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  • Tension Building in Tehran

    Demonstrations and violent police actions on the streets of Tehran continued late into Saturday night and state television reported at least 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when police clashed with “terrorists.” Witnesses reported that the police used live ammunition, batons, tear gas and water cannons to disrupt demonstrations and prevent protesters from assembling in large crowds. The official reports, which cannot be confirmed, accused “rioters” of setting two gas stations and a mosque ablaze in protest at a disputed poll result. Meanwhile, Iran’s most senior dissident, cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, called for three days of national mourning for those killed in street protests. If Montazeri, who lost out in a power struggle to Ayatollah Khamenei two decades ago, becomes active in support of the opposition, the regime could face an even more dangerous challenge to its religious legitimacy.

    State media also say five relatives of one of Iran’s most powerful figures, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were arrested during the protests, including his eldest daughter, Faizeh, who has spoken out against the regime. This report, coming on the heels of a previous report that two of Rafsanjani’s children were denied permission to leave the country, indicates an increasingly bitter split between the former president and the current regime that could eventually lead to house arrest or even show trials for Rafsanjani and his family, if the regime succeeds in crushing the opposition protests.

    President Obama came down off the fence and issued a statement that directly addressed the Iranian government for the first time yesterday, saying: “We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.” The president warned the regime that “the world is watching” and reiterated “[a]s I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.”

    For more on Iran, see Iran Briefing Room.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Tension Building in Tehran

    1. Tim, Manhattan Beach says:

      For a president that is suppossed to be a leader, Obaman is not. It took him too long to make a worthless, no spine statement.

    2. Appy Conservative, T says:

      Our Supreme Leader finally brought himself to voice support for the brave and couragous Iranian protestors. I think his message this past week to them has been a resounding "No, you can't" — No you can't count on the US to stand by your side. No you can't expect us to support your fight for greater freedoms from oppression and tyrrany. No you can't seek to join modernity and peace loving nations. No you can't, Iran. No you can't. I've included the rest of Obama's speech here… http://appalachianconservative.wordpress.com/

    3. Lebo, florida says:

      Riots in Iran? Obama can't critize too harshly as he wants to keep his own options open when he cracks down on all the evil conservatives in America. Watch it happen.

    4. willow jacqueline b says:

      Obama seeks first, last and always to make himself look good having no remote connection to the needs, concerns, issues or values of others. For a "listener" he certainly talks non-stop! To take a clear, open, postive and supportive stand for the people of Iran would be out of his pay grade and beyond his leadership skill set.

    5. Lee A Kenaga, Dearbo says:

      What a tradegy! The rioters in Iran were plead-

      ing for strong support from the most powerful man in the world and all they got was a care-

      fully worded statement, so as to leave the door

      open to talk to Mullahs and use his magnetic persona on them to get them to meet with him

      later on. He is deceiving himself. His wife and

      kids and a few others perhaps! Is he so dumb that he doesn't know that there has been an anger in the populace for months for a breath of

      freedom from this oppressive regime! If not he

      should get some new advisors in the cabinet.

      Lee Kenaga

    6. Gordon Morrison says:

      What is happening in Iran, will soon happen in the USA. Obama is recking our country!!!

    7. David E Aldridge, Da says:

      I wonder sometimes if this guy(Obama) has a real understanding of where the U.S. stands, I should say stood, in the eyes of the world that would like to be free. To quote a line from a movie, "sometimes a little revolution is a good thing, right Ryan". The problem with revolutions, too often, is that blood is shed to gain/retain freedoms. I wonder if that thought has ever entered the "annointed ones'" brain? I'd almost bet he has never had to physically fight for anything in his life.

    8. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Here is a Chance for America to overtly or covertly supply all those student with all the Arms they need to totally take over Iran, with our backing, and we would have a Friend, and Allie!

      But no, Mr. Obumble doesn't want to risk hurting anyone's feelings. Just like he wouldn't wear the American Flag Lapel Pin when campaigning, "Don't wanna hurt nobodies feelings!" No guts, no Glory Obama! He looks good, sounds good and he can read. Other than that, he has about as much substance as Cotton Candy.


    9. Barb mn says:

      Can I at least say this?

      Jesus was not a part of, nor did he preach a religion. How about inspiring the Iranian government/people with the life lessons (parables told) through Jesus, who taught AGAINST killing? Jesus saw and taught value of life. ALL LIVES! No interference to any religion, as Jesus is not a religion. Or a hypocrite!

      …well? Thanks any way, if I can't.

    10. louis gallo says:

      Tell Obama, What he may say now is two little to late. What I do believe is he has no love for America.Or the poor people in Iran, who is fighting for freedom.

    11. Richard Schuster, Me says:

      A top Al-queda figure has openly declared that as soon as they get their hands on the Pakastani nukes a few of those nukes will be heading towards the United States. The little pot-bellied dictator in North Korea is thumbing his nose at the peaceful world and threatening war if we interfere with their missile program. Iran's Mahmoud the madman can't wait to get the bomb so he can personally nuke Israel. All this is going on and our president can't seem to find anything to say that might sound a little rude. Well gee…wouldn't want to hurt any feelings. We need a leader. We do not need this inexperienced naive narcisctic "play one on TV" president. Remember "the evil empire?" Good God where is Ronald Reagan when we need him.

    12. Voice of Reason says:

      This is another of many propaganda campaigns by the Fix News Cable network loosely known as Fox News to denigrate with no real sound bases for argument. Of course, these rednecks that watch Fix News or listen to Conservative crap radio believe everything reported as gospel true. However, I guess if Obama took a more rigid stand on Iran like Republicans want. This would perfectly gift wrap an ideal tool of misinformation for the corrupt Iranian government to blame the US and justify crushing the young Iranian protesters. Boy, that misinformation sure sounds like radical conservatives in American today. Anyway, you can wager the red neck pick-up on this if Obama created that scenario, the crazy conservatives would be all over that too. God, the Republican Party is such a mess. It is because of the Republican leadership that put this country in such disarray that it becomes harder and harder to fix each time a real President comes into office which lets be honest, it’s a Democrat that has to fix things…

    13. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      So, if we had a real Humanitarian Pres?

    14. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      This is a guy who could watch anyones family being

      Mugged and simply say its not my business!

    15. Voice of Reason says:

      Note my posting on 6/24/09. Now that Obama has use harsher words earlier this week in a new conference to describe the Iranian government brutally crushing young protesters. This response I am certain by Obama was to stifle Republican critiques that were upset with him on not taking a harsher stance earlier. Anyway, today as of 6/25/09, the Iranian government is now blaming the US for medaling because of Obama’s words this week. Now, I am sure the Republicans propaganda machine can twist this one around to make another absurd point…

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