Iran Protest Update

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to cover yesterday’s protests (Mar 1st/Esfand 10). It’s been a crazy week for me. But in case you haven’t heard tens of thousands of Iranians came out to protest. Per Enduring America there were demonstrations in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Rasht, Eslamshahr, and Mashhad.

Tehran Bureau has this latest update from an activist in Tehran:

“It seems like the regime is creating a “Green Zone” — my sarcastic reference to the green zone in Baghdad — in central Tehran. To the north is Motahari Boulevard (formerly Takht-e Tavous) and Fatemi Avenue (Aryamehr); to the east, Imam Hossein Square (Fouzieh); to the south, Imam Khomeini Avenue (ex Sepah), around the presidential palace as well as Mr. Mousavi’s home; and finally, to the west, Azadi Square (formerly Shahyad). This is the area where the Green Movement took over for a while with their chants of “Death to the dictator,” and the new joint slogan, “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein; Ya Mahdi, Sheik Mahdi,” which infuse the names of the modern leaders of the Green Movement with Shia symbolism.

Last night the Green Zone was completely blacked out communication-wise. Though the Internet and telephone lines were working elsewhere, the regime managed to disconnect the demonstrators electronically and even physically in the Zone. The security forces initially created a wall and after the demonstrations reached their peak, moved in for the kill: tear gas, pepper gas, paint guns (to paint demonstrators and easily catch them afterward), rubber bullets, and around 7 p.m. near Enghelab Square, the sound of live ammunition. There were hundreds of arrests and hundreds got beaten and sprayed. I was with a group of friends and we last saw each other around 6:30 on Enghelab Avenue. We all ran in different directions and I have not managed to contact [one friend] ever since.

The Green Zone, however, seemed to be expanding rapidly and late in the evening, when I got back home, I heard of unrest in Islam Shahr (a small working-class town in southwest Tehran). This news is extremely interesting as it would mean that members of the lower classes are also joining the movement. Another welcome piece of news was about Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib in Shiraz (whose brother was murdered by the MEK while praying in a mosque). Ayatollah Dastgheib, who is a member of Khobregan, is challenging the Supreme Leader’s decisions based on both human rights and Islamic scholarly teachings. So someone from the religious circle of the grand ayatollahs is still brave enough to directly challenge the Leader. And the last piece of news that cleared the tears off my tear gas-covered face was that the price of oil increased due to the unrest in Iran. Perhaps this is an indication that the international business community is losing faith in the regime and that the Islamic Republic cannot continue to buy business people elsewhere and keep on killing its own people.”

As many of you have heard, Mir Hussein Mousavi and Karroubi, the reformist leaders, and their wives have been arrested, but sounds like 200 people were detained in the Iranian protests yesterday.

Another video I watched yesterday which really brings out the impact of social media and the power of the Internet, is from Frontline, covering the Egyptian revolution. It’s harder than ever for governments to repress people and that is a good thing!

You can see all the videos on the PBS page.

17 Comments

BenMarch 22nd, 2012 at 6:58 am

Mousavi seems to have disappeared from the scene after he left cofife around the end of the Iran-Iraq war.He then returns as a left of center politician eager to reform the Islamic Republic.He’s no different than any of the other IRI politicians, Iranians should stop depending on stooges like these for leaders.

bruceAugust 22nd, 2014 at 7:22 am

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CaseyAugust 23rd, 2014 at 5:22 am

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kirkAugust 24th, 2014 at 2:35 am

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bobbyAugust 26th, 2014 at 1:40 am

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SteveNovember 19th, 2014 at 4:28 am

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AustinNovember 28th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

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clydeDecember 15th, 2014 at 9:35 am

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JonDecember 16th, 2014 at 4:29 am

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hello….

homerJanuary 14th, 2015 at 12:19 am

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carlosJanuary 15th, 2015 at 7:13 pm

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