Is he a hardliner in sheeps clothing as many fear? Or would he be the reformer that so many Iranians, risking their lives in protest, are hoping for?
Iranian human rights activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi appeared on Fox News to answer that question:
And here’s the text of the recent letter from the very peeved Mousavi to Obama via Founding Bloggers:
From the Office of Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi
To the President of the USA, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama:
Dear Mr. President,
In the name of the Iranian people, we want you to know that when you recently made the statement “Achmadinejad or Mousavi? Two of a kind,” we consider this as a grave and deep insult, not just to Mr. Mousavi but especially against the judgment of the Iranian people, against our moral conviction and intelligence, especially those of the young generation that comprises a population of 31 million.
It is a specially grave insult for those who are now fighting for democracy and freedom, and an unwarranted gift and even praise for Mr. Khamenei, whose security forces are now killing peaceful Iranians in the streets of every major city in the country.
Your statement misled the people of the world. It was no doubt inspired by your hope for dialogue with this regime, but you cannot possibly believe in promises from a regime that lies to its own people and then kills them when they demand the promises be kept.
By such statements, your administration and you discourage the Iranian people, who believe and trust in the values of democracy and freedom. We are pleased to see that you have condemned the regime’s murderous violence, and we look forward to stronger support for the rightful struggle of the Iranian people against the actions of a regime that is your enemy as well as ours.
Boy, that James Taranto wasn’t kidding when he said, “We’re All Neocons, Now”.
Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit
Via Ace, this amateur video sent to the BBC was taken during Saturday’s clashes. It appears to show security forces in full retreat, running away from protesters.
Here’s another video of the same confrontation:
This was happening yesterday, perhaps around the time Obama and his daughters were getting their frozen puppy pops.
Bad news for bloggers, and twitterers in Iran:
The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world’s most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale.
Interviews with technology experts in Iran and outside the country say Iranian efforts at monitoring Internet information go well beyond blocking access to Web sites or severing Internet connections.
Instead, in confronting the political turmoil that has consumed the country this past week, the Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection, which enables authorities to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes, according to these experts.
I fear that for many of the young people revolting in Iran, the success of their movement is literally a life or death situation.
Many journalists and bloggers have already been arrested:
Since June 13, the start of nationwide demonstrations and protests against Iran’s rigged presidential elections began, a clampdown on many of the leading reformist politicians, as well as journalists and bloggers, has been under way. Many have been arrested and imprisoned.
There are strong rumors that some of them, including Messrs Tajzadeh, Ramazanpour, and Aminzadeh (see below), are under strong pressure to “confess” to planning the demonstrations well in advance of the elections, and having “connections” with foreign powers. The following is a list of those whose arrest and imprisonment have been confirmed, together with a brief background for each.
Go here for complete list, which is almost sure to grow in the coming days.
See this post for all of Sunday’s most important events in Iran.