Protests in the streets of Iran

posted at 5:15 pm on July 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Despite Ali Khamenei’s attempt to silence dissent by appointing his son as head of the Basij, Iranians have defied the Supreme Leader and marched into the streets to denounce Khamenei.  Shouting “Marg bar diktator!” (“Death to the dictator!”), protesters faced off against the regime’s security forces, dispersing and reorganizing each time:

Hundreds of young men and women chanted “death to the dictator,” confronting police wielding batons and firing tear gas in the capital Thursday as opposition activists sought to revive street protests despite authorities’ vows to “smash” any new marches.

For days, supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi have been calling for new protests in Tehran and other cities on Thursday, their first significant attempt to get back on the streets since security forces crushed massive demonstrations nearly two weeks ago in Iran’s postelection turmoil.

Tehran governor Morteza Tamaddon warned that any new march Thursday would meet the same fate.

“If some individuals plan to carry out any anti-security actions by listening to calls by counterrevolutionary networks, they will be smashed under the feet of our aware people,” he said, according to the state news agency IRNA in a report late Wednesday.

The Iranians reacted as they did earlier, by cutting off cell phone service throughout the country.  Tehran seems to have learned that Twitter and texting has become too easy to use to get information to protest organizers, as well as out from the protests.  They had already disabled text messaging prior to today, anticipating its ability to allow for clandestine organization of the protests.

Mirhossein Mousavi has claimed that he will continue the protests, but within the law rather than using non-cooperation as a protest technique.  It’s unclear whether Mousavi organized this effort, the first in almost two weeks, or whether the movement has moved beyond Mousavi.  What was made clear today was that the regime has not yet succeeded in intimidating its populace, even after all but declaring Iran a police state this month.

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Obama: Wuh…Huh…Oh…yeah..Uh…Peanut Butter…*continues staring*

lorien1973 on July 9, 2009 at 5:18 PM

These guys have got some stones…

d1carter on July 9, 2009 at 5:19 PM

I don’t think you will get much argument that it is better if they move past Mousavi.

Count to 10 on July 9, 2009 at 5:21 PM

I’m so glad Obama gave that speech in Cairo, or this revolution would never have happened!

Nethicus on July 9, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Has Obama denounced these protests yet?

ThePrez on July 9, 2009 at 5:27 PM

No, no, no.

You’ve got it all wrong, Ed.

The Iranians are showing reciprocal support for us here in the U.S. They heard about cap and trade, control of healthcare, car companies, banks, the czars, and all, so they’re shouting “Marg bar diktator!” at Barack Obama.

/s

VibrioCocci on July 9, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Mustn’t meddle. None of our business.

When is Zelaya meeting with Hillary?

a capella on July 9, 2009 at 5:30 PM

“I think both sides…”

the_nile on July 9, 2009 at 5:32 PM

DEFIANCE in Iran – the astutely observant Michael Ledeen reports: http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2009/07/08/the-9th-of-july/

rishika on July 9, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Mustn’t meddle. None of our business.

When is Zelaya meeting with Hillary?

a capella on July 9, 2009 at 5:30 PM

+1

Fletch54 on July 9, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Prepare for Moral Equivalency 101, taught by Prof. Obama, to begin in 5…4…3…2…

omnipotent on July 9, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Go**am Iranians, stepping all over Ogabe’s big G8 triumph.

Bishop on July 9, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Despite Ali Khamenei’s attempt to silence dissent by appointing his son as head of the Basij …

Just how was he able to do this if – as the press has been reporting – a clandestine military coup was executed by the IRGC? LOL – seems someone was wrong if Khamenei still has enough gas to appoint his son to a position like this! I’ve said all along – there’s no coup – this is naturally the way two allies (Khamenei and the IRGC) cooperate.

“Hundreds of young men and women chanted “death to the dictator,”

Not sure what to make of that sentence. If it’s literally true … we’ve gone from hundreds of thousands in the streets … to thousands … and now down to hundreds. The trend indicates the old Ayatollah is winning.

HondaV65 on July 9, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Sorry Iranians. Libs care more about calling Sarah Palin white trash than your freedom.

Speedwagon82 on July 9, 2009 at 5:45 PM

I hope that the people have moved beyond Mousavi because I think relying on him would be a mistake.

myrenovations on July 9, 2009 at 5:46 PM

I’m so glad Obama gave that speech in Cairo

Nethicus on July 9, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Maybe somebody needs to inform The Obama that his Cairo Concordance isn’t being met with glee?

Shortly after the Iran protests got underway, a few here saw correctly that the protests went well beyond Mousavi…demographics in Iran are skewed youthful…and these “youts” got parents…who amazingly became part of the protests as well.

It isn’t about Mousavi…it is about essential freedoms that have been and will be supressed by those who have power, and Islamic Fundamentalism, be it the mullahs in Iran or AQ elsewhere cannot withstand the pressures of a communicative world, even if the mullahs shut down cell phones in Iran, unless they start killing again on a grand scale…kill their way across the land to suppress those who disagree.

On our side of the pond, it’d be nice if we had leadership with one-tenth the stones the protesters in Iran have.

A simple declaration that America stands alongside those who seek freedom from oppression could have added immensely to the efforts to thwart the mullahs. An Iranian knowing that he was not alone in trying to establish basic seek freedoms…in his own nation…powerful stuff.

But, no, we instead got a limp “we shouldn’t meddle” statement, telling the Iranians “sorry, you are on your own, good luck with that.” Followed a few days later with the President meddling in Honduras and now trying to force Honduras to accept a dictator.

If the protesters in Iran are successful in causing the fall of the mullahs, I wouldn’t hold it against them if they sought assistance from the Chinese to rebuild a new Iran. Thanks to our President, our Congress, we have surrendered that right. And if the new Iran holds it against us…I won’t blame them a bit.

coldwarrior on July 9, 2009 at 5:49 PM

I hope they continue their stubborn resistance.

dogsoldier on July 9, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Unlike John Kennedy who said we will pay any price, bear any burden to advance the cause of liberty {or something like that}…Obama has said we will kiss any dictator’s behind and ignore any human rights violation to advance the cause of Barack.

Don’t it make you proud?

Terrye on July 9, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Unlike John Kennedy who said we will pay any price, bear any burden to advance the cause of liberty {or something like that}…Obama has said we will kiss any dictator’s behind and ignore any human rights violation to advance the cause of Barack.

Don’t it make you proud?

Terrye on July 9, 2009 at 5:50 PM

]
Getting a tear in my eye..that was beautiful.

Jeff from WI on July 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Out of curiousity,where is Jimmy Carter in all of this,
or is he stuck in Hamastan in Gazaland still scream’n
about a State!!

And,maybe now,is a good time for Team Obama,to send in
the National Civilian Secruity Forces,on a cultural ex
change program of course!!

But,I’m wondering,who would the NCSF really be helping,
the Freedom Protesters,or DinnerJackets Goons!!(Sarc).

canopfor on July 9, 2009 at 5:59 PM

It isn’t about Mousavi…it is about essential freedoms that have been and will be supressed by those who have power, and Islamic Fundamentalism, be it the mullahs in Iran or AQ elsewhere cannot withstand the pressures of a communicative world, even if the mullahs shut down cell phones in Iran, unless they start killing again on a grand scale…kill their way across the land to suppress those who disagree.

“Feelings”, “Sympathies”, “Beliefs” … well they don’t always translate into action and reality. It’s fine – and I agree that many in Iran want freedom. However – right now – this is STILL about Mousavi because Mousavi is the leader of the protests. Movements need leaders – this one has Mousavi, Khatami, and maybe Rafsanjani.

If Mousavi is successful – then we will end up with a soft spoken Hitler in charge of Iran. No real change for us … and only cosmetic changes for the Iranians themselves since the “Gang of Three” here are essentially Islamo-fascists in the same mold of Khomeinei.

What you really want there Sir – is for Mousavi to be …

UNSUCCESSFUL.

The only way he can be unsuccessful is if the regime really cracks some heads. If that happens – this change from a movement over a fraudulent election – to a movement aimed at overthrowing the Islamic Constitution of Iran. That kind of movement is the only kind of movement that will produce real freedom for Iranians – and positive change for us and the middle east.

Who’s the new leader? Perhaps a cleric – yes, there are some clerics who believe in secular government. Sistani in Iraq is one and there are some supporters left of the old Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari – who was an opponent of Khomenei. It is said, that Rafsanjani was actually a closet supporter of Shariatmadari – so maybe the new leader will be Rafsanjani. I doubt it myself – I believe that Rafsanjani is still more of a supporter of Khomenei – and whatever positive words he had about Shariatmadari at his death had more to do with the disrespect he was shown at his death – when he was a Grand Ayatollah.

Time will tell. But people don’t take over governments and lead them. The people bleed in the streets – it’s the leaders who take power. This movement has yet to find it’s “George Washington”.

HondaV65 on July 9, 2009 at 6:02 PM

..ignore any human rights…..

Terrye on July 9,2009 at 5:50PM.

Terrye: Nicely said! If I’m not mistaken,wasn’t it Obama
who said,baby’s don’t have human rights as well!:)

canopfor on July 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM

If the protesters in Iran are successful in causing the fall of the mullahs, I wouldn’t hold it against them if they sought assistance from the Chinese to rebuild a new Iran. Thanks to our President, our Congress, we have surrendered that right. And if the new Iran holds it against us…I won’t blame them a bit.

coldwarrior on July 9, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Fair point, but just like we don’t have to condemn all the Iranian people because of their bellicose and dictatorial gov’t, I hope the Iranian people, and others, don’t blame ALL Americans for what our racist, socialist, atheistic, inept, scheming, putrid stinking pile of crap President is doing.

JiangxiDad on July 9, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Zero success Pres. fiddles while Iranians burn.

An historic moment in time for Iran and Obama phones it in while destroying the world economy and vacationing with the first lady.

Speakup on July 9, 2009 at 6:21 PM

While Obama rubbernecks at the G-8, real human beings risk theirs on the streets of Tehran.

bluelightbrigade on July 9, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Obama: “You put your Basiji with democratic protesters”

Khameini: “You put the democratic protesters with our Basiji”

eaglewingz08 on July 9, 2009 at 7:45 PM

I think that the protests only involved Mousavi as a figure head. Immediately after the election HotAir had a link to an article (which may have been in the Jerusalem Post) which contained about eight demands. Number five was that during the term of the interim president, Mousavi, the constitution would be modified. It seems likely that the first modifications would be the removal of the offices of supreme leader and guardian council.

burt on July 9, 2009 at 9:09 PM

I hope the Iranian people, and others, don’t blame ALL Americans for what our racist, socialist, atheistic, inept, scheming, putrid stinking pile of crap President is doing.

JiangxiDad on July 9, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Ironic understatement.

burt on July 9, 2009 at 9:20 PM

Hey at least they’re not shouting “Marg bar Amerika!” (Death to America). I jest, in fairness that’s usually done by the Mullahcracy’s followers, the same people beating and killing pro-democracy demonstrators right now. Many Iranians happen to admire the West and want to be like us.

If our govt had any brains, morals, common sense, they’d stand fully behind the pro-freedom movement and commit money, weapons and other support to help them overthrow the Islamic regime, including considering direct military intervention if needed.

It’d kill 2 birds with one stone, you’d take out the terrorist thugs who hate and want to destroy America and you’d have a friendly democratic, pro-US state/regime that would fully comply with the IAEA and ensure their nuke program is used for peaceful purposes only.

But I know this idea won’t work since it goes against the One’s great vision of weakening/bankrupting America, strengthening our enemies, bowing to people who hate us and bullying/abandoning our allies like Israel/Georgia.

thinkagain on July 9, 2009 at 10:16 PM

No to lessen Obamadolph’s inaction on this, but I also notice that the rest of the world doesn’t give a crap either. In a way it’s refreshing to see that it’s not just the Jews that the world will stand around and ignore when they are persecuted.

deewhybee on July 9, 2009 at 10:18 PM

These guys have got some stones…

d1carter on July 9, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Indeed they do… And they are trading their blood for freedom from the mad mullahs.

I’ve been following this via twitter since the unrest erupted after the election. Today, it appears that it may be changing from attempting non-violent protests by the Iranians to active defense and to some degree offense.

It appears that many thousands returned to the streets again today and by sheer numbers put the basij thugs and other special police on the defense finally. Instead of being sort of in a large mass and absorbing attacks from the banij, instead they were coming at the basij from multiple directions, from down side streets, skirmishing with them, routing the basij then fading away to regroup and repeat. It appears that at least some of the regular police are joining the protesters.

In the shadows, it appears that Khammini, the big kahuna mullah, mainly has the support of the Revolutionary Guard and the 12 member Guardian Council. In these shadows, other religeous and political icons are pealing away his support and it appears to be getting thin. The regular army is sitting tight and keeping out of the fray. Many officers including leading Generals have been arrested and overall, the regular army’s loyalty to the government is probably questionable.

The back of the protests was almost broken I think after the first week. Iran has an extremely sophisticated communications spying system that it purchased from Siemens and Nokia and this was used to track down key persons. Through supporters outside Iran in the annonymous world of cyber geeks, secure but slower communications have been reestablished. Electronic attacks to shutdown and disrupt Iranian govenment communications and disinformation have given the protesters breathing room again, at least for the ones that survived.

Hootowl on July 10, 2009 at 12:22 AM

Boooooring.

All that Liberty stuff has gotten old.

Besides, we must continue to deal with our national tragedy and mourn the loss of Michael Jackson.

/sarc

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 10, 2009 at 1:35 AM

All that Liberty stuff has gotten old.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 10, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Yes, just as it is Rhode Island where the Tea Party Float is banned from the annual 4th of July Parade, for passing out pocket constitutions. Here is Story

Wade on July 10, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I don’t understand why that isn’t happening here. If anyone has a reason to riot it’s us!

DanaSmiles on July 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM

So would posters support an Israeli attack on Iran?

mags on July 10, 2009 at 4:25 PM