Is Today Tiananmen? (Updated)
It's now 4:00 pm in Iran. There are conflicting reports over whether or not the day's anticipated rallies will go on as scheduled. The Iranian government is reporting that the Combatant Clerics Assembly - affiliated with former President Mohammad Khatami - has canceled its rally for this afternoon.
The Guardian Council has apparently agreed today to recount a "random 10 percent of the votes" from last week's elections. So clearly, as most assumed, the Council's conciliatory gesture to Mousavi/Karroubi/Rezaee was simply a way for the government to stall for time and come up with a plan. So what's the plan?
Many are fearing massive state crackdowns today, as both the Basij and the IRGC are expected to be present at today's rallies in Tehran. Twitter is abuzz with unconfirmed speculation and hearsay, however, messages on the Facebook pages of both Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard seem to confirm that the rallies remain on as planned.
We'll keep you updated.
UPDATE: Rumors that Mousavi is walking from his party office to the Ministry of Interior with a crowd behind him.
I'm not very comfortable with republishing 'tweets', you can go elsewhere for that, but I thought this one was on point: "Khameni must realize that if he starts killing people the rallies will get bigger. #IranElection #gr88 #iran09."
Indeed. Let's hope that the Supreme Leader has reached the same logical conclusion.
UPDATE II: AP is reporting that there are firetrucks surrounding Revolution Square. According to Al Jazeera, Iran's deputy national police commander issued a warning today. "As of today, the police will strongly confront any illegal gatherings and those without permission," said Ahmadreza Radan.
Also from Pitney, an e-mailer writes: "HARD conflict between the people and the Special Guard. people: down with khamenee"
UPDATE III: It sounds as though the riot police are going for thuggish-lite today. SOP: Disperse the crowds, keep them moving, isolate them, and then target them, if necessary. Sounds like there are small demonstrations around the city, but nothing has been confirmed.
UPDATE IV: State-controlled Press TV WAS reporting that two have been hurt in a "blast" at the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but the story is either down or has been pulled (h/t The Lede)
Tweet: "Bomb blast will clear way gov to prosecute Mousavi/Rafsanjani as traitors to Revolution #iranelection."
UPDATE VI: Ratio of security forces-to-protesters doesn't sound good. (h/t Al Jazeera)
Al Jazeera is also reporting the explosion near Khomeini's shrine as a "suicide blast."
UPDATE VII: I think it's wonderful that Mohsen Makhmalbaf speaks "for Mousavi. And Iran," but where exactly is Mr. Mousavi?