From the Streets of Tehran


A roundup of video, photo, and Twitter reports from the streets of Tehran. And a few comments from informed—and not so informed—Iran observers from around the web. At The Daily Beast, Reza Aslan points out that "bald-faced election fraud is a totally new phenomenon in Iran, which takes its election process very seriously. This is, after all, the only expression of popular sovereignty that Iranians enjoy." Christopher Hitchens upbraids the media for credulously calling them "elections": "Any newspaper referring to the subsequent proceedings as an election, sometimes complete with rallies, polls, counts, and all the rest of it, is the cause of helpless laughter among the ayatollahs. ("They fell for it? But it's too easy!")." Indeed, just last week Jon Stewart ripped those who fear the Mullahs, observing, in apparent seriousness, that Iran "appears to have one of the more vibrant democracies in the Middle East."

The Boston Globe has some amazing high-res photos of the protests here.

The government of Nicolas Sarkozy issued a clear statement of condemnation:

In Paris, Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said Iran's ambassador had been summoned to hear French concerns over "the brutal repression of peaceful protests and the repeated attacks on the liberty of the press and freedom of speech."

Blogging at The Washington Post, Ezra Klein chimes in with this gem: "There are a couple things to say about this, all of them depressing. First, those of us who have long argued for the fundamental rationality of the Iranian regime have seen our case fundamentally weakened." Well, live and learn, young lad.

Incidentally, for those interested in knowing more of the history of the Iranian revolution, I, quite fortuitously, recently started reading a review copy of this new book by Daily Telegraph correspondent Con Coughlin, who last week chimed in on Iran's "potemkin election" in the Wall Street Journal.

From StopAhmedi's Twitter feed ("A dedicated Twitter account for Mousavi supporters"), who is reporting from Tehran:

"more than 100 motorbikers at Baseej headquerters in Iran street"
"reports of gun shots in Sadatabad too—we heard gunshots from that direction about 45 mins ago" #iranelection
NEWS: CONFIRMED Basiji central building put on fire today by ppl

Also recommended: IranNewsNow, PersianKiwi, and Mohamed Reza.

And this photo, which looks like a still from a live-action version of Persepolis: