A reader writes:
I have been reading some of the links that you have posted that are in Farsi. I don't know how accurate pyknet is as a source, but based on what they have posted there is a lot of chaos. Apparently they arrested Mousavi as he was headed to Khamenei's residence when his request for communications went unanswered. The Basij wrote about the observers in Mashahd and Qom, both religious centers with holy sites, being a majority of religious students and mullahs as opposed to regular government bureaucrats who have worked the polls in the past. They claim this is unprecedented in the 30 years, even in those cities.
This same source says that the day before the elections, the mullah/students of Qom got calls insisting they go to the holy sites and mosques to protest against Rafsanjani and Mousavi along with their wives and children-many of them resisted and had to somehow be coerced into participation.
(Sidenote: I cannot remember a time where there wasn't at least the facade of civility among the candidates, since they have all been vetted/approved, are mostly candidates who have already served in some branch of the government and there is officially only one party. This to me seems like a breakdown of their own rules).
But what moved and shocked me the most is the protest video you posted under the title Tehran Erupting. I have been watching most of the pre-election coverage, wondering if it wasn't a bunch of uptown folks (people from the well off areas who are generally well traveled to the West) putting on green without any connection to the majority of the voters.
Watching that video which is admittedly from one of the nicer areas in Tehran, I'm shocked that the protesters are using the language of the Revolution to protest. There are cries of 'Allah-o-Akbar' and I thought I heard 'Azadi, Azadi'. I may have been wrong in thinking this is about the rich kids going out and making noise. I've been watching and reading about protests all around Tehran, including Fatemi and Enghelab close to the University. That's where the last revolution started, and the student protests of a few years ago were staged. Khamenei and his ilk may be desparate for some very good reasons.
(Photo: Olivier Laban-Mattei/Getty.)