6:18 Plurality of American voters support Obama’s response to Iran

A plurality (42%) of U.S. voters believe President Obama’s response to the situation in Iran has been appropriate, according to a poll of register voters by Rasmussen Reports.  Almost as many, 40%, believe President Obama has not been aggressive enough in supporting Iranians protesting the results of the election. Five percent think the president has been too agressive, while 13% are unsure.
4:55 pm: Intelligence Minister says some of the arrested “will not be released.”
According to BBC Persian, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie, the minister of intelligence, just introduced a new criteria for prosecuting arrested individuals.
Ejeie divided up the arrested individuals into three groups.  “Those who participated and had a hand in the decision-making process regarding the recent events will remain in custody until a decision is made…The other group consists of anti-revolutionary demonstrators who took advantage of the situation.  These individuals have been arrested and will not be freed.”  The third group, according to Ejeie, “is those who have been influenced by the atmosphere.  This group will be released if not already released.”
In addition, Ejeie indicated that a new tribunal will be set up shortly to prosecute the arrested demonstrators.
BBC Persian reported that Karroubi, Khatami and Mousavi have already made formal requests that everyone who has been arrested be released immediately.
4:41 pm: Mousavi’s Facebook: “Loudest Allahu Akbar yet” – Mousavi’s facebook page just confirmed; “Allahu akbar was heard Louder than all the previous nights.”
4:13 pm: MPs preventing Mousavi from appearing on TV

Amir Kabir newsletter (Amir Kabir Polytechnic University) reports that several supporters of Ahmadinejad in the parliament are trying to prevent Mousavi from attending a live TV program.  According to this newsletter, one MP has reported that several Ahmadinejad supporters are writing letters to the IRIB, the Guardian Council and the Secretary of the National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran to prevent Mousavi’s appearance on TV.  MPs such as Gholamali Haddad-Adel, Hussein Fadaei, and Ruhollah Hosseinian are trying to collect signatures for this letter.
2:22 pm: “According to recent polls 85% of the people trust the election process,” Fars News.
Hussein Taeb, commander of Basij forces, claimed today that “according to recent polls 85% of the people trust the election process and the remaining 15% will be resolved with the Guardian Council’s announcement.”   Taeb did not say how these polls were conducted.
1:14 pm: Translated news from an human rights activists in Iran:

“People in Melat Park, Valiasr Sq., Vanak and sidewalks of Vailasr St. are holding hands and are trying to form a human chain.”
“But reports of sporadic clashes indicate that the armed forces are trying to prevent the formation of the human chain.”
“Urgent: Mojtaba Tehrani, reporter for the Etemade Meli newspaper which belongs to Karroubi, has been arrested.”
“Security police officers entered Mojtaba Tehrani’s house and in addition to searching the house took away personal items such as computer and compact CDs.”

1:04 pm: The Guardian Council has officially reaffirmed the results of the election, according to the semi-official Fars News agency.
11:28 am: Fars News (Persian) is reporting that Ahmadinejad has picked up 12 extra votes in the recount of Jiroft. Mousavi’s campaign has boycotted the process, which they consider a ploy. It is clear that the recount is only going to confirm the disputed results announced on election night.
11:18 am: Mousavi’s homepage (Persian) has breaking news from the recount. One vote has been added Ahmadinejad’s tally and one vote has been subtracted from Mousavi’s tally.
11:15 am: No violations found so far in recounting the votes – Fars

According the semi-official Fars News agency (Persian), 10 percent of the votes have been recounted in some cities and no contradiction with the original count has been found.  The recount has reportedly been completed in Zarand, Islamshahr, Kerman, Karaj, and Babolsar.  Mousavi has refused to participate in the process, which he considers a ploy.
“Recounting 10 percent of the votes in front of the IRIB camera” 

Kadkhodaei, the Guardian Council’s spokesperson, told Jame Jam Online (Persian) that 10 percent of the votes in all provinces will be recounted in front of the state TV’s cameras.  Kadkhodaei said that the Guardian Council’s meeting with Mousavi’s representative was not successful.  “Therefore, an order was issued to recount the votes in front of IRIB’s cameras.”
10:40 am: Protesting mothers arrested

According to Amir Kabir Newsletter (Amir Kabir Polytechnic University), more than 20 women who were protesting the recent arrests and violence were taken into custody on Saturday.  These women had gathered in Tehran’s park Laleh when they were arrested and taken to Shapour detention facility.
The armed forces also prevented several women who were wearing black from entering the park and beat those who protested.  “According to eyewitnesses,” Amir Kabir reported, “several middle aged women were sitting on the park benches holding candles with black ribbons.”  Some of the women whose children are among the arrested or missing individuals were holding their pictures.
— Iran English News Roundup —

Basij ‘Impostors’ Blamed for Havoc, Radio Free Europe, June 29, 2009

As officials prepare to slam the door shut on any effort to revisit the June 12 election, they appear to be going on the offensive over allegations of thuggery and killing on the part of security forces.
Iran’s English-language Press TV quotes police officials saying they’ve uncovered “armed impostors who posed as security forces during postelection violence in the country.”

European Union Warns Iran Against Acts of Intimidation, The New York Times, June 29, 2009

The European Union on Sunday condemned Iran’s crackdown on postelection protesters and said it would meet any Iranian intimidation of European diplomatic staff with a “strong and collective E.U. response.”
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden, which takes over the European Union presidency starting Wednesday, said the Iranian government had done damage to itself at home and abroad through the response to the disputed June 12 vote.

Iran Says Recount of 10% of Ballots Has Begun, Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2009

Iranian authorities announced today that a recount of 10% of the ballots cast in recent presidential elections riddled with allegations of fraud has begun, though the main opposition candidate has rejected the move as a ploy and refused to participate.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters, meanwhile, that five of the eight British embassy employees arrested over the weekend in Tehran had been released but that three, all Iranian nationals, were under interrogation. The arrests sharpened Iran’s confrontation with the West over the disputed election and its violent aftermath.

Iran: No Downgrade of Diplomatic Ties with Britain, The Guardian, June 29, 2009

Iran dismissed the idea of downgrading diplomatic relations with Britain on Monday despite soaring tensions between the two countries after Iranian authorities detained local British Embassy employees accused of stirring up post-election unrest.

Britain angrily denied that any Iranian staff at its embassy in Tehran have been involved in challenges to the regime. On Sunday, the European Union condemned the detentions as “harassment and intimidation” and demanded the immediate release of those still in custody.

Schumer, Graham: Restrict electronics sales to Iran, The Hill, June 27, 2009

A bipartisan pair of senators is pushing for international restrictions on electronic equipment sold to Iran, citing reports that the government has monitored citizens’ communications after the country’s disputed elections.
Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday called on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to request that the European Union curb all telecommunications equipment German and Finnish companies, Siemens and Nokia, sell to Iran.
Schumer and Graham also announced plans to introduce a bill on Friday that would render foreign companies ineligible for U.S. government contracts if they sell electronic equipment to Iran that contributes to the government’s monitoring of citizen communication.

Op-Ed: No Velvet Revolution for Iran, Washington Post, June 28, 2009

The three most powerful forces in the modern world are democracy, religion and nationalism. In 1989 in Eastern Europe, all three were arrayed against the ruling regimes. Citizens hated their governments because they deprived people of liberty and political participation. Believers despised communists because they were atheistic, banning religion in countries where faith was deeply cherished. And people rejected their regimes because they saw them as imposed from the outside by a much-disliked imperial power, the Soviet Union.

When we see the kinds of images that have been coming out of Iran over the past two weeks, we tend to think back to 1989 and Eastern Europe. Then, when people took to the streets and challenged their governments, those seemingly stable regimes proved to be hollow and quickly collapsed. What emerged was liberal democracy. Could Iran yet undergo its own velvet revolution?
It’s possible but unlikely. While the regime’s legitimacy has cracked — a fatal wound in the long run — for now it will probably be able to use its guns and money to consolidate power. And it has plenty of both. Remember, the price of oil was less than $20 a barrel back in 1989. It is $69 now. More important, as Zbigniew Brzezinski has pointed out, 1989 was highly unusual. As a historical precedent, it has not proved a useful guide to other antidictatorial movements.

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