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This Is Going To Hurt

McClatchy reports on the biggest problem the authorities have faced to date: Iran’s senior ayatollah slams election, confirming split

TEHRAN, Iran — Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country’s most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged.

“No one in their right mind can believe” the official results from Friday’s contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Montazeri accused the regime of handling Mousavi’s charges of fraud and the massive protests of his backers “in the worst way possible.”

“A government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy,” he declared in comments on his official Web site. “I ask the police and army personals (personnel) not to ‘sell their religion,’ and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God.”

As many as three more protesters were reported killed in clashes during Tuesday’s opposition demonstration in Vanak Square — adding to eight who were confirmed killed in Monday’s protests.

Foreign news organizations were barred from covering Wednesday’s demonstrations, and the source of the report of the latest deaths was a witness known to McClatchy, who asked that his name not be used for his own security.

An English translation of the letter in its entirety.

The BBC has a report on Iranian footballers’ poll protest

Six members of the Iranian football team have used a televised match to protest about the presidential election result.

They were wearing green wristbands, thought to be a symbol of their support for the opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

This is Iran’s World Cup team, and one of those wearing green is the team’s captain.

The authorities cannot ignore statements made by a Grand Ayatollah in an Islamic Republic, any more than they could refuse to show a World Cup qualifying game being played by the national team. This is “flag, Mom, and apple pie” iconic in Iran.

With the protesters going silent, the “G-d is great” chants, a near-fatwa from a Grand Ayatollah, and over half of the national World Cup team against them, the authorities better have one hell of a Plan B ready to roll out, because they really need it.


1 jams O'Donnell { 06.17.09 at 4:51 pm }

It is a major event. Perhaps even more telling is footage on teh BBC News at Ten of Rafsanjani’s daughter urging protestors to to keep on until the end
.-= ´s last blog ..A partial list of Iranian journalists and bloggers arrested since the start of the protests =-.

2 Bryan { 06.17.09 at 5:28 pm }

The protesters seem to be able to adjust their tactics to the official responses and have shown no willingness to give up on their demands.

I have to wonder whether Iranians saw Rafsanjani’s daughter, or if she was blocked, like other opposing voices. I also have to wonder if anyone in Iran can reach any of the sites that are chronicling their problems.

3 jams O'Donnell { 06.17.09 at 6:14 pm }

Interestinngly or surprisingly it was shown on National tv in Iran


That is a screen grab on a Finnish site
.-= ´s last blog ..Meanwhile in the Arab world =-.

4 Bryan { 06.17.09 at 8:33 pm }

It’s like a few other small signs that seem to indicate that the authorities’ grip on the reins of power are either slipping or easing up.