information about the rising confrontation here.”3

It is impossible to comprehend the political nature of the existing protests in Iran (and recently in Moldova) without recognizing the centrality of the new visual media and new modes of social networking. Not only have these new mass-and image-based media—camcorders, cellular camera-phones, satellite television, digital recorders, and the Internet, to name a few—enacted a structural transformation of everyday life by fusing sophisticated electronic technologies with a ubiquitous screen culture; they have revolutionized the relationship between the specificity of an event and its public display by making events accessible almost instantly to a global audience. The Internet, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have reconstituted, especially among young people, how social relationships are constructed and how communication is produced, mediated, and received. They have also ushered in a new regime of visual imagery in which screen culture creates spectacular events just as much as they record them. Under such circumstances, state power becomes more porous and less controlled and its instability becomes evident as the Iranian government points to the United States and Canada for producing “deviant news sites.” As if such charges can compete with images uploaded on YouTube of a young man bleeding to death as a result of an assault by government forces, his white shirt stained with blood, and bystanders holding his hand while he died.4 Or for that matter suppress images of militia members along with other identifying information about the police and other thugs attacking the protesters. The Internet and the new media outlets in this context provide new public sites of visibility for an unprecedented look into the workings of both state sponsored violence, massive unrest, and a politics of massive resistance that simply cannot be controlled by traditional forces of repression.

The pedagogical force of culture is now writ large within circuits of global transmission that defy the military power of the state while simultaneously reinforcing the state’s reliance on military power to respond to the external threat and to control its own citizens. In Iran, the state sponsored war against democracy, with its requisite pedagogy of fear dominating every conceivable media outlet, creates the conditions for transforming a fundamentalist state into a more dangerous authoritarian state. Meanwhile, insurgents use digital video cameras to defy official power, cell phones to recruit members to battle occupying forces, and Twitter messages to challenge the doctrines of fear, militarism, and censorship. The endless flashing of screen culture not only confronts those in and outside of Iran with the reality of state sponsored violence and corruption but also with the spread of new social networks of power and resistance among young people as an emerging condition of contemporary politics in Iran. Text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the Internet have given rise to a reservoir of political energy that posits a new relationship between the new media technologies, politics and public life. These new media technologies and Websites have proved a powerful force in resisting dominant channels of censorship and militarism. But they have done more in that they have allowed an emerging generation of young people and students in Iran to narrate their political views, convictions, and voices through a screen culture that opposes the one-dimensional cultural apparatuses of certainty while rewriting the space of politics through new social networking sites and public spheres.

A spectacular flood of images produced by a subversive network of technologies that open up a cinematic politics of collective resistance and social justice now overrides Iran’s official narratives of repression, totalitarianism, and orthodoxy–unleashing the wrath of a generation that hungers for a life in which matters of dignity, agency, and hope are aligned with democratic institutions that make them possible. Death and suffering are now inscribed in an order of politics and power that can no longer hide in the shadows, pretending that there are no cracks in its body politic, or suppress the voices of a younger generation emboldened by their own courage and dreams of a more democratic future.

In this remarkable historical moment, a sea of courageous young people in Iran, are leading the way in instructing an older generation about a new form of politics in which mass and image-based media have become a distinctly powerful pedagogical force, reconfiguring the very nature of politics, cultural production, engagement, and resistance. Under such circumstances, this young generation of Iranian students, educators, artists, and citizens are developing a new set of theoretical tools and modes of collective resistance in which the educational force of the new media both records and challenges representations of state, police, and militia violence while becoming part of a broader struggle for democracy itself.

Any critical attempt to engage the courageous uprisings in Iran must take place within a broader notion of how the new media and electronic technologies can be used less as entertainment than as a tool of insurgency and opposition to state power. State power no longer has a hold on information, at least not the way it did before the emergence of the new media with its ability to reconfigure public exchange and social relations while constituting a new sphere of politics. The new media technologies are being used in Iran in ways that redefine the very conditions that make politics possible. Public spaces emerge in which data and technologies are employed to bypass government censors. The public and the private inform each other as personal discontent is translated into broader social issues. Global publics of opposition emerge through electronic circuits of power offering up wider spheres of exchange, dialogue, and resistance. For example, protesters from all over the world are producing proxy servers, “making their own computers available to Iranians,” and fuelling worldwide outrage and protests by uploading on YouTube live videos exposing the “brutality of the regime’s crackdown.”5

Demonstrations of solidarity are emerging between the Iranian diasporia and students and other protesters within Iran as information, technological resources, and skills are exchanged through the Internet, cell phones, and other technologies and sites. The alienation felt by many young people in an utterly repressive and fundamentalist society is exacerbated within a government- and media-produced culture of fear, suggesting that the terror they face at home and abroad cannot be fought without surrendering one’s sense of agency and social justice to a militarized state. And yet, as the technology of the media expands so do the sites for critical education, resistance, and collective struggle.

The uprising in Iran not only requires a new conception of politics, education, and society; it also raises significant questions about the new media and its centrality to democracy. Image-based technologies have redefined the relationship between the ethical, political, and aesthetic. While “the proximity is perhaps discomforting to some, ... it is also the condition of any serious intervention”6 into what it means to connect cultural politics to matters of political and social responsibility. The rise of the new media and the conditions that have produced it do not sound the death knell of democracy as some have argued, but demand that we “begin to rethink democracy from within these conditions.”7 These brave Iranian youth are providing the world with a lesson in how the rest of us might construct a cultural politics based on social relations that enable individuals and social groups to rethink the crucial nature of what it means to know, engage civic courage, and assume a measure of social responsibility in a media-saturated global sphere. They are working out in real time what it means to address how these new technologies might foster a democratic cultural politics that challenges religious fundamentalism, state censorship, militarism, and the cult of certainty. Such a collective project requires a politics that is in the process of being invented, one that has to be attentive to the new realities of power, global social movements, and the promise of a planetary democracy. Whatever the outcome, the magnificent and brave uprising by the young people of Iran illustrates that they have legitimated once again a new register of both opposition and politics. What is at stake, in part, is a mode of resistance and educational practice that is redefining in the heat of the battle the ideologies and skills needed to critically understand the new visual and visualizing technologies not simply as new modes of communication, but as weapons in the struggle for expanding and deepening the ideals and possibilities of democratic public life and the supportive cultures vital to democracy’s survival.

As these students and young people have demonstrated, it would be a mistake to simply align the new media exclusively with the forces of domination and commercialism as many do in the United Sates–with what Allen Feldman calls “total spectrum violence.” The Iranian uprising with its recognition of the image as a key force of social power makes clear that cultural politics is now constituted by a plurality of sites of resistance and social struggle, offering up new ways for young people to conceptualize how the media might be used to create alternative public spheres that enable them to claim their own voices and challenge the dominant forces of oppression. Theorists such as Thomas Keenan, Mark Poster, Douglas Kellner, and Jacques Derrida are right in suggesting that the new electronic technologies and media publics “remove restrictions on the horizon of possible communications” and, in doing so, suggest new possibilities for engaging the new media as a democratic force both for critique and for positive intervention and change. The ongoing struggle in Iran, if examined closely, provides some resources for rethinking how the political is connected to particular understandings of the social; how distinctive modes of address are used to marshal specific and often dangerous narratives, memories, and histories; and how certain pedagogical practices are employed in mobilizing a range of affective investments around images of trauma, suffering, and collective struggles. The images and messages coming out of Iran both demonstrate the courage of this generation of young people and others while also signifying new possibilities for redefining a global democratic politics. What the dictatorship in Iran is witnessing is not simply generational discontent or the power of networking and communication sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube but a much more dangerous lesson in which democracy implies an experience in which power is shared, dialogue is connected to involvement in the public sphere, hope means imagining the unimaginable, and collective action portends the outlines of a new understanding of power, freedom, and democracy.


1. I take up the issue of screen culture and the challenge of the new media in Henry A. Giroux, Beyond the Spectacle of Terrorism: Global Uncertainty and the Challenge of the New Media (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006).

2. I want to thank Tony Kashani for these figures.

3. Nazila Fathi, “Protesters Defy Iranian Efforts to Cloak Unrest,” New York Times (June 18, 2009), p. A1.

4. Brian Stelter and Brad Stone, “Stark Images of the Turmoil in Iran, Uploaded to the World on the Internet,” New York Times (June 18, 2009), p. A14.

5. Ibid., Stelter and Stone, “Stark Images of the Turmoil in Iran,” p. A14.

6. Thomas Keenan, “Mobilizing Shame,” South Atlantic Quarterly 103, no. 2/3 (2004), p. 447. Keenan explores the relationship between ethics and responsibility in even greater detail in his Fables of Responsibility (Stanford: Stanford University Press,1997).

7. Jacques Derrida cited in Michael Peters, “The Promise of Politics and Pedagogy in Derrida,” Review of Education/Pedagogy/Cultural Studies (in press).

8. . Allen Feldman, “On the Actuarial Gaze: From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib,” Cultural Studies 19, no. 2 (March 2005), p. 212.

9 . Jürgen Habermas, Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 2. Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, trans. Thomas McCarthy (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1987), p. 390.

The Latest from Iran (17 June): Uncovering the News on Attacks, Protests, and the Supreme Leader 

NEW The Latest from Iran (18 June): From Green to “A Sea of Black”

Iran: Reading the Supreme Leader's Politics
Video: President Obama’s Statements on Iran (16 June)
Iran: The First Audio from "Alive in Tehran"
Iran: An Alternative View of the Election and Demonstrations
NEW Iran: Worst Political Analogy of the Day
Iran: Four Scenarios for the Vote Recount

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2115 GMT: We're closing off our coverage for the night with news that Mousavi has called for the release of protesters arrested in the past days' rallies. That news comes via CNN, who also have more on the Iranian football team's green wrist bands.

1700 GMT: Al Jazeera says state-run media in Iran briefly showed this afternoon's rally. SkyNews and CNN (albeit briefly) also are now showing images.

One of the banners from the Iran-South Korea World Cup football qualifier: "Go to Hell Dictator".

1600 GMT: Al Jazeera English have obtained film of the rally from 7 Tir Square showing thousands of people, most silent, marching. The gathering is calm.

Thank goodness for these images because the Iranian Government is now trying to squeeze out any notion of legitimate protest. Press TV English is leading with the Foreign Ministry's denunciation of "irresponsible meddling" by Western governments. The "American card" is now being played: amongst those summoned by the Ministry to hear the Government's protests is the Swiss Minister, the representative of US interests, and the Intelligence Ministry is saying that opposition websites are funded by American and British companies.

1518 GMT: Reports that Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi is at 7 Tir Square rally.

1510 GMT: Reports indicate that the demonstration in 7 Tir Square is so large that people are having problems getting off the underground and buses into the square.

If true, this may be one of the largest gatherings to be "non-covered" by the media. International journalists are effectively shut away, and state-run Press TV English is not saying a word about the rally.

1315 GMT: Among the 100+ reportedly arrested on Tuesday: Saeed Hajjarian, former Tehran councillor and advisor to President Khatami, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Vice President under Khatami, and Mohammad Tavassoli, first mayor of Tehran. Ibrahim Yazdi, head of the Freedom Movement of Iran, avoided arrest because he was not at home.

Opposition activist Saeed Leylaz, who gave interviews over weekend to American and British media, also arrested.

1303 GMT: Reports that today's opposition demonstration will converage on 7 Tir Square from two directions, one group coming from Tehran University via Enqelab Avenue and one coming from Vanak Square.

The Iran national football team initially wore, then removed, green wristbands in their World Cup qualifying match with South Korea.

1300 GMT: Have just returned from BBC; staff said they are almost "blind" in Iran because of restrictions. Many CNN reports now consist of a London staffer walking into a room of computers and pointing out what is on YouTube.

1130 GMT: I am off for a live interview with BBC World TV, airing about 1215 GMT.

1125 GMT: Reports that Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei has written a letter saying that, if Guardian Council does not offer details of vote recount today, he --- like Mousavi --- will ask for a new election.

1100 GMT: The latest message from Mir Hossein Mousavi to his supporters, via his campaign website: "Thursday afternoon wear black to mourn & participate in rallies or gatherings. I'll be there too."

Press TV English is now doing a balancing act, following news of the enquiry into the attacks on the Tehran University dormitories with a report on an Intelligence Ministry report to the Parliament, followed by their joint declaration urging "people to exercise restraint. No one should act in such a way as to play into the hands of the Western countries and Israel."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has also criticised "irresponsible meddling....insulting to the Iranian's people intelligence" by Western countries.

0930 GMT: I am off for an interview with BBC News about the current US approach to Iran.

0920 GMT: Friday is shaping to be an important day in this crisis. As Dr Seyed Mohammad Marandi indicated in our discussion on Al Jazeera yesterday, Ayatollah Khamenei will lead Friday prayers, while Mousavi supporters are saying they will march to the site.

0830 GMT: We wondered earlier what former President Rafsanjani was doing (0600 GMT). Reports emerging that he is meeting with the Expediency Council, an Iranian body which officially resolves differences or conflicts between the Iranian Parliament and the Guardian Council and also advises the Supreme Leader.

Press TV English reports that the Minister of the Interior has ordered an enquiry into the security forces' raid on Tehran University dormitories earlier this week.

0800 GMT: The official line inside Iran seems clear: Press TV English has just devoted the first minutes of its hourly news to the Supreme Leader's call for calm and unity. CNN has been reduced to repeating its "social media" story while Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tehran is struggling with poor sound and poor visibility in his office.

Outside Iran, however, there are interesting turnings. From London, Nazanin Ansari, the diplomatic editor of Kayhan newspaper, is telling Al Jazeera, "What the Supreme Leader has done, he has actually cornered himself. Soon you will see the Leader against the population and the marchers. We hear the chants of, "Down with the Dictator! Down with the Dictator! It is not so much against Mr Ahmadinejad as it is turning against the Supreme Leader."

0700 GMT: A reply via Twitter to our question below about Obama's statements on Iran, "He is allowng it to remain Iranian fight. Not Iran v US. If it became about US, [Iranian] government would crack hard on protesters. Government could say this is about US interference & really go after protesters. Not now. This is Iran people wanting change."

0630 GMT: We're still working through last night's somewhat curious statement by President Obama to CNBC, "I think it’s important to understand that either way we are going to be dealing with a regime in Iran that is hostile to the US." On the surface, it appears that he is both 1) maintaining the line that Washington will "engage" with Ahmadinejad if he remains in power; 2) damping down expectations of sudden movement in US-Iran relations if Mir Hossein Mousavi does becomes President.

Fair enough from a power politics standpoint. But, given the spin about US support for free expression and fair politics, what message does Obama's statement send to those demonstrating for a challenge to last Friday's vote? (My colleague Steve Hewitt has noted that yesterday morning, British Foreign Minister David Miliband sent out a similar message of "Mousavi is not a reformist" on the BBC.)

We've posted the videos of Obama's interview with CNBC and his earlier statement on Iran at his press conference with South Korea's President.

Morning Update 0600 GMT: All media except Iran's state-run services are effectively shut down inside the country. With reporters confined to their hotel rooms and offices to file reports, CNN is featuring the rise of "social media" such as Twitter.

That social media, while invaluable, can only offer a partial and uncertain picture. There are reports of more raids by police and paramilitary Basiji on university dormitories overnight --- we have video of the aftermath of one raid at Isfahan. Indications are that protests against President Ahmadinejad's re-election will take place in Tehran around 4 or 5 p.m. local time (1130-1230 GMT).

Politically, the notable intervention last night was the call of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, for calm and unity after his meeting with representatives of the four Presidential campaigns. The statement appears to be an attempt to get political breathing space, rather than a move towards a settlement, as the Guardian Council purportedly reviews part of last Friday's vote. The presence of opposition campaigns at the meeting indicates a willingness to support the Supreme Leader's call for non-violence; what will be more interesting will be their response (and the response of their supporters) to the implied plea for time to let the Guardian Council do its work.

(It is also notable, for us, that there has been no indication of former President Rafsanjani's political moves after his visit to Qom earlier this week to seek the support of senior clerics and the Assembly of Experts. President Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, is effectively on the sidelines while he is out of the country.)

Iran: EA's Chris Emery on BBC News 24 (13 June)

We've finally gotten the footage of Enduring America's Chris Emery on BBC News 24 on Saturday, giving one of the first reactions in Britain to the unfolding events in Iran. Not bad, especially as it was Chris' debut on national television. The video is posted on Enduring America's new YouTube site.


Watch on Enduring America's YouTube page