The Other I

June 23, 2009

Waylaid in Iran

Filed under: Political thoughts — theotheri @ 8:57 pm

I have been reading Iran analyses and Twitter postings – I guess they are called tweets – out of Iran for several hours a day for four days now.   I haven’t been as distracted by events beyond my control since I was reading every poll being published prior to the US presidential election last November.

Given Iran’s pivotal role in the Middle East and even beyond, however the current crisis there plays out might be just as significant for the future of the world as the US election.

I don’t know what is happening in the States, but here in Britain, the main news channels are all referring to events in Iran without providing much on-the-ground information because most of their reporters have been thrown out of the country.  Which is why I’ve turned to Twitter.

Thousands of bits of information are coming out through Twitter and Facebook, and they are fascinating.  The problem, of course, is that they are unverifiable, but there is no question that some of them reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground.

I haven’t any more of an idea than anyone else how this is going to end.  The “supreme leader” is trying to create a Tienanmen Square ending.   Mousavi and the opposition are looking for something closer to the Velvet Revolution.

But in case you missed it, Twitter says that one senior Ayatollah, when asked why 141% of the population of a district had been counted as having voted in the election, said it was “because the weather was so good.”

Another young girl was reported killed today, and reports say that perhaps as many as 300 people have already died.  Meanwhile, the police have been told that if any one of them refuses to fire at “terrorist demonstrators” when ordered to do so, they will themselves be shot immediately.

The Guidance Council announced that despite the fact that over 50 cities registered more votes than voters that no fraud was discovered and confirmed the original election results.

Another Twitter says that the general strike this morning was a significant success, closing markets and shops throughout the country.   This afternoon the opposition was urged to go out into the streets without green arm bands but with their entire family, including children.  If they were stopped by the police, everyone was to say that they were going shopping.  But nobody was to buy anything.

The goal is to bring Iran to a standstill.

I don’t know what happened.  Coward that I am, I turned on the television to watch tennis at Wimbledon instead.

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