Monday, August 31, 2009

Saeedeh Pour-Aghai: Another case of rape and murder?

Unconfirmed reports of the rape and murder of another female protester, Saeedeh Pour-Aghai, are emerging from two sources.

Mowjeh Sabzeh Azadi, an opposition news site, reports that Pour-Aghai has been buried in an anonymous grave in section 302 of Behesht Zahra cemetery. According to this news site, Pour-Aghai was arrested as she was chanting Allaho-Akbar from her rooftop in Dolat Street, Tehran. Mowjeh Sabz continues, "After 20 days, her mother identified her corpse at a cold storage facility in southern Tehran. Authorities refused to release Pour-Aghai's body to her mother. Weeks later, her family learned that her body was in section 302 of Behseht Zahra."

Norooz first broke the story of dozens of anonymous graves in section 302 of Behesht Zahra cemetery last week. Video footage and additional corroborating information has been published since.

Mowjeh Sabzeh Azadi continues, "Pour-Aghai's family decided to speak out despite severe pressure to keep silent. She was savagely raped, then murdered. Her body was doused with acid to hide evidence. Pour-Aghai's family was told she had died from a severe kidney ailment."

Saeedeh Pour-Aghai's funeral service was held at Gholhak mosque, in her neighborhood, on Saturday 29 August.

Mowjeh Sabzeh Azadi went on to say that new information indicates that most who were buried anonymously in section 302 were women who had been raped. This news service also claims it has learned of a mass grave near Behesht Zahra. Mowjeh Sabzeh Azadi says that details of these last two points will be published on their web site after they have been confirmed.

Mowjeh Sabz's article includes a leaflet with Pour-Aghai's photo from her funeral service.

Later yesterday afternoon (Aug 30), Parleman News, the web site of the Imam Line Faction of the Majlis, published a relevant note. Parleman News explained that Pour-Aghai's father died two years ago from the protracted effects of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq War. "[Martyr Abbas Pour-Aghai] had defended the honor of the Iranian nation over the 8 years of the war. He had hoped that we would defend his honor after he had passed away. He had left his wife and young daughter in our hands. What did we do?," wrote Parleman News.

The Imam Line Faction site went on to say, "Saeedeh's funeral service, if you could call it that, took place yesterday [Saturday 29 Aug]. Her mother, a few relatives, and Mir Hossein Moussavi were the only ones in that grief-ridden service. Saeedeh was neither an overthrower, nor a velveteer. She was simply chanting Allaho-Akbar until three women and two men came and took her away forever that night. Her mother sought Saeedeh unsuccessfully, until a relative close to the government guided her to an industrial cold storage facility where she embraced her child's black and frozen body. Why was there nothing left of that youthful joy and enthusiasm? Yesterday, everyone wept."

Parleman News's note can be found here

Khamenei sees threat in human sciences

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced concern that over two million Iranians study human sciences, saying that such fields encourage secularism. Khamenei made the remarks on Sunday 30 August in a speech to university heads and administrators.

Shiraz University president Mohammad Hadi Sadeghi said he would resign as soon as the new Higher Education Minister was confirmed. Sadeghi told Mehr news, "There is no proper understanding of universities in Iran. The job of running universities now encompasses too many unrelated responsibilities."

Sadeghi had already resigned from his post in June following attacks on university dormitories by security forces and vigilante groups after the election, but had accepted to return to work. Those attacks left at least seven people dead, according to the Office to Consolidate Unity student movement.

Mass protests planned for Ghods Day

Mehdi Karroubi confirmed that mass demonstrations are planned for Ghods Day, Friday 18 September.

As they did during a ceremony at Ghoba Mosque to commemorate Ayatollah Beheshti's martyrdom and Hashemi Rafsanjani's Friday prayer sermon in July, protesters are seeking to turn the tables on the regime again by attending a government-organized event.
Ghods Day or Jerusalem Day is marked every year to denounce Israel's control over Jerusalem. The Green Movement wants to take advantage of the official marching routes in cities throughout Iran.

In a statement to the central council of the Etemad Melli [National Trust] Party, Karroubi said, "
Don't mull over banned newspapers or web sites. Show you are continuing on your path with determination. By standing firm, these difficult days will soon pass."

He concluded, "You will once again see the people's power on Ghods Day."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei makes a virulent charge against regime

The following is a translation of highlights of Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei's speech, delivered on Wednesday August 12 and released on August 17.

Youssef Saanei is one of about 30 grand ayatollahs worldwide (about 20 in Iran) and enjoys particular respect and popularity. Saanei is a 'source of emulation' for millions of followers. Many of his ex-students are now ayatollahs or senior regime officials. At times mocking or scathing, Saanei critiqued the government in Gorgan on August 12.

The first part of the speech can be viewed here. The rest is on the same YouTube channel.

Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei:

I was born in 1937. This is the first year in my life that I have not read the Rajab and Shaban prayers in an official capacity. This has never happened to me despite all the upheavals, arrests, and deaths I have seen in my life. This is an indication of the pressures we are experiencing in this day and age.Today, a number of Imam Khomeini's companions are in prison, accused of trying to overthrow the regime. Is this credible? I don't want to name these dear individuals one by one...

I have known Mr. Mousavi and his family for 25 years. Is it credible to say that he wanted to overthrow the regime? That he wanted to have the people's blood flow in the streets? That he wanted to damage stores or people's property? That he wanted people's hearts to be targeted from the rooftops? In terms of faith and loyalty, Mousavi is rare, if not unique.

The confessions of an individual isolated from the outside world are not legal in Islam.
These [political prisoners] have no access to newspapers, radios, visitors... I must warn you of some dangers. Young people of Iran, these acts you witness are against the line of the Imam.

I heard one of these [regime supporters] in Mashhad say, "We found some unsuitable books in such and such a place." Who are you to decide what's suitable or unsuitable!? Don't show off your power so much. We've seem many such posers fall from grace and weep openly.

Now everyone is shirking their responsibilities in a comical manner. All those people have been killed and they're saying, "It wasn't my fault, it wasn't my fault." Imam Khomeini said that the legitimacy of the regime is derived from the people's vote. I told one of these officials, "Cancel this election and hold a new vote." He said, "There was no fraud!"

One man says there is no water in this pool and gives 70 reasons. The other says, "I have one proof", and throws him in the pool. Things have reached such a stage that canceling the election won't change anything now.

The more pressure they exert, the more aware the people become and the greater their hatred. I don't understand how it all came to this. They want to destroy the legacy of the Imam. Remember, a prayer for the Imam is a 100 times more powerful than the bullets being fired on the streets by those who are trying to aggrandize themselves by destroying the Imam's legacy.

Saanei later added:

The Islamic government must at least treat in a proper manner those who have toiled for it. That's politics 101. But God appears to have deprived them of their senses. When you can open a knot with your hands, don"t tear at it with your teeth. If a cleric forgets the legacy of the Imam, tell him. And if he continues, then stop listening to him.

And now, on to my second point. We must shun any media outlet that spreads lies. If a newspaper lies, a radio or television station lies, if a preacher lies, then stop listening. I'm talking about media outlets that have sent hundreds to prison and are now proudly parading them in a humiliating manner. With insults and humiliation! Is this Islam? You want to prosecute them, fine. But why the humiliation, why a special outfit?

Is this Islam? Don't believe it. Find out about their innocence, wherever it is spoken, to defend the rights of the people. Find out what they are doing to the people. You may ask, Is this useful?

The first use is to muster hatred. Hatred is dangerous for any government. The more the hatred, the more concessions they must give. Sometimes the hatred is so great, the government has no more concessions to give. They may have given oil, gas, wealth, and then they have nothing left to offer. That's when that evil autocratic government must turn to other methods.

Hatred is very dangerous for governments. Dear ones, do not lose hope, spread awareness. Listening to lying media outlets is against the Koran. They may say, these are Islamic outlets. Islam is not about lies.

On to the third danger. Do not become ideological prisoners! Today the criminals strive to keep people ignorant. They're afraid of the slightest awareness, of one person exchanging information with another. They're even afraid of cemeteries! Is that something to be afraid of? Maybe you can be afraid of cemeteries at night, but in daylight? Are people going to burn stores in cemeteries? People are just praying over the graves of their martyrs, saying, Thank you very much for aiming at his heart. Let them at least pray over the graves of their loved ones. In the old days, they used dead people to vote for them. But to be afraid of dead people? This is new. Know that seldom has anything provoked the hatred of the people as much as what is occurring today.

Here's a story. Someone said, I know this man who socializes with Imam Zaman (NB Shiite Messiah) all the time. (NB Saanei is referring to Ahmadinejad who is notorious for his claims of a special relationship with Imam Zaman.) The friend said, I don't really believe this, but I'll go and meet this man. He went and asked the man, "Do you meet with Imam Zaman?" The man said, "What are you talking about? Of course not." He comes back and tells his friend, "See, I told you so. I asked him and he said he never met Imam Zaman." The other one responds -- the punch line shows that those days of believing tricksters are over and the nation is awake! -- The other one responds, "He sees the Imam Zaman, but he's a lying bastard."

Remember, congregate wherever your goals are being advanced. I remember when as a young seminarian we drove up to Tehran to demonstrate for Khomeini and we were a mere fourteen people. Islam is about going to the source of issues. You must do the same with political matters. Instead of sitting somewhere and being mentally subjugated, think for yourselves!

Read, discuss, disseminate. Everything you see today is smoke and mirrors to bolster the power of a few.

Beware if a nation's everyday concerns are not about its pain. I speak of the pain of prisoners, the captives of today's evil ones. I speak of the pain of those whose weight has withered away and they say jokingly that its because of saunas. I speak of the pain of those whose confessions were obtained under duress, the pain of those who cannot mourn over graves. Why can't they at least release these prisoners on parole during the holy month of Ramadan? Why can't they allow the people to mourn over the graves of their loved ones during the holy month of Ramadan? You who have no children cannot understand the pain of losing a child! And you blithely aim for their hearts! Then you say he caught meningitis or some other disease.

So who's responsible for these contagious diseases? The same people who are in charge of everything else. Islam is about peace. In Islam, it is impossible for one person to impose his view on 60 million people! Unfortunately they don't listen to me, but thank God I'm not an accomplice to even one of their crimes! Thank God I'm not involved in these cases of murder and torture, any one of which is enough to send one to Hell!

Four or so people are supporting these acts, it's not important. The people are the only important thing. The people are everything. Those clerics who oppose the people will meet their just end. The people have given clerics their sustenance throughout history. For 18 years, I preached and taught in various schools to avoid being under the thumb of anyone. (NB Saanei is referring to the huge regime handouts to clerics which many believe have weakened the clergy's independence. In Shiism, senior clerics have traditionally received their livelihoods from their followers and not from governments). I have only followed God, the innocent, the good, the pure, and the Koran.

The thing that can destroy Shiism is accusations of theft levelled at the clerics. That the clerics and their ilk have stolen for 30 years. What Shiite government suddenly realizes there was theft after 30 years? I won't even talk about the dollars that have gone to Turkey (NB Referring to $18.5 billion allegedly found by Turkish customs in a truck).

How can such accusations be made in front of 200 million TV viewers. (NB Saanei is referring to a presidential TV debate between Ahmadinejad and Karroubi, where AN accused Rafsanjani). Well, he's a lying bastard.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

VOA Newstalk - 12 August 2009 - Karroubi's letter, torture and rape in Iranian prisons.

Translation of last night's Newstalk on VOA (Voice of America) Persian which was particularly interesting.

VOA Newstalk on Windows Media Player, on Real Player

For those unfamiliar with the show, Wednesday's episodes of Newstalk are very popular in Iran (midnight to 1AM). Wednesday's popularity is because of the two regular guests: Alireza Nourizadeh and Mohsen Sazegara. Nourizadeh is the director of the Center for Arab & Iranian Studies in London. Sazegara, a founder of the Revolutionary Guards, became a regime opponent and runs the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Topic of Aug 12 VOA Newstalk: Karroubi's letter, torture and rape in Iranian prisons.

Part I:

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Larijani said that after broad investigations, there was no proof of rape or torture. He then asked for proof.

Alireza Nourizadeh:

This is a country where they smash Mohsen Rouholamini's mouth, his body is subjected to torture. Then Health Minister Lankarani says that Rouholamini died of meningitis. They turn everything on its head.

Let me give a little background to this matter. That great cleric Ayatollah Montazeri, when he was steps away from becoming Supreme Leader (in 1989) sacrificed his position by telling the truth and writing a letter to Ayatollah Khomeini. In the letter (sent just before Khomeini's death when thousands were executed in a few months), he spoke of rape. In those days, a few clerics who knew nothing of religion -- among them Jannati (current Guardian Council head) issued fatwas saying that because some jailed women were virgins, they would go to heaven despite their crimes... So, in order to prevent the girls from going to heaven and to torture them until their last moments the revolutionary guards would temporarily marry these girls and rape them before executing them. When parents would come to get loved ones' bodies in the morning, the officials would throw some cash on the table, and they would say, We took 1,000 toumans from your daughter's dowry for the bullet here's the remaining 200 or 150 toumans. Imagine what those parents were feeling.

This process was stopped because of the din raised by Ayatollah Montazeri. Later, when the late Zahra Kazemi was tortured (Canadian-Iranian photographer killed in custody in 2003) we obtained evidence that Jafar Nemati, deputy to Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi and a couple of interrogators, in the presence of Prosecutor Mortazavi himself, raped Kazemi with a bottle. The French committed this atrocity on two occasions in Algeria and they subsequently apologized repeatedly.

Today, in the Supreme Leader's Kahrizak prison, they have raped the youngsters with such brutality that Karroubi had to speak out. They are then hospitalized under aliases. I spoke to one of the doctors and he spoke of deep internal tears, in vaginas and rectums. And imagine that all this is happening in the regime of Imam Zaman's (Shiite Messiah) surrogate. Just this is sufficient to pass a guilty verdict on this regime. How can a human being accept that such atrocities are committed on loved ones just because they wear a green ribbon?These loved ones were simply saying, Mr. Mousavi, take our vote back.

Now look at what they're trying to do with Taraneh Mousavi. (allegedly raped, then body dumped and burned) They've made some fake TV report saying such a person doesn't exist, then that she is in Canada. The proof exists that they arrested this lady, raped her, then burned her body. All this to say, there have been many such instances in the regime's history. In this current matter, a Karroubi associate has said that they have hard evidence of at least 39, written statements, recordings... God knows how many have died under this torture. They first said that 20 had died. Mousavi has produced 69 names. The number is even higher.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Mr. Sazegara, what's your analysis? You were one of the early revolutionaries. Did you think it would come to this?

Mohsen Sazegara:

Not at all. In the 1980s we sometimes heard stories like this, never with such scope. I personally didn't believe those stories, or I didn't want to believe them. Until I left Iran. I even sent an open letter to Ahmadinejad in 2005, saying I had met eyewitnesses outside of Iran. Mr. Allamehzadeh has documented these cases on film. My heart goes out to the people of Kurdistan province. Whatever the regime did in other parts of Iran, it committed five time those crimes in Kurdistan. We must not forget the victims of the 1980s.

The things happening in Iran now are legally crimes against humanity. Karroubi's letter is not the only indictment. Look at Mr. Babak Dad's blog and the eyewitness account there. There are dozens of other eyewitness accounts. I have received e-mails as well at Mohsen Makhmalbaf and I set up that e-mail address to compile the cases of victims. All this material is being put together outside Iran in preparation for an international tribunal.

Mr. Mousavi said that the 69 names given to the Majlis are but the ones they have managed to find thus far. All indications show that there are at least 150 dead so far.

But why are they resorting to such crimes against humanity, religion, morals...? Because this team of coup plotters has a limited number of security forces. They thought that by committing these crimes, they could create fear and make the people stay at home. The interesting thing is that the opposite has happened. It's true that people were shocked by the violence, but they pulled themselves together. The violence has fed their hatred. The people's hatred of the regime generated by these atrocities has rarely, or never, been seen in Iran. The Iranian nation has been through much over the centuries. These acts have even whitewashed the Mongol invasion! The people of Iran have endured these crimes and have calmly remained on the stage. The people are not afraid and they are wisely channeling their hatred through new tactics. Just today, they came to Bazaar. The wave cannot be stopped.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Mr. Nourizadeh, this issue has resonated in the Arab and Muslim world. What have been the effects? Is the fact that many Arab states have yet to congratulate Ahmadinejad related?

Alireza Nourizadeh:

Let me tell you a story. Rima Maktabi is a young and able journalist in Al-Arabiya TV. When she interviewed me today, she could barely voice her question. She asked, Has this really happened? When I explained the regime's past, the young girls who had been raped by their executioners I could hear a tremor in Rima Maktabi's voice. I could see the fear in this young Lebanese woman as she imagined what would happen if people like Hasan Nasrallah (Hezbollah head, Iran ally) ever come to power in Lebanon.

This issue appeared today in dozens of Arab newspapers, perhaps with a tinge of embarrassment and bitterness. In a country which calls itself Islamic, whose leader believes he is the surrogate of Imam Zaman, crimes have occurred which are even worse than those of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. They do this to their own people! Neda's case was very damaging for them and they spewed some laughable rubbish about how it had been orchestrated. Ahmadinejad, by saying some gibberish about the Holocaust and destroying Israel, may have appealed to some uneducated individuals in the Arab world. Those masses may have applauded Ahmadinejad out of their own ignorance and poverty. The Deputy Tourism Minister recounted how a laborer in Syria had told him he had named his son 'Nejad'. But these current events, and the broad satellite TV coverage in the Arab world have revealed the true face of the Iranian regime and Ahmadinejad to the Arab masses.

Karroubi is not some stranger to this regime. When I or Mr. Sazegara say something, they say these are regime opponents. But Karroubi was close to Khomeini. He spent 8 years in prison. Khomeini named him to run the Martyrs Foundation. Karroubi was a two-term Majlis Speaker, one-term Deputy Speaker, four-term Majlis representative. Such a person is saying, Mr. Rafsanjani if you don't investigate this matter, I'll publish the letter.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Why was the letter sent to Rafsanjani and not Khamenei?

Alireza Nourizadeh:

Because he's implying this Supreme Leader is defunct and the head of the Assembly of Experts must act. Rafsanjani who can't even preach at Friday Prayer, naturally can't respond to such a letter. Instead, Majlis Speaker Larijani responds in a baseless manner.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Rafsanjani's office said he wouldn't preach to avoid unrest.

Mohsen Sazegara:

There's still time for Rafsanjani to change his mind. They've told him, if you don't come this time, you'll never preach...

We've gone through four phases over the past two months: First they tried the old technique of showing strength. They could only come up with 40,000 to the protesters' millions. 2nd phase - Khamenei threatened the protesters which led to Bloody Saturday, when some 80 people were killed. 3rd phase - When people showed no fear, they started the atrocities. I doubt they've closed Kahrizak by the way. 4th phase - The people have not surrendered to the atrocities and are engaging in civil disobedience.

The regime is trying to wage a battle of attrition, but it is the people who are tiring out the government. The people are entering the stage in whatever legal space they can. For example, Friday Prayers. Also soccer games. The last few games have been played without spectators. The people have announced they will attend Friday Prayers once a month. They've made posters in cities throughout Iran to call people to prayer this Friday Aug 14.

Part II:

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Mr. Sazegara, you saw in the news that the West has been accused of intererence. Is there any merit to these charges?

Mohsen Sazegara:

This is par for the course. For 30 years, the regime has accused any critics of being foreign agents. The Intelligence Ministry officials who were recently purged said that no foreign countries were involved. This is not specific to this regime. Stalin used to do it too. But the important point is that the age of doing whatever you want within your borders is over. This is the age of globalization, the age of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is the age of hundreds of international organizations and media outlets. The world sympathizes with the plight of Iranians. Khamenei can't just do whatever he wants. Khamenei can't arrest, torture and kill, then expect the world to stay silent.

When people with dual nationalities are arrested and then people object, the regime says, They entered with their Iranian passports! As if you can do what you want with Iranians. But the world takes these people to task. Look at Omar Al-Bashir (Sudan). Or the Serbs who were tried. Its not just about these show trials. All the crimes of the regime are being documented. They must answer for them.

I'm sorry for people like Larijani (Majlis Speaker) whose brother is about to head another branch (judiciary). To think that he has become such a tool. He used to be math student at Sharif U in the old days. Larijani should have had enough brains to not become a tool of a committee of coup plotters with Mojtaba (Khamenei's son) at its head. This group includes Taeb (Basij head), Aziz Jafari (aka IRGC head). You have such a team with a group of murderers under them--

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Has this information been published anywhere?

Mohsen Sazegara:

No, I've compiled this through many sources. One of my old Revolutionary Guards friends called me the other day. I've known him for a long time and he was a hero of the [Iran-Iraq] war. This friend swore to me that none of the people in his circle was involved with or aware of what was going on. He said, We're not even privy to these developments.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

What did he mean by 'we'?

Mohsen Sazegara:

The good guys in the Revolutionary Guards, the veterans who fought for their country.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

At the same time, the head of the Revolutionary Guards is saying, Our task is not over yet.

Mohsen Sazegara:

These friends I speak of have been sidelined.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

Instead of calling you, why don't they react?

Mohsen Sazegara:

They've all been tempted to write a letter and sign it, but they'd be executed. They have to make preparations. Spread their net wider or go into hiding. The key positions are not held by the old veterans anymore. 50% of the Revolutionary Guards have good records of service to their country and haven't committed crimes. They no longer hold key posts. They may have been 'retired' or they may be instructors... These people are saying, Not only were we not involved in these crimes, but we weren't even informed. A small circle of coup plotters and their Russian cohorts have brought this government to power.

I just wanted to return to the topic of the Arab and Muslim world. The Arab and Muslim world is saying, Attacking prayer goers, raping prisoners, this is not Islam, this is Shiism. When I heard this, I thought, The senior Shiite clerics must engage in Tabarri and not associate with this regime. I can't defend religion, I have no official capacity. But these senior clerics do and must. They must say this so-called Islamic government has nothing to do with Islam.

Host Hamshid Chalangi:

Mr. Nourizadeh, we receive many letters asking why dissident Revolutionary Guards don't rise up. Mr. sazegara says it's because they are afraid. The senior clerics may also be afraid.

Alireza Nourizadeh:

The situation of the senior clerics is different from that of the Revolutionary Guards. The senior clerics are afraid of losing their source of income. They make billions. When senior clerics start owning rubber plants or selling sugar, they worry about their business. Also, this regime has a lot evidence against these clerics and their families. When Ayatollah Golpayegani wanted to organize a funeral wake for Ayatollah Shariatmadari (dissident ayatollah) the regime told him that if he held the wake - this was in Khomeini's time - his grandson would be executed.

From its inception, this Republic of the Supreme Leader has been about fear. Of those who remain, people like Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, I'm amazed at how they remain silent! When Ayatollah Behjat died, he left behind 140 billion toumans. Khamenei ordered that the money be taken because Behjat had wanted the money to be buried with him so Imam Zaman could use it in the Coming. Khamenei said that he was Imam Zaman's surrogate and the money was taken away. When Fazel Lankarani died, he left 96 billion toumans. Such sums are unprecedented in the history of Shiism.

How can Ayatollah Sistani (considered most senior Shiite cleric. Living in Iraq.) remain silent? Is the blood of young Iranians less red than that of Saudi Shiites or Bahraini Shiites? These youngsters are getting raped and these gentlemen say nothing?! What's going on here? In the time of the Shah and his father, these clerics would cry out at the drop of a hat! Do you remember the clamor the clerics made when Iran adopted daylight saving time? How the clerics said, The Shah's trying to ban prayers! Why aren't the senior clerics saying anything now? Either the senior clerics are mired in corruption or they're terrified. This shows that the danger clerics faced during the Shah's time was nothing compared to now in the age of Imam Zaman's surrogate.

As for the Revolutionary Guards, I agree with Mr. Sazegara. If a military man reneges on his oath, his fate is set. Gone are the days when you could put a flower in a soldier's gun barrel and he would embrace you. But keep in mind that the regime didn't bring the Revolutionary Guards into the fray. The security forces in the streets have been made up of NOPO (Nirouyeh Vijeyeh Peiroveh Velayat, special forces) and other vigilante forces alongside the police.

The regime's divided the Tehran military sector into two parts one under General Araghi, the other under General Fazli (veteran). They've been afraid to use Fazli's forces. The Revolutionary Guards who fought for their country are not willing to open fire on the people.

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

The Revolutionary Guards chief has said, Our task is not over, we will crush the velvet revolution. If officers in the Revolutionary Guards are against this, why have we not seen any signs?

Alireza Nourizadeh:

We see signs of what is going on in the Guards. They've sent four or five long letters to Khamenei. A week ago, I posted a letter from one officer under his real name on my site. We see numerous requests for leave. Many are asking for early retirement. This shows that that the Guard which swore to defend the Supreme Leader's turban has lost its faith now that it sees that the turban in question is the cause of rapes.

Rest assured, this same blustery Jafari (IRGC head) that you see now will act in the same way as Saddam's generals when push comes to shove. Just look at how some prominent names are taking their distance. Hossein Alai was a founder of the Revolutionary Guards, led the first IRGC navy. Look at what Alai had to say about Mohsen Rouholamini's death (son of prominent conservative, killed in prison).

Host Jamshid Chalangi:

How will the West react if the current situation continues?

Mohsen Sazegara:

A few days ago, I and a few others met with a team of international lawyers to freeze stolen Iranian assets. In the US government, one group wants to support the Green movement, even if it means cutting relations with the regime. Another group, which I disagree with, says that the US must engage with the regime despite everything and that Ahmadinejad's weakness may even allow the US to gain extra concessions.

The issue has not been resolved yet.The demonstrations in Iran have had a strong effect on Western policy. I have never seen such sympathy for the Iranian people.

Alireza Nourizadeh:

When I was in Washington, I met a few figures and discussed US policy. Before this unrest, Dennis Ross's Iran negotiation team had already been chosen. But the Green movement changed everything. Even Obama's position shifted as the days went by. Now Holbrooke and Ross are waiting to see how things unfold as we approach September. The Iranian regime is eager to create a bombshell and give concessions to the US during Ahmadinejad's visit to New York in September. In any case, I don't think Ahmadinejad will have the good fortune to complete his term in good health.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Map of Tehran protests, Wednesday 5 August 2009

There are explanations and video embedded in some of the place markers. Click on the place markers to access this information. This map will be updated as new information comes in. For additions and corrections, please email or contact through direct messaging on twitter.
For a better view of the map, please go directly to the Google Maps Page

View Tehran - 20090805 - protests Wednesday 5 August 2009 in a larger map