Saturday, February 13, 2010

Texas artist breathes new life into old Iranian protest anthem

In early December of 2009, a new, hypnotic version of the 1970s protest anthem 'Yareh Dabestaniyeh Man' (My schoolfriend) appeared on the web site of Where Is My Vote - New York.

The fresh take on the old classic was arranged and performed by Fared Shafinury, whose commanding voice and flowing setar instrumentation seemed at odds with his 27 years. The Texas-born Iranian-American was accompanied by his band Tehranosaurus: Jason Mackenzie on Tabla, Drummer Andy Beaudoin, Chris Ledesma on Bass and Guitar, Bryan Emmon Hall on Violin, and Joey Santori on Cello.

Two days ago, Where Is My Vote - New York posted a video clip of Shafinury's song with animation by Simon Ampel. The combination is electrifying:

'Shafinury has had the privilege of studying under some of Iran’s most prominent Masters including: Ostad Mozaffari, Ostad Zolghadr, Ostad Shaari, Ostad Soukuti and Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi,' according to the artist's web site.

He lived for two years in Iran before returning to the United States in 2008. While in Tehran, he was detained for a short while by the police for organizing an impromptu concert in a park. He recounted the incident to a local Austin television channel:

Shafinury recorded his soon-to-be-released début album in Tehran's Avayeh Darya studio. The following clip of the song 'Arianaz' was filmed in Tehran...

Khamenei and Khomeini in the trash: And that's what their 'supporters' think of them...

A video filmed on the anniversary of the revolution, February 11, shows numerous official signs and posters bearing photos of Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini lying in the garbage thrown on the ground around Azadi Square, Tehran, even before the end of the regime-organized ceremony (video at the end of this piece).

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be heard in the background giving his speech which began at around 11:00 and lasted until just after noon.

No one bends down to pick up the pictures and in some cases people can be seen distractedly trampling the likenesses of two key figures of the regime.

The disdainful attitude and lack of revolutionary fervor of the participants in the official march is in sharp contrast to previous years, and in the current context belies the regime's claims that the presence of large numbers of people in the rally underlines the popularity of the Islamic Republic and its leaders.

Only two months ago, the regime raised a bogus ruckus about a video showing a picture Khamenei and Khomeini which had been set on fire by protesters. As this new film displays, not even the NAJA officers (Niroureh entezamiyeh jomhouriyeh eslami, the Islamic Republic Security Forces) standing nearby care about the discarded pictures.

The regime touted the participants in the rally as its popular foot soldiers. The litter-strewn streets seem to tell another story...

The following is the footage posted by Raheh Sabzeh Azadi on YouTube: 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dear Jaan - A letter about 22 Bahman

This is not a real letter. It is satire based mostly on facts and true events. The joke about '21' is courtesy of Hadi Khorsandi, though I do not know if he originally came up with it. 

 Aziz Jaan,

Greetings to you on the day after the glorious 22 Bahman celebrations.

It has been some time since I last wrote and I beg your indulgence. With God's blessing, I have been working like a donkey at the Intelligence Ministry ever since about 5,000 unreliable elements were laid off over the summer. But do they give us extra pay? Suffice it to say that I brought up the matter with my supervisor Jaberi -- the man has been insufferable since he went for that training session in Moscow -- and he said 'Nyet.' Did we have a revolution so people would go around using foreign words, I ask you? And he seemed so nice when he got back and brought me those Russian dolls I keep on my desk. A beautiful little Imam Khomeini, may he rest in peace, inside Hashemi Rafsanjani inside Jannati inside General Jafari inside His Excellency Supreme Leader Imam Khamenei. And I say 'inside' with the greatest respect. I've taken Rafsanjani out and keep him at home, just in case my office is searched.

Jaberi says we're on a tight budget, but I don't see them cutting back on entertainment expenses. We ordered 100,000 Sundis juice packs and sandwiches last month for the epic rally in support of the regime. And yesterday we handed out truckloads of gifts and food to the loyal and pious people. They were giving little gold coins and coupons for hotels next to the Caspian Sea to random supporters outside several mosques. One night in a hotel in Ramsar is at least 100,000 toumans! Not that I know from personal experience, but I've been told. I'm not even going to mention how much was spent on thousands of buses and vans for transporting our pious brothers and sisters. And how did they know they weren't giving the gifts to green rioters by mistake? They should have at least quizzed the people before giving the goodie bags. What is the name of His Excellency Supreme Leader Imam Khamanei's favorite horse? Or, In what historic speech did the Agha say that the election was over and people should go back home?

What a waste of money. Only a counter-revolutionary foreign-financed lackey would think that our devoted brothers and sisters would not show up if we didn't hand out gifts and food. And did we have to transport them from so far away? If the good people of Karaj and Lavasanat near Tehran were good enough for last year, who's the genius who thought it would be a good idea to bring people from Zanjan or Hamedan, hundreds of kilometers away? Probably the cousin of some bus company owner! And tell me, who's supposed to demonstrate back home if everyone is brought to Tehran? That was a rhetorical question, by the way Aziz. I've also heard the lies about treacherous green protesters in other cities. You and I know well that the brave schoolchildren spontaneously took to the streets in the provinces, but still. Did we have to organize competitions with 50,000 toumans in prize money at the schools? These brave children of the revolution would have come anyway.

And while we're on the topic of wasting money, what about the hundreds of thousands of hours of overtime for the brothers from the security forces? These poor selfless souls would have come to the glorious 22 Bahman celebration in any case, albeit in civilian clothes, but some of them are plainclothesmen anyway. Instead they were deployed from the previous night, in freezing weather I might add. And all for what? To make sure the insignificant number of green rioters would not cause any trouble. I am certain that the ocean of pious brothers and sisters would have engulfed the few straggling traitors in their midst and we had no need whatsoever to line the streets with our security forces. The security forces could have had the day off and His Excellency Supreme Leader Imam Khamenei would still have been able to walk down the streets with no fear for his safety with the millions of devoted brothers and sisters surrounding him. But you and I know that the Agha is above these earthly matters and would never soil the soles of his blessed shoes by walking down the street. Besides which, his presence in public would cause a riot, in a good way of course, as thousands would flock to him to bask in the Heavenly light emanating from his sacred being.

All that wasted money and Jaberi talks to me about a tight budget and why he can't pay me overtime! That's not what I hear from Cousin Lotfi who's got a cushy job with Revolutionary Guards' intelligence. They're rolling in cash. Meanwhile I was on duty yesterday and couldn't even get some of the free goodies myself. I tell you, the Now Rouz bonus better be good, because we've exceeded our arrest and interrogation quotas.

Join the Intelligence Ministry! they said, Join a growth industry! You'll see the world, they said, at least parts of Iraq and Afghanistan, but here I am, stuck in some basement office for two shifts (paid one), answering the denunciation hotline and drinking fifty teas a day. The cursed telephone doesn't stop ringing, especially since we started publishing photos of rioters and sending random SMS messages asking for tips, and the lavatory is on the first floor. I'd be content if at least the calls were for proper tips and not pranks, or the kind of insults that would make an interrogator blush. And I say 'interrogator' with the greatest respect.

Yesterday an anti-revolutionary lackey called and, instead of giving a tip, asked for information about the 22 Bahman anniversary march. As if we're supposed to know everything. Well, we are, but you know what I mean. So I said, 'Go watch your Zionist satellite channels,' and Aziz, I have to say I felt proud of my comeback. So he said, 'Yes, but there is so much confusing news. They say there were 50 million regime supporters!' And I responded, 'Go fool someone else,' and hung up. Then I read on Fars news that there were in fact 50 million good compatriots in the streets, supporting the regime. I hope my phone wasn't tapped and no one heard my momentary lapse in trust in our numbers. Should I be worried, Aziz?

I suppose I should stop complaining about work.  Cousin Malek who's at Wagon Pars Company is on strike because they haven't been paid for months, but he did get a very comfortable train seat as part payment which he has put in his living room. If it wasn't for the informant's check that he receives every once in a while, I don't know how he could make ends meet. But at least they waited a few months before going on strike! What about the Western-influenced construction workers who built Tehran's new Tohid tunnel? The cursed thing was just opened and there they were last week, lying on the road in front of the tunnel like a bunch of green rioters, bringing traffic to a standstill, all because they hadn't been paid! What happened to the revolutionary work ethic?

And don't get me started on young people. You know that my only son Ezatollah has been a disappointment to me ever since he refused the phone-tapping trainee job I had lined up for him. Mr. Westernized had higher aspirations after he got a doctorate. Well, with God's blessing, he has managed to find a job driving a taxi. The other day, I followed him out of habit just to see what he is up to and caught him playing '21' at a friend's house. Gambling! What's next? Becoming a green supporter?

I sat him down at home and spoke man to man. 'Don't you know that '21' will make you destitute and your life a living hell?' I asked. 'No father, it's 22 that makes you destitute and your life a living hell,' he answered.

I have no idea what he was talking about. I sometimes think we and our children speak different languages.

May your life be bountiful,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Live blog - 22 Bahman - Anniversary of 1979 Revolution - Thursday, 11 February 2010

9:00 PM Tehran time - 5:30 PM GMT 
Eyewitness account, BBC Persian: I went to Namazi Square and the place was full of plainclothesmen, motorcyclists, Basijis, anti-riot police, and every other kind of security force. There were so many of them. I saw so many knives being shaken in the air by the plainclothesmen. No one dared say a thing. I just want to ask, if we are so insignificant, why so many security forces? This is an admission on the part of the government.

8:30 PM Tehran time - 5:00 PM GMT 
Tear gas is fired at a group of protesters as they begin to congregate near buses used to transport 'regime supporters' to Tehran...

Lines of troops among the people...

7:50 PM Tehran time - 4:20 PM GMT 
BBC Persian's call-in program, 'Your Turn', provided some eyewitness accounts of today's events.
Amir, Tehran, SMS message to BBC Persian: 'I walked from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square, and then back all the way to Ferdowsi Square. I've never seen such a security presence. Basijis and plainclothesmen were also among the crowd. I was stopped and checked three times.'

Caller to BBC Persian, Hamid, Tehran: 'I attended today's march. There were three types of people. First, around Azadi square, there were the usual 200,000 regime supporters. Second, going north towards Sadeghiyeh Square, there were provincials who had been bused in. I spoke to a few of them and was amazed. There were people from Khorramabad, Zanjan, Hamedan... They had been brought to Tehran from very far away. Usually the regime transports people from the close environs of Tehran for these events. The third group was the greens, who for the most part had unwillingly been mixed up with the official demonstrators. I am a green. But we couldn't do anything. I've never seen so much security, and I've been to every protest except Ashura.'

Caller to BBC Persian, Parsa, Tehran: 'The presence of police and Basijis was overbearing. When we joined the march, we cautiously exchanged looks to see which side we were on. I was just there as a green with grievances and had no desire to engage in violence. But we couldn't express anything. An old man near me showed a V-sign to a helicopter flying over us. A second later, three young people jumped on the old man and took him away. I don't know where they took him. We stayed true to ourselves and were not violent, unlike the regime. Look at what they did to Karroubi. Obviously these people don't think we belong to this nation. This movement was not created in one day, and it will not be destroyed in one day!'

7:10 PM Tehran time - 3:40 PM GMT 
More footage of the stifling security presence today...

6:50 PM Tehran time - 3:20 PM GMT 
Security forces continue to clash with opposition demonstrators in various parts of Tehran, including Arya Shahr and Ferdows Boulevard. Basijis and police who have been stationed in the city since last night are reportedly exhausted and have been compelled to retreat on several occasions.

This video shows protesters chasing away security forces...

6:45 PM Tehran time - 3:15 PM GMT 
Protesters continue to demonstrate in Chamran and Namazi streets.

Footage of a Basij motorcycle burning in Sadeghiyeh, north of Azadi Square:

Brutality of security forces...

6:40 PM Tehran time - 3:10 PM GMT 
Kalemeh, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's news site, reports that Mousavi's wife, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard was kicked and beaten with batons by a group of regime goons in Sadeghiyeh Square, north of Azadi square. She was saved by bystanders. Kalemeh also reported that Mir Hossein Mousavi had been prevented by club-wielding plainclothesmen and police officers from joining the demonstrators on Azadi Street.

Raja News, close to Ahmadinejad, had previously reported that Mousavi and Rahnavard had never showed up at the rally. Fars news, close to the Revolutionary Guards, employed a tired tactic and reported that Mousavi had escaped the people by donning a woman's chador. The regime already used this method when it arrested student leader Majid Tavakoli and announced that he had tried to escape by wearing women's clothes. (For more on this, click here)

A photo posted by Nedayeh Sabzeh Azadi shows anti-riot forces arriving at the celebrations earlier today:

6:10 PM Tehran time - 2:40 PM GMT 
Pageantry and good fun at the regime's 'celebration':

In response to regime reports that Karroubi and Khatami only had about 100 supporters on the streets today, ePersian Radio asks: 'How is it that Karroubi and Khatami who supposedly only have 100 supporters came to the streets today, but Khamenei with his 50 million supporters didn't dare show his face?'

Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, spoke to BBC Persian about the attack on his father near Second Sadeghiyeh Square: 'A rock was thrown at him and it hit him on his head and the police directly shot tear gas at him. Someone offered to drive him away and the security forces savagely attacked the car. He is now at home and he is ailing. His head has been injured and he has a hard time breathing. His eyes are completely swollen shut. One of our brothers was arrested today. I don't know how this matter will be resolved with this kind of behavior on the part of the government.'

Eyewitness to BBC Persian: (This also confirms previous account by a woman from Isfahan) We were in northern Charbagh Street. Near Si-o-Seh Pol (Thirty Three Bridge), there's a police station and there were plainclothesmen, Basijis, police officers all around the park near the river. They attacked the people whenever they tried to gather in groups, sometimes driving their motorcycles into the crowd. Twice, I saw the security forces charge people near Azar Bridge.'

5:50 PM Tehran time - 2:20 PM GMT
Bizim Tabriz News, a local Azerbaijani news site, reports an embarrassingly low and languid turnout for the regime's celebrations in Tabriz (population about 1.5 million). (for full article and photo gallery click here):

Bizim Tabriz writes: 'Reports and photos indicate the feeble presence of some schoolchildren and government employees in the 22 Bahman ceremonies. We have received reports that gifts and food were offered to the participants on a level unseen in 31 years. By editing footage of the events, state television tried to show that large numbers of people attended the ceremony.' 

Amateur footage of the Tabriz 'celebrations' can be seen below. The cameraman giggles as an old man waves a flag and tries to get someone to repeat his call of 'Death to America!' The rest is equally comical.

5:20 PM Tehran time - 1:50 PM GMT
Aryashahr district, north of Azadi Square... The protest anthem 'Yareh Dabestani Man' (my old schoolfriend) overwhelms listless calls of 'Death to America!'

5:15 PM Tehran time - 1:45 PM GMT
Protesters hurl rocks at Basijis who are attacking greens... 'Basijis have become savage!'

Reports of clashes on Enghelab Street and Enghelab Square.

Telephone number for Intelligence Ministry: +982188889704 or 05

Blogs and FaceBook pages are announcing gathering points for further protests today:
Tehran - Aryashahr, Vali Asr crossroad, Ferdowsi Square, Laleh Park, Evin prison, in front of state radio-television.
Tabriz - Abresanan Street, College Square
Isfahan - Charbagh.

5:00 PM Tehran time - 1:30 PM GMT
Footage purportedly from today:

Tehran's Ferdowsi Street:

Photo of Khamenei gets torn down as cars honk in support...

4:50 PM Tehran time - 1:20 PM GMT
The sound of drumbeats on garbage cans and smoke in the distance...

Caller to Radio Farda: From early morning, when we came out of our house, we saw buses bringing people into the city. The regime supporters getting off the buses were given Iranian flags and, something strange, green flags. It was impossible to get to Enghelab Square. The regime supporters were in Charbagh Street and the protesters were in North Charbagh, all the way to Kowsar Hotel. Some young people who were with us decided to advance quicker than us. They went to Azar Bridge, where plainclothesmen were beating protesters with chains and brandishing knives. The young people told us they would stay until nightfall. It was terrifying, but I wanted to tell you that us Isfahanis are active.

4:40 PM Tehran time - 1:10 PM GMT
A caller's account to Radio Farda seems to confirm the piece written by a blogger below: 'I was in Sadeghiyeh and though people were not holding up any symbols, I think most of them were against the regime because they wouldn't respond to the official chants from the loudspeakers. The security forces attacked the crowd violently, with cables, batons, and gas. Where I was, I can say that the 22 Bahman celebrations did not take place. I saw a small gathering of regime supporters and even they were dispersed by the police. The people were beaten and I even saw some seriously injured individuals. That's what happens when you're attacked with chains. But no shots were fired.'

4:30 PM Tehran time - 1:00 PM GMT
Khamenei's picture gets trampled:

4:25 PM Tehran time - 12:55 PM GMT
Smoke and the sound of helicopters over the streets of Tehran, purportedly from today:

Protesters jeer helicopter flying overhead:

A blogger who participated in this morning's rally in Tehran writes the following account:
1. From 10 AM, I went down Ashrafi Esfahani to Second Sadeghiyeh Square, down Mohammad Ali Jenah to Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri overpass. (NB This route is along one of the north-south roads which lead to Azadi Square. There have been clashes all day in this area.). Then I went back up the same way.
2. There were many greens, but they were dispersed. The crowd was much bigger than I'd anticipated. But no one was chanting any slogans or showing any green symbols. As soon as someone would chant or even show a V sign with his fingers, they'd charge him and arrest him. To give an idea of the proportions, between 10 AM and 11 AM around Second Sadeghiyeh Square, 60% of the crowd were protesters, 20% were Ahmadinejad supporters, and 20% were police and Basij forces.
3. From 11 AM, when Ahmadinejad started his speech, the protesters went north towards Pounak Square and chanted 'Death to the dictator.'
4. The police and Basij were extremely violent. They attacked people with chains, batons, electric cables, and pepper gas. The interesting thing was that they didn't care who they beat. They sometimes beat their own supporters who were there for the ceremony. Their main concern was to prevent any gathering of greens. In practice, they sacrificed their own ceremony to disperse protesters. Interest point: many of the people who had turned up in support of the regime were very scared. I saw many people who turned around and left for fear of being beaten. Perhaps in the future they will not consider regime demonstrations to be picnics.
5. In short, the sedition, to use their own phrase, was not subdued this time either. Despite all the violence, executions, and arrests a portion of the people are still not afraid and they voice their protest in the streets.
6. A major part of the protesters (myself included) participated in the march without any green symbols. The climate was such that it was impossible to congregate. Those of you who watch the images on media outlets will surely be unable to identify this crowd, but dispel any preconceptions you may have about the crowd that was demonstrating. All the people that are shown on Iranian television are not regime supporters. A significant portion (I don't know how many, but in Aryashahr it was at least half) are protesters.

3:40 PM Tehran time - 12:10 PM GMT
Swedish police repelled Iranian protesters who were attempting to take over the Islamic Republic's embassy.

After getting free transportation on chartered buses, 'regime supporters' flock to a stand to get free goodies.

3:20 PM Tehran time - 11:50 AM GMT
Caller to ePersian Radio: I made it to the front steps of state radio-television (NB near Vanak Square, north Tehran) with about 2,000 people. We almost managed to take over the radio-television broadcaster, but security forces arrived in great numbers and shot tear gas at us. I ran away, but many people were arrested. My eyes are stinging badly. A family helped me get away. I'm tending to my wounds.

3:15 PM Tehran time - 11:45 AM GMT
Protesters have raided the Islamic Republic embassy in Stockholm, according to two sources.

Sadeghiyeh district, north of Azadi Square. 'Referendum, referendum, this is the people's slogan!' and 'Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein!'

A police car was set on fire in the Bazaar area south of the main official route, according to a caller who said he witnessed it from his apartment window.

Demonstrators have been protesting the regime since noon, from Naderi Street toAbadan crossroads.

3:05 PM Tehran time - 11:35 AM GMT
Footage purporting to be from today. 'Political prisoners must be freed!'

Low-flying helicopter over Tehran:

Callers to ePersian Radio describe how they have called the Intelligence Ministry's hotline set up for denouncing protesters. First caller: 'I called the number and there was a message to press 5. I did this and then a gentleman with an Azeri accent answered. I said I'm calling from abroad and wanted to get some information about today's events. He said I should watch the satellite channels. I said I had, but wanted real information because state media were saying that 50 million regime supporters had demonstrated today. He laughed and said go fool someone else.' Caller 2: 'I called the same number, but I wasn't as polite. I said I knew of a rioter. He was very happy and asked for more information. I said that Ahmadinejad's wife had become a prostitute in Beirut and was causing riots.' The Intelligence Ministry's hotline is 009821113. Please do not use it to make prank calls. That would be impolite. 

Caller to ePersian radio: Listen to this. I'm in Tajrish. (NB North Tehran) (Loud sounds of chanting: 'With God's help, victory is near. Death to this deceitful government.'

2:50 PM Tehran time - 11:20 AM GMT
Footage purportedly from today. Protesters shout 'Death to Khamenei' as they are chased by Basijis:

2:45 PM Tehran time - 11:15 AM GMT
Chant in Sadeghiyeh which is still the scene of heavy clashes: 'Death to the Supreme Leader!' A police van and motorcycle were set on fire.

Raheh Sabzeh Azadi: The protesters are showing surprising resistance in the face of security forces throughout the city.  Anti-riot police are being redeployed from Azadi Square to hot spots.

Automated SMS messages were sent to random people last night (picture to the right): '22 Bahman is the day of the destruction of the sedition. [signed:] Intelligence Ministry communications department.'

2:30 PM Tehran time - 11:00 AM GMT
Protesters plan to take to the streets again at 4 PM, according to several FaceBook pages of groups within Iran.

Reports of at least one protester shot to death in Tehran. Protesters allegedly captured the gunman and managed to take away his ID card. The alleged killer's name is already being distributed on the Internet, but this blog will not post the name until the dust settles and the veracity of this news is confirmed.

Nedayeh Sabzeh Azadi claims that Mir Hossein Mousavi was present among the throng of protesters earlier today.

2:15 PM Tehran time - 10:45 AM GMT
Photo posted by the Iranian Students News Agency shows security helicopter flying over Azadi Square:

Several mosques in the area around Azadi Square handed out gold coins and coupons to stay in luxury hotels next to the Caspian Sea as 'regime supporters' walked by, according to a listener who called ePersian Radio. 'I can't even make enough money to buy bread and this is what they do to our oil money!'

Clashes continue in Aryashahr and Sadeghiyeh district, north of Azadi Square. People chased a security vehicle in which several arrested protesters were held.

2:10 PM Tehran time - 10:40 AM GMT
Footage purporting to be from today. 'Political prisoners must be freed!'

2:05 PM Tehran time - 10:35 AM GMT
Caller to ePersian Radio: Thousands of protesters are moving from Aryashahr towards Evin Prison in the north of Tehran.
Eyewitness accounts to Mardomak appear to indicate that the intense security presence has thus far managed to neutralize any significant gathering of protesters.

2:00 PM Tehran time - 10:30 AM GMT
Footage purporting to be from today:

1:50 PM Tehran time - 10:20 AM GMT
Tear gas fired on Paramount Street. Thousands of protesters chanted 'Death to the dictator' and 'Death to Khamenei.' One report cites close to 20,000 people were present all the way to Saadi movie theater.

Clashes are taking place in western and northern Tehran. Jaras reports that very large crowds have converged in the area around Vanak Square, northern Tehran. Security forces are having a hard time dealing with the mas of people.

There are also reports of unrest in North Kargar Street. The number of protesters AND Basijis is increasing by the minute.

Caller to ePersian radio: Their celebration ceremony went to sh**! I saw security forces take a foreign journalist away. They took his notebook and everything and drove him away. The police is patrolling the streets and stopping anyone they can get their hands on. Ahmadinejad was giving his speech and just a few hundred meters away, the people were fighting security forces.

1:40 PM Tehran time - 10:10 AM GMT
Clashes breaking out around the city as protesters play cat and mouse with the security forces.

Footage purporting to be from today. Security forces charge people:

'Cannons, tanks, Basijis no longer work!'

Basij forces in camouflage uniforms are present in 7th Tir Square. People are continuing to arrive. There is absolutely no mobile telephone service in the area.

1:20 PM Tehran time - 9:50 AM GMT
Severe disruptions in mobile telephone and Internet services.
Caller to ePersian Radio: We've filmed the clashes that took place in Aryashahr but we can't upload because Internet connection is so slow. There were so many buses around Azadi Square. I don't know where they brought these people from. I'm going out again to join the protesters.
Anti-riot vehicles bought from China are being employed close to the state radio-television, near Vanak Square. Vehicles have hot-water cannons which are being used on the people.

Caller to Radio Farda: SMS service is completely cut and mobile telephone service keeps getting cut.

1:05 PM Tehran time - 9:35 AM GMT
Very strong security presence on main artery from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square.

Caller to Radio Farda: As the official ceremony winds down, we're seeing the departure of supporters who were bused in (NB see video below for a look at long lines of buses). The people left on the streets are the protesters.

Video purpoting to be from today, near Vali Asr Square. 'Death to Russia!'

12:50 PM Tehran time - 9:20 AM GMT
Video of long lines of buses which brought 'regime supporters' to Tehran:

Strong presence of protesters in Aryashahr, north of Azadi Square.

Footage almost definitely from today, outside Sadeghiyeh subway station in Aryashahr. 'Referendum, referendum, this is the people's slogan!' This is a new slogan and strongly suggests this video is from today:

12:45 PM Tehran time - 9:15 AM GMT
Chant heard on Tehran streets this morning: 'Referendum, referendum, this is the people's slogan!'

Video purporting to be from today. Protesters chant 'Death to the dictator' on Tehran subway car.

Footage purporting to be from today. 'Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein' in Sadeghiyeh subway station, situated in Aryashahr, north of Azadi Square, east of Second Sadeghiyeh Square:

12:35 PM Tehran time - 9:05 AM GMT
Some footage of Ahmadniejad's speech at Azadi Square. This is from state TV's feed so must be taken with a grain of salt. Many sources say that Tehran is cloudy, but state television is showing blue skies:

Expediency Council chief Hashemi Rafsanjani is on Palestine Street.

12:20 PM Tehran time - 8:50 AM GMT
Mohammad Reza Khatami, former President Khatami's brother, and his wife Zahra Eshraghi, Khomeini's granddaughter, were released an hour after their arrest.

Footage from yesterday shows free food packages being prepared for 'regime supporters' who often come to official ceremonies to receive handouts:

12:10 PM Tehran time - 8:40 AM GMT
Hossein Karroubi, son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, to Radio Farda: Security forces attacked my father and his entourage as they walked south towards Second Sadeghiyeh Square. They beat the people with batons and shot paintballs at them. 

12:00 PM Tehran time - 8:30 AM GMT
Shots were fired towards protesters north of Azadi Square, in Aryashahr, according to Jaras. It appears that that Second Sadeghiyeh Square is becoming one of the main protest fronts in Tehran.

Female caller to ePersian Radio: Poster of Khamenei was set on fire on Behboudi Square. My back aches from a paintball shot. These security forces have no idea -- we're wearing several coats and can change our clothes so we're not identified from the paint. We're waiting for Ahmadinejad's speech to end. We'll stay on the streets until late today.

11:45 AM Tehran time - 8:15 AM GMT
State TV live footage shows very close shots of Ahmadinejad giving his speech, but it looks like wider shots are being 'controlled.' For example, the same footage of supporters is repeatedly broadcast between shots of Ahmadinejad. Blue skies in other footage seems strange as Tehran is cloudy today. One caller to ePersian Radio says a person on Azadi Square was shown holding a sign insulting Khamenei. The person was shown twice, according to this caller. 

A security motorcycle was set on fire on Vali Asr Square. Clashes near state radio-television building north of Tehran.

First reports of unrest near Si-o-Seh Pol (Thirty Three Bridge).

First reports of unrest in Setad neighborhood.

11:30 AM Tehran time - 8:00 AM GMT
Car bearing former reformist President Mohammad Khatami was attacked and its windows were smashed, according to Mardomak.
Jonbesheh Raheh Sabz: Mohammad Reza Khatami, former President Khatami's brother, has been arrested along with his wife Zahra Eshraghi, the granddaughter of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Update on Ali Karroubi's arrest: Opposition leader Karroubi's younger son was arrested as he tried to protect his father near Second Sadeghiyeh Square.

11:20 AM Tehran time - 7:50 AM GMT
Side streets around 7th Tir Square are filled with security forces. People are milling on the sidewalks. No clashes yet.
Euro News showing footage of Ahmadinejad's speech, using Iran state TV's feed. Strangely, spectators who are shown in the footage are not holding signs or flags.
Hossein Karroubi, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi's son, just called Radio Farda and said that his younger brother, Ali Karroubi, has been arrested.

11:00 AM Tehran time - 7:30 AM GMT
State television broadcasting live from Azadi Square and Ferdowsi Square... The following screen capture shows what appears to be tear gas hanging over Ferdowsi Square at 10:22 AM Tehran time, 7:22 AM GMT.

10:50 AM Tehran time - 7:20 AM GMT
Helicopters flying very low just north of Azadi Square.
Very large crowd, mix of Basijis and protesters, near University Street, close to Tehran University.
Despite massive security presence, pockets of protesters holding green ribbons and other distinctive signs have amassed on the north and west sides of Azadi Square and their number is growing.

10:40 AM Tehran time - 7:10 AM GMT
Several sources report that there are clashes in Aryashahr, near Second Sadeghiyeh Square. Tear gas is being employed.
ePersian radio's reporter: Karroubi arrived at Second Sadeghiyeh Square. He was attacked physically. He got back in his Peugeot 405 and drove away. The car's windows were smashed.

10:30 AM Tehran time - 7:00 AM GMT
Some reports that epic poet Ferdowsi's statue has been draped in green on Ferdowsi Square.

10:25 AM Tehran time - 6:55 AM GMT
Female caller to ePersian radio: I'm in Aryashahr and from the subway station all the way to Aryashahr is full of people. The people are running in the direction of Azadi Square. I can see some religious people clashing with the people. Can you hear the people? (sounds of Allah Akbar in the background) It hasn't gotten to the point of lobbing tear gas yet. There are helicopters flying overhead. They've been flying over the city since midnight. If I die today, it won't be a problem.

10:10 AM Tehran time - 6:40 AM GMT
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vehicle arrived at Azadi Square, where he will be giving a speech.
Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi announced yesterday that he would be joining the march at Second Sadeghiyeh Square, the starting point of one of the official routes just north of Azadi Square, at 10:00 AM. There is no news yet of his arrival.

The protesters plan to infiltrate the official routes of today's marches which will begin at 9:30 AM at seven locations in Tehran and move towards Azadi Square:

View Tehran - Official routes for revolution anniversary - 9:30 AM, Thursday, 11 February 2010 in a larger map

Last night, February 10, 2010
The Islamic Republic News Agency web site was brought down by hackers. It is unclear whether the state's official news outlet will be able to post articles on this historic day.

A prelude to today's protests... The people chanted 'Allah Akbar' from their rooftops at 10 PM Tehran time.

Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) site hacked

IRNA's web site was brought down by hackers Wednesday evening, February 10, 2010. The newest hack  comes after a spate of tit-for-tat attacks and regime efforts to control cyberspace -- and the flow of information -- in the weeks leading up to the 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution.

Visitors to the state news agency's site were greeted with the following page:


For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

Extend hand to the Iranian people, not the regime, says Paris mayor

A senior French political figure gave his support to the Iranian people on the eve of mass protest rallies planned in Tehran.

Bertrand Delanoë, the popular mayor of Paris and a prominent Socialist leader, wrote on his personal blog today that the West's policy of extending a friendly hand must be directed at the Iranian nation, rather than the Islamic regime.

Delanoë had already publicly supported the Iranian protest movement in a piece posted early last month. 'What is at stake is considerable,' he wrote. 'It is nothing less than a certain understanding of Man and the universality of his rights.[...] Today, I want to express my admiration to these unarmed crowds and my solidarity to this great and proud people, to the Iran of liberty.'

Delanoë's new post comes a day before protesters are expected to rally on the streets of Iran, particularly Tehran, to voice their opposition on the occasion of the regime's official celebrations of the 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution. But it also coincides with the regime's increasing intransigence on the nuclear issue

Delanoë believes that the policy of the 'extended hand' to resolve differences with the Islamic Republic has failed. 'When the response to the extended hand is provocation, it is up to the democracies to show that they can bring the values of law to bear upon the blackmail of brutality.'

Delanoë sees a clear link between the regime's bluster on the international stage and its teetering position at home.

'It appears that the Iranian president and his masters speak all the tougher abroad as they detect their own precariousness within the country,' the Paris mayor wrote today. 'And since we are on the topic of extending hands, we free peoples would be well-advised to extend our hands to a nation that is fighting for its dignity, to these hundreds of thousands of Iranians, who in spite of the risks, take daily to the streets of Tehran, Isfahan, Ghom, and Tabriz.'

'Iranians are set to meet on the streets of their cities on February 11 to say no to oppression and to brandish the banner of the future,' Delanoë concluded. 'Once again I would like to express my solidarity and friendship to them.'

For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

Regime's Paris embassy gets a green paint job

Protesters defaced the Islamic Republic's embassy and consulate in Paris on Tuesday night, February 9, 2010.

Balloons filled with green paint were thrown at the building's facades and slogans were spray-painted on the walls, according to the Independent Committee Against the Repression of Iranian Citizens. A French police spokesperson confirmed that 'paint damage' had been perpetrated on the embassy and consulate. The protesters filmed their artistic foray and posted the video to YouTube.

The Islamic Republic embassy had organized a dinner last night as part of the revolution's anniversary celebrations, according to Farsi comments posted next to the video. The protesters took advantage of the fact that embassy security agents had been deployed to the dinner's venue to carry out their paint attack. 'Paris's young greens took advantage of the inattention of the feeble-minded representatives of the coup government and covered the walls of the embassy and consulate with green slogans,' the group wrote, describing the French, English, and Farsi graffiti which proclaimed 'We are countless', 'Khamenei is a murderer',...

The Islamic Republic embassy has organized another grand reception tomorrow, February 11, at the Pavillon Dauphine event hall in Paris. The Paris-based Independent Committee Against the Repression of Iranian Citizens has launched a petition calling on the hall's managers to cancel the event and 'to have nothing to do with this filthy regime.'

For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

Map: Tehran routes for 22 Bahman

The following is a map of official routes for the 31st anniversary of the revolution which will be celebrated on February 11, 2010. The marches will begin at 9:30 AM and will all end at Azadi Square, where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to give a speech.

View Tehran - Official routes for revolution anniversary - 9:30 AM, Thursday, 11 February 2010 in a larger map

The map was based on information provided by the regime's television broadcaster in the flagship news show '20:30.' The following is a video of the animation that was shown on '20:30.'

For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

CNN interviews families of iranian political prisoners

CNN broadcast the following report by Reza Sayah on February 9, 2010.

For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crowd control at Azadi Square?

As the opposition gears up for its protest rally during the official celebration of the revolution's 31st anniversary on February 11, reports have cited the regime's efforts to bus in as many 'supporters' as it can on that day in order to impress public opinion and the hand-picked members of the foreign media who have been invited to Azadi Square.

It had been unclear how exactly the regime would be able to separate the protesters from the official demonstrators during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech in Azadi Square on February 11.

But a new video posted on YouTube by OnlyMehdi seems to provide the answer: a flower-covered fence has been erected around the massive traffic circle and there is only one way in...

For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

'Death to Khamenei' banner hung over Tehran Freeway

A banner proclaiming 'Death to Khamenei' was hung on Komeil Bridge, at the intersection with Navab Freeway, on February 3, 2010.

View 'Death to Khamenei' banner over Navab Freeway, Tehran, Iran in a larger map

This video showing the banner was posted on YouTube on February 8.

For those who are interested: I'll be live-blogging on 22 Bahman, February 11, 2010, from 6:30 AM GMT.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Iranian journalists caution foreign colleagues invited by regime to cover anniversary celebrations

The Islamic regime is fond of organizing mass rallies which provide it with a veneer of legitimacy and popularity. The 'Ten Days of Dawn' (NB daheyeh fajr), a series of celebrations for the anniversary of the revolution from February 1 (The day Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini flew from Paris to Tehran in 1979) to February 11 (V-Day for the revolution in 1979), have been a cornerstone of this policy for the past 30 years. Until now... The opposition has announced plans to exploit the official ceremonies to hold protests across the country, particularly in Tehran on February 11. Reports indicate that the regime plans to bus in as many 'supporters' as it can to fill Azadi Square in west Tehran on Thursday and that it has invited some 200 foreign journalists to cover the event. The official marching route goes from Imam Hossein Square, along Enghelab (Revolution) Street, to Azadi Square. Last week, a group of Iranian journalists published the following open letter to their foreign colleagues who have been invited to Tehran, cautioning them to not become tools of the regime and calling on them to ask their hosts why over 40 journalists are currently in prison in that country (The list of jailed journalists can be seen at the end of the letter):

Dear Fellow Journalists:
We are writing to those of you who have been invited to go to Iran in February 2010 to provide media coverage of the celebrations of the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. We are a group of Iranian journalists who have been forced to live in exile. There are many others like us around the world, 45 of whom will be in Iranian prisons when you arrive in Tehran. They will be under torturous conditions in Iranian prisons that are, as you know, among the most hideous in the world.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
As imprisoned or exiled journalists, our crime is nothing other than our desire to report freely on events in Iran, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides.

Since the electoral coup that took place in Iran last summer, the Iranian regime has intensified its suppression of press freedom and has also strived to suppress the country’s peaceful movement through sophisticated oppressive means.

After failing for eight months to achieve its goals, the illegal and fraudulent government has now prepared a new show. We have received precise information that Ahmadinejad’s electoral coup-perpetrated administration is busy preparing to muster its own crowd in Tehran through the use of all possible means and the government’s extensive resources.

Its plan is, on the one hand, to prevent the pro-green million-strong group from approaching the location of the celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square, where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to give a speech, and on the other, to fill this area with pro-government demonstrators.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
Inviting foreign journalists to provide media coverage of the anniversary of the 1979 revolution on February 11, 2010 is another part of the deceitful plan of Ahmadinejad’s illegal administration. As you know, this government has until now arrested many foreign journalists and accused them of being spies while banning the activities of most international media. Now, it is using them, through its invitation, so they can show the world that it is a government that enjoys popular support.

The goal of the Iranian government is to direct journalists towards the pro-government demonstrations and prevent them from going to other locales.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
You are going to Iran not only as media representatives of the free world, but also as representatives of your Iranian fellow journalists who are either in prison or in exile outside Iran. Your host is a government that is against freedom, against free media, and one that violates the most basic human rights of people.

You will be stepping onto streets that still bear the blood of Iran’s best and the brightest. You must have seen the film that shows how Neda Agha Soltan was murdered. This young woman is a symbol and representative of those who have been arrested, raped, tortured and murdered by Iran’s coup administration. While Neda and others like her were killed on the streets, there are hundreds of others who have been raped, tortured and murdered in dungeons, prisons or unknown places by this government.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
We are providing you the names of Iranian journalists who are now in prison (below), based on the list prepared by Reporters Without Borders, and we request that you search for them and find them. Ask them and their prison wardens why they are in prison.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
As you go to our country that is under a dictatorship, we ask that you not to be duped by the schemes of those who murder freedom.

We draw your attention to these points:
· Demonstrations will begin on the night of February 10. The cries of 'Allaho Akbar' that will fill the night in Iranian towns will be the cries of people’s protests and the start of the million-strong marh of green Iranians who will fill the streets at the invitation of Mohammad Khatami, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
· The main march will start from Enghelab street in east Tehran, go through Imam Hossein Square, and end at Azadi Square in west Tehran. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has already made plans to close the streets leading to Enghelab street and to crack down on people in order to prevent them from taking to these streets. The Green Movement should be visible around this route and all over Tehran and not only on the routes that pro-government demonstrators will be provided.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
Like on other similar occasions, the coup government will attempt to control all the routes so that the only people that will come in view of your cameras will be the Basijis, who will present a caricature of the Iranian nation for your television cameras.

You will hear the protesting voice of the Iranian people clearer than ever if you look beyond the fences, cordons, and barriers and look at the real people of Iran.

Dear Fellow Journalists:
We are confident that you will push aside the bloody hands of the coup perpetrators and that you will shake the hands of the suffering people of Iran. You are going on a historic trip. We will see you off with our hearts filled with dreams of freedom and eyes filled with tears.

We hope that the world's headline on February 12, 2010 will recount “The Victory of a Nation.”

Dear Fellow Journalists:
Do not be fooled by the deceptions of your hosts, look at everything that is worth looking at, expose their shows, and listen to the true calls of the Iranian people. And on this historic trip relay and report the innocence of the Iranian people. This is the request of your suffering fellow journalists.

Parnaz Azima (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter arrested in Iran in 2007), Samnak Aghai,
Houshang Asadi (Imprisoned and tortured by the Islamic regime for six years, 1981 to 1987), Nooshabeh Amiri (Rooz Online reporter), Asieh Amini (Her reports on covert stonings carried out by the Islamic Republic led to a campaign against this barbarous capital punishment. She is a tireless activist against the death penalty), Farahmand Alipour (Rouz Online reporter), Shabnam Aza, Fariba Amini (Amini is a writer and human rights activist. She was instrumental in the formation of the Alliance for Defense of Human Rights in Iran and was the editor of its bi-weekly newsletter. Daughter of Nosratollah Amini, Mohammad Mossadegh's personal attorney), Maryam Aghvami (Reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and VOA), Nima Amin, Massoud Behnoud (One of the founders of Adineh magazine and Jameh daily, both of which have been closed down by the Islamic regime. He spent 6 months in prison, some of the period in solitary confinement), Arash Bahmani, Maziar Bahari (Newsweek correspondent, arrested and jailed after the disputed June 12 election), Babak Dad (Dissident journalist and blogger, who spent months in hiding before recently escaping from Iran), Farzaneh Bazrpour, Hadi Ebrahimi (Editor of Sharvand magazine), Pouyan Fakhrai, Farshid Faryabi, Fereshteh Ghazi (Rouz Online reporter), Maryam Ghavami (Ziba Foundation, art for humanity), Saghi Ghahraman (Escaped from Iran in 1982. She now resides in Toronto where she works with PEN Canada’s Exiled Writer program, and is on the board of editors for Descan, a literary magazine in Canada), Massoud Ghoraishi, Arash Ghafouri, Manouchehr Honarmand (Editor of Khandaniha), Linda Hosseininejad, Vahid Jahanzadeh, Nikahang Kowsar (Caricaturist and journalist, arrested in 2000 for a cartoon that he drew.), Malihe Mohamadi, Javad Montazeri (Photojournalist), Roozbeh Mirebrahimi (Journalist for a number of dailies including Etemadeh Melli and Shargh), Mehdi Mohseni (Jomhour blogger), Searajedin Mirdamadi, Hanif Mazroui (Journalist for Vaghayeh Etefaghi. Jailed in 2004), Ebrahim Nabavi (Satirist and journalist, jailed twice), Javad Moghimi (Former Fars News photojournalist, escaped Iran after some of the photos he covertly gave to foreign media appeared on the front pages of prominent magazines and newspapers, including Time Magazine), Alireza Noorizadeh (Veteran journalist and analyst), Nahid Pilvar, Shahram Rafizadeh (Jailed in 2004), Bahram Rafizadeh, Saman Rasoolpoor (Human rights activist and journalist, jailed in 2008), Khosrow Raesi, Ferydon Shaibani, Mohamad Sefriyan, Beniamin Sadr, Vida Same, Mohamad Tajdolati (Journalist Radio Zamaneh), Hamed Yousefi

For more information:


France : Nooshabeh Amiri : 0033-674307842
England: Alireza Vorizade :0044- 7717400500
Canada : Nikahnag Kowsar : 001-6478341348
USA : Omid Memarian : 001-510 6379590
Netherlands : Afshin Ellian :0031- 613316819
Germany: Babak Sina :0049-17622622512

Non-exhaustive list of Iranian journalists who are now in prison
· 11 February 2010 – Nooshin Jafari- Etemad
· 11 February 2010 – Mazeyar Samii – journalist
· 11 February 2010 – Ali Mohammad Eslampoor- journalist
· 11 February 2010 – Sahar Ghasen-Nejad – journalist
· 11 February 2010 – Nazanin Hassan-neya- journalist
· 11 February 2010 – Kaveh Ghasmi Kermanshahi- journalist
· 11 February 2010- Alireza Saghafi - journalist
· 5 January 2010 - Kivan Farzin - Farhangeh Ahang
· 5 January 2010 - Behrangh Tonkaboni - Farhangeh Ahang
· 2 January 2010 - Mohammad Sadegh Javadihessar - Editorialist in banned Etemad Melli newspaper
· 2 January 2010 - Mahssa Hekmat - Journalist in banned Etemad Melli newspaper
· 2 January 2010 - Ali Hekmat - Member of the committee for freedom of the press
· 2 January 2010 - Rozbeh Karimi - Shargh and Kargozaran dailies
· 28 December 2009 - Emaddedine Baghi - Journalist and emblematic human rights activist
· 28 December 2009 - Abdolreza Tajik - Journalist at Farhikhteghan daily
· 28 December 2009 - Mostafa Izadi - Etemadeh Melli newspaper
· 28 December 2009 - Mortaza Kazemian - Journalist for several reformist newspapers
· 28 December 2009 - Badrolsadat Mofidi, - Secretary-general of the journalists' association
· 28 December 2009 - Kivan Mehrgan, - Journalist at Etemad newspaper
· 28 December 2009 - Nassrin Vaziri - Journalist at ILNA
· 28 December 2009 - Mashaollah Shamsolvaezin - Spokesman of the journalists' association and the committee for press freedom.
· 27 December 2009 - Reza Al-Bacha - Dubai TV
· 27 December 2009 - Mohammad Javad Saberi - Journalist
· 20 December 2009 - Mohammad Norizad - Journalist and editor of the blog
· 22 November 2009 - Sasan Aghaei - Journalist at Farhikhteghan daily
· 4 August 2009 - Reza Norbakhsh - Editor-in-chief of Farhikhteghan daily
· 31 July 2009 - Mehdi Hossinzadeh - Journalist
· 4 July 2009 - Masoud Bastani - Editor
· 4 July 2009 - Issa Saharkhiz - Journalist
· 26 June 2009 - Reza Rafiee Foroshani - Freelance journalist
· 20 June 2009 - Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee
· 17 June 2009 - Saide Lylaz - Sarmayeh newspaper
· 16 June 2009 - Mohsein Azmodeh - journalist at Mehr news agency
· 14 June 2009 - Ahmad Zeydabadi
· 14 June 2009 - Omid Salimi - Photojournalist
· 13 June 2009 - Kivan Samimi Behbani
· 26 April 2009 - Sajad Khaksari - Ghalameh Moalem magazine
· 18 November 2008 - Bahman Totonchi - Karfto
· 1 July 2007 - Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand - Payameh Mardomeh Kurdestan
· 25 Januray 2007 - Adnan Hassanpour – Aso

Iranians protest around Europe

Demonstrators kept up the pressure in the lead-up to mass protests against the regime on February 11.

Copenhagen, Denmark - Sunday, 7 February 2010
Regime diplomat gets egg on his head...

Paris, France - Sunday, 7 February 2010
A large procession through the capital...

Toronto, Canada - Sunday, 7 February 2010
'Our nation's slogan: separate religion from politics...'

London, UK - Friday, 5 February 2010
Protesters disrupt IRI embassy cultural center seminar on 'The Islamic Revolution: a Model for Anti-Tyrannical Resistance.' Security head at door denies protesters were killed and says everything is quite dandy in Iran. 'Why have you stayed in London for 40 years, then?' asks a protester.

Vienna, Austria - Friday, 5 February 2010
Guests arrive for a regime-organized dinner at the Imam Ali mosque marking the start of ten days of celebrations for the anniversary of the revolution. Protesters kindly provided them with a sound system across the street...