A tasty leftover from the weekend on a day when it’s starting to seem like we’ve seen the last of mass confrontations. Be sure to watch to the end. The Iranian twitterers I follow sound increasingly frightened and paranoid this morning, and with good reason: Between the massive Basij presence in the streets, the new threats from the Revolutionary Guard, and the Journal’s report of how deeply the regime has penetrated Internet communications, there’s danger around every corner, real or virtual. It’s come to this:
One regular protester, 20-year-old student Behrooz, told the BBC that protesters were aware their electronic communications were being monitored.
“We know that some of them are tracking us on our phone,” he said. “When we say certain words… such as ‘supreme leader’ or ‘demonstration’ our lines are cut.”
The way forward now, I presume, is the sort of mass strike Mousavi’s reportedly calling for followed by some type of dramatic gesture by the clerics to galvanize the people. Absent the latter, I think it’ll peter out. In fact, the only large-ish protest I know of today was a rally in Haft-e Tir Square to remember Neda and that was evidently broken up by Basij and riot police. More information is coming out about her on Twitter, incidentally, including new photos of her and her grave. And if you thought her story couldn’t get any worse, think again: According to HuffPo, citing a BBC Persia report, she was … engaged. Any Farsi speakers willing to follow that last link and translate for us?
Battle w/ Police – Tehran, Iran – June 20th 2009
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Update: No verification on this, but it’s potentially so huge that I’m tossing it out there anyway.
According to unconfirmed reports in Balatarin [Farsi] , Gen. Ali Fazli, the head of revolutionary guards in Tehran, has been arrested after refusing to execute Khamenei’s order of using force against demonstrators in Tehran. He is a war veteran who lost an eye during the Iran-Iraq war.
Update: The regime counters Mousavi’s call for a strike by reportedly announcing that anyone who doesn’t come to work tomorrow is fired.
Update: HuffPo’s 1:03 update features an English translation of the BBC Persia interview with Neda’s fiance.
Kasamin Makan, Neda Agha-Setan’s fiancee, was interviewed by BBC Persia, noting that Neda would have turned 27 this year. “Neda’s goal was not Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, it was her country and was important for her to fight for this goal. She had said many times that if she had lost her life or been shot in the heart, which indeed what happened, it was important for her to continue in this path,” he said.
Considering her young age she has taught a lesson to us all.
Mr. Makan said regarding the day of the event: “When this happened Neda, was away from the front lines, in smaller alleys near Amir Abbad. She had been in the car with her music instructor for an hour in traffic. She got tired of the heat in the car and they decided to walk. However, based on the distributed pictures by people, there had been Basijis in civilian clothes present in the area and one of them had shot her in the heart.”