Iran Election Live-Blogging (Monday June 22)
This is an archive of my Iran live-blogging from Monday, June 22. For the latest updates, click here.
8:12 PM ET -- Pictures of Neda. The wrong photo and the right one.
8:07 PM ET -- 'Rafsanjani poised to outflank Khamenei.' An analysis by Eurasianet, a project of the George Soros' Open Society Institute:
Looking past their fiery rhetoric and apparent determination to cling to power using all available means, Iran's hardliners are not a confident bunch. While hardliners still believe they possess enough force to stifle popular protests, they are worried that they are losing a behind-the-scenes battle within Iran's religious establishment.
A source familiar with the thinking of decision-makers in state agencies that have strong ties to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said there is a sense among hardliners that a shoe is about to drop. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- Iran's savviest political operator and an arch-enemy of Ayatollah Khamenei's -- has kept out of the public spotlight since the rigged June 12 presidential election triggered the political crisis. The widespread belief is that Rafsanjani has been in the holy city of Qom, working to assemble a religious and political coalition to topple the supreme leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"There is great apprehension among people in the supreme leader's [camp] about what Rafsanjani may pull," said a source in Tehran who is familiar with hardliner thinking. "They [the supreme leader and his supporters] are much more concerned about Rafsanjani than the mass movement on the streets."
7:01 PM ET -- Solidarity. If compilation videos aren't your thing, move along. But a reader passed along this video with the note, "Something uplifting after a week of dreadful news. Would be great if this could reach as many people as possible in Iran so they see how much support there is worldwide." Take a look:
6:29 PM ET -- Special court for arrested protesters. "Iran's judiciary will set up a special court to try protesters arrested in the surge of civil unrest since the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a judiciary official said on state television, as the government continues its crackdown aimed at crushing its greatest domestic challenge in 30 years."
6:00 PM ET -- Google moves quickly. In the course of a few hours, it spikes a blog using Google's publishing service to post photos of the demonstrators to collect their personal information.
5:53 PM ET -- Another form of peaceful protest. Turning on your car brights and honking your horn a lot.
5:48 PM ET -- Googoosh. Several Iranians have sent over this video, by a singer named Googoosh. Here's Wikipedia's summary:
In the 1970s, Googoosh was considered the most celebrated recording artist in Iran. In addition to music, Googoosh was also an actress in many Persian films of the 1960s and 1970s. She is more widely known as a singer than as an actress. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 she remained in Iran until 2000 but did not record or perform again due to the ban on solo female singers. Still, her following grew. Younger people have rediscovered her music via bootleg recordings.
In the song below, meant for Iranian expats, she asks if they have forgotten about Iran since the '79 revolution. She answers the question with the title of the song -- "Man Hamoon Iranam," or "I am the same Iran." She dedicates it to the young Iranians who have died in Iran during the last week.
5:39 PM ET -- Big day on Thursday. "Mousavi's facebook page just announced that they want to hold global solidarity demonstrations on Thursday 'for the martyrs that have been lost so far in our fight for justice.' In Tehran, the demonstration will be held at Imam Khomeini Shrine, according to the announcement."
This follows another statement by Karroubi today also calling for a demonstration to commemorate the martyrs.
A reader notes, "According to Islam, no violence is allowed inside the Imam Khomeini's shrine. Good tactical thinking."
5:20 PM ET -- A word about the past two days. In ordinary times, the violence in the streets on Sunday and Monday would have been shocking. But compared to Saturday's massive outpouring, the turnout of demonstrators has been significantly smaller. There is a good reason for it.
Over the past week, the reformist rallies that have succeeded were those scheduled days in advance, with turnout aided by massive word-of-mouth promotion. Today's mourning rally for Neda, on the other hand, was announced only this morning on Karroubi's social networking sites. In the midst of a near-complete media and technological blackout, these large demonstrations need time to develop.
It's virtually impossible for anyone to gauge whether there is a petering off of intensity among demonstrators, who now know they face incredible risks if they show up in the streets. But the last two days should not be used to argue that the unrest has dampened. The reformists are organizing another major demonstration for Thursday, and a national strike is set to begin by tomorrow or Wednesday. Those will be far better guides to how Iranians are reacting to the government's campaign of repression.
4:51 PM ET -- Terror in the streets. A dispatch about today's events published by TehranBureau.com:
we moved through the various alleyways too until shouted at to leave. these police are v v intimidating. like animals really as u just dont know if they are gonna wack you (which they would). i wanted to take photos of the milit presence, but it was way too scary. honestly people who manage to record or take photos are incredibly shoja (brave). then we saw that they had blockaded one alleyway (koocheh mina) and people were getting trapped and beaten up with the batons. there were people on roofs/windows looking so i hope they managed to record some stuff. we moved around the meydoon and streets. after hearing/seeing that they were blockading people in alleys.
we decided it was safer to stay in the main square and move around. over the few hours it was getting busier with protesters, but i think they needed someone like mousavi or another figure so as to gather around him. it was v v difficult to gather.
then we moved to another side of the square and the police started chasing and tear gassing people -- it really spreads... and though i wasn't too close it went up my nose and had a strong burning/stinging sensation. people were now wearing those surgical masks but there eyes were all red. people were lighting cigarettes and blowing the smoke into peoples eyes as it helps get rid of the stinging. i gave several people cigarettes to help and blew smoke into a strangers faces to help them (something i would of course never do!!). then the police started chasing people down a street and smashing windows and following protesters into bldngs which was quite scary (no where is safe then).
4:43 PM ET -- Iran's state television network... becomes a focus for Iranian anger.
4:28 PM ET -- Demonstrators help an injured riot cop. This video was uploaded several days ago, but I hadn't seen it until today, and it only has 2,000 views, so it doesn't seem to have spread widely. As we've seen on other occassions, this clip shows an injured riot officer with a significant head injury being attended to by demonstrators, who wrap a cloth around his head to stop the bleeding and then help him away from the large crowds.
4:17 PM ET -- John McCain addresses Neda on Senate floor. "Today, I and all America pays tribute to a brave young woman who was trying to exercise her fundamental human rights and was killed in the streets of Tehran."
3:54 PM ET -- Iran scraps certain punishments. Strange timing, I'd say. "Iran's parliament plans to scrap stoning and amputation of a hand as punishments in a revised version of the Islamic penal code, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday."
3:43 PM ET -- Journalists say conditions worse than during Iraq-Iran war. The U.S.-funded Radio Farwa reports that over 180 Iranian journalists signed a letter today protesting severe restrictions on their ability to publish. According to the report, the journalists say that state agents now must approve a wide range of their content, and that the crackdown is worse than even during the long war between Iraq and Iran.
3:41 PM ET -- Italy gets "testy." "[I]n a sign of testiness with Iran, Italy said Monday it will consider Iran's G-8 invitation rejected if the country does not reply by the end of the day."
3:25 PM ET -- What Iranians are seeing in the papers. The front page of Kayhan News, a major Iranian newspaper. The splash headline: "$400 Million CIA Budget For Creating Riots After The Election."
A couple readers have said that the article is based off a piece by Paul Craig Roberts, likely this one. Others have written to emphasize that while claims of U.S. involvement in the current demonstrations are unfounded, the U.S. government does have a long well-documented history of meddling in Iran.
3:13 PM ET -- Obama "moved" by demonstrators. White House Press Secretary just now on President Obama: "I think he has been moved what we've seen on television. I think particularly so by images of women in Iran who have stood up for their right to demonstrate, to speak out and to be heard." Gibbs said that the president "continues to have concerns and questions" about the way that Iran's presidential election was run.
3:07 PM ET -- 'Iran to release box-by-box vote count.' That's what Iran's state media is reporting:
Amid claims of a 'rigged-election' by certain defeated Iranian presidential candidates, a top election official says the box-by-box details of the vote will be released.
"During previous elections in the Islamic Republic, statistics concerning individual ballot boxes were considered confidential information ... this kind of information was only available to certain officials," deputy head of the Interior Ministry's election headquarters Ali-Asghar Sharifi-Rad said Sunday.
According to Sharifi-Rad, the Ministry had, however, decided to publish the results "box by box," to resolve ambiguities about the disputed election in which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a landslide victory, ILNA reported.
2:47 PM ET -- Warning: Graphic video. This video was posted on YouTube today though there is no mention of when it was taped. It shows two men apparently injured, one in the upper thigh and another very badly in the head, possibly by gunfire (multiple shots are heard through the tape).
2:32 PM ET -- Karroubi criticizes Guardian Council, calls for new election. Via the excellent NIAC, the latest statement by one of the other presidential candidates who has since been supporting and appearing with Mousavi:
In an open letter, Karroubi complained to the speaker of the Guardian Council about the provinces where the number of votes exceeded the number of eligible voters. According to Karroubi, there are more than 200 such regions. "But the problems are not limited to these regions... the interesting thing is why the Guardian Council, which oversaw the qualification of the administrators, did not report such widespread fraud on the day of the election?" Karroubi said. Therefore, he asked the Guardian Council to save the country from great danger by canceling the elections instead of "wasting time" by recounting the votes.
2:19 PM ET -- Mousavi fever spreads to volleyball. A reader sends along this video (said to be filmed in Dubai) with a note:
It was apparently taken during a volleyball match between the teams Peykan and Alhelal held yesterday. Iranians wearing green rooted for the number 4 player with the name Mousavi (his first name is Mohammad though). I read in Balatarin (a kind of Farsi version of Digg) that after the police present in the stadium told them that even if there is a player with that name, they are not allowed to shout this name, they started chanting "Rahnavard!" Then the police got angrier and told them if they wanted to watch the match, they had to refrain from mentioning certain names. After this, the slogans changed to, "Liar, liar, you who we can't name!" "Shall I say, shall I say? Say, say! Best team is blue, no, no, no. Best team is red, no, no, no. It's green, green, green!" "Doctor (referring to Ahamdinejad), go away!" Then they raised their hands above their heads and observed a few minutes of silence out of reverence to Neda.
2:17 PM ET -- Mocking Ahmadinejad. By popular demand, via various emailers, a video satire of the Iran election unrest:
2:14 PM ET -- More video, alleged from today.
And another big crowd in Tabriz apparently gathered at night:
2:03 PM ET -- Iran's citizen journalism. Some newsworthy recent tweets from one of Iran's most reliable Twitter users. Of course, they are all unconfirmed. But it is very impressive how a key group of Iranians on Twitter have filled the media vacuum not just by tweeting, but by noting when their information is unverified, or when it comes from sources whose reliability they cannot know for certain.
Clashes today confirmed in Jaam Jam and Mellat Park - militia used tear gas - shooting heard
Kalame Newspaper attacked by militia and several journalists arrested - #Iranelection2 minutes ago from web
Hospital sources - at least 1000 people injured so far by Gov in the streets against Sea of Green
Hospital sources - as many as 47 killed so far by Gov in the streets
Tehran is now alive again with the sound of the people - Allah Akbar - Death to the Dictator
The Combatant Clerics Group has strongly supported Mir Hossein Mousavi - Qom - Today
Mousavi has today had a meeting with several high rank clerics from Qom
1:55 PM ET -- TehranBroadcast.com. Via Alex, this looks to be an excellent new resource for English speakers.
1:46 PM ET -- Iran needs more guns. So argues Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio.
1:30 PM ET -- Rafsanjani 'fighting furiously' for re-vote. Roger Cohen's latest for the New York times is out. One newsworthy passage: "On Sunday, I saw Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, the son of the establishment's embittered éminence grise, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He told me his father, who despises President Mahmoud Adhmadinejad, is fighting a furious rearguard action to have the election annulled by the Guardian Council, the 12-member oversight body that will pronounce this week on the election's legality."
His closing line: "I bow my head to the youth of Iran, the youth that is open-eyed, bold and far stronger and more numerous than the near-beardless vigilantes."
1:03 PM ET -- An interview with Neda's fiance. As I noted earlier, BBC Persia today aired an interview with Neda's fiance. Several readers graciously volunteered English translations. I'm posting the full transcript below -- it's long but very interesting. Her fiance says that the coroners asked to remove a part of Neda's leg (for apparent use for another person), that Iran's authorities refused to allow her family to hold a memorial service, and that Neda was not a firm backer of either Mousavi or Ahmadinejad -- she simply "wanted freedom and freedom for all."
Caspian Makan, Neda Agha-Setan's fiancee, was interviewed by BBC Persia, noting that Neda would have turned 27 this year. "Neda's goal was not Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, it was her country and was important for her to fight for this goal," the BBC narrator says while introducing the segment. "She had said many times that if she had lost her life or been shot in the heart, which indeed what happened, it was important for her to continue in this path. Considering her young age she has taught a lesson to us all."
About the day of the incident, Mr. Makan said: "When the clashes were occurring, Neda was far away from the demonstrations, she was in one of the side alleys near Amir Abad. Thirsty and tired or being cooped up for about an hour in the car in heavy traffic with her music instructor, she finally gets out of the car and, based on the pictures sent in by the people, armed forces in civilian clothes and the Basiji targeted and shot her in the heart."
"It was over in a matter of minutes, the Shariati Hospital was nearby, the people around her tried to bring her to the emergency room by car, but before that could even happen she died in her instructor's arms."
Mr. Makan added: "We got her body back finally yesterday with some diffculties. Of course, her body was not at the Tehran Coroner but at a one outside of Tehran. The medical examiners
wanted parts of her body, including a portion of her femoral bone but the chief medical examiner would not say why and no explanations were ever given."
"Finally the family consented just so they could get her body back as soon as possible, since just this issue could have resulted in delaying the reception of the body. We buried the body in a small area in the Zahra Cemetery in the late afternoon of 31 Khordad. Also, they had brought in other people who had been killed in the protests so it seemed that the whole event was scheduled to be such."
About payment for releasing the remains, Mr. Makan had this to say: "No specific amount has been paid at this time, although hospitals, clinics, surgeons and medical examiners have been ordered by the Iranian security services, based on various orders, not to list 'bullet wound' as the cause of death on the death certificate in order to prevent the families from filing international complaints in the future. I haven't seen the release notice of Neda's remains yet, but I will obtain it from her father in the coming days."
Mr. Makan regarding government ban of memorial service for Neda Agha Setan said: "We were going to hold her memorial Monday 1st of Tir at 2:30 PM at a mosque at Sharyati street north of Seyed Khandan. But Basijis and mosque officials refused our request for her memorial service so to avoid further public confrontation and instability. They knew that Neda was an died innocently, and people in Iran and the international community are informed of that fact. So they decided to avoid a situation where a mass rally would take place. In any way, we do not have permission for a memorial service for now."
However, many eye witnesses told BBC Persia that a large gathering took place with the intention of performing a memorial service at Al Reza Mosque at Nilofar square in Tehran. But the security forces intervened by throwing people out of the mosque and intervening with the service.
Mr. Makan also commented on fake pictures of videos claiming to be Neda at various sites:"I was looking at some sites including 'iReport'. There was a picture of a young woman with green signs from previous calm demonstrations and had claimed it was Neda before being shot. These pictures have no relation to the event. It seems that Mr. Mousavi's supporters are trying to portray Neda as one of his supporters. This is not so. Neda was incredibly close to me and she was never supportive of either two groups. Neda wanted freedom and freedom for all."
BBC Farsi tried to contact Neda Agha-Sultan's other family members but was told by a close relative of hers that, for reasons of their own, the Agha Sultan family could not grant an interview.
12:56 PM ET -- Report of violence in Mousavi's hometown. Via the NIAC, an Iranian reporter tweets, "Frightening reports coming from Tabriz (Mousavi's hometown)."
12:54 PM ET -- Iran ambassadors summoned. "The Czech European Union presidency asked the bloc's members on Monday to consider summoning the heads of Iran's missions in Europe to express 'deep revulsion' over post-election violence there. The Czechs said they had summoned the head of the Iranian ministry in Prague to reject Iran's protest that the EU and its member states were illegitimately interfering in Iran's affairs."
Also: A European Union-wide proposal to coordinate aid for wounded Iranian demonstrators was expected to be discussed Wednesday in Stockholm, ministers said. Ministers of Italy, France and Finland called for a common EU response for people seeking assistance in the violent aftermath of Iran's June 12 election."
12:42 PM ET -- New video. Purportedly from today. The text accompanying the video reads, "Shiroudi Sports Compound turned into a military garrison."
12:08 PM ET -- Iran considering dismissal of EU ambassadors. So reports BBC Persia.
11:21 AM ET -- Neda was engaged. BBC Persia has an interview with Neda's fiance (some translation would be great). Also, AP prints some new details: "An acquaintance of her family said Neda worked part-time at a travel agency in Iran and that the government barred the family from holding a public funeral Monday. The acquaintance spoke on condition of anonymity because she feared government reprisal. The Iranian government has banned all public gatherings, though there was no specific information about funerals for those killed in recent clashes."
11:18 AM ET -- Nokia/Siemens responds to report it provided Iran with censoring technology. Via reader Paul, the statement is here. Here's the original Wall Street Journal story if you missed it below. Any thoughts from experts on this issue?
11:16 AM ET -- Italy willing to open embassy to protesters. Reuters writes up the news we noted yesterday: "Italy is willing to open its embassy in Tehran to wounded protesters in coordination with other European nations, the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The move follows a Swedish initiative to look into whether European Union nations can put together a plan to take in and provide aid to demonstrators at their embassies in Iran, the ministry said."
11:11 AM ET -- "It has become a dangerous zero-sum game." If you're just starting to follow this conflict, the New York Times has an excellent piece on former Iranian president Rafsanjani and his intense behind-the-scenes campaign to tilt the center of power away from Khamenei.
11:01 AM ET -- Government accuses demonstrators of murder. From Iran's state TV: "Tehran's prosecutor general's office has said that some armed saboteurs opened fire on civilians and killed people in post-election violence in Tehran. 'A number of Tehrani citizens were shot dead by unknown vandals Saturday night,' said the office on Monday."
10:55 AM ET -- Riot police again violently cracking down on demonstrators. The latest from AP:
Riot police attacked hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas and fired live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central Tehran Monday, carrying out a threat by the country's most powerful security force to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed presidential election.
Witnesses said helicopters hovered overhead as about 200 protesters gathered at Haft-e-Tir Square. But hundreds of anti-riot police quickly put an end to the demonstration and prevented any gathering, even small groups, at the scene.
At the subway station at Haft-e-Tir, the witnesses said police did not allow anyone to stand still, asking them to keep on walking and separating people who were walked together. The witnesses asked not to be identified for fear of government reprisals.
Just before the clashes, an Iranian woman who lives in Tehran said there was a heavy police and security presence in another square in central Tehran. She asked not to be identified because she was worried about government reprisals.
"There is a massive, massive, massive police presence," she told the Associated Press in Cairo by telephone. "Their presence was really intimidating."
10:40 AM ET -- Google updates Iran satellite imagery. Another very impressive move by Google: "Many of you have been letting us know through Tweets, emails, blog posts, message boards, and even an online petition that you're very interested in seeing recent satellite imagery of Tehran. Well, we've heard your requests and over the past few days have been working with our satellite imagery partner GeoEye to make this possible. We just received updated satellite imagery of Tehran, taken on Thursday the 18th at approximatly 11:18am local time."
Also, YouTube employees over at their Citizen Tube site have been posting Iran videos for several days now. This morning, they noted that Iran's state media have launched a "YouTube strategy" in recent days, posting propaganda videos and clips from its television station. One YouTube post states, "Is Iran's YouTube strategy working? The above episode of Reality Check was posted a day ago, and has 13 views at the time of this posting."
10:36 AM ET -- Police breaking up memorial for Neda. ABC's Lara Setrakian tweets, "People are trying to gather in 7 Tir square, but being dispersed before they can gather momentum. Many many Basijis. People btwn 1000-2000. they're preventing others from joining. As soon as they gather somewhere they attack, so they run away & regroup"
The 7 Tir Square gathering was a memorial for Neda, the young woman whose violent death in the street on Saturday was captured on video.
10:33 AM ET -- British foreign ministry evacuating staff from Iran. NBC News reports, getting more details. The UK also revised its travel advisory for Iran:
Large scale demonstrations following the Iranian Presidential elections on 12 June 2009 continue. There have been violent clashes at and after some demonstrations with some deaths. Further violence is possible. Some forms of international and internal communications have been disrupted, e.g. SMS, mobile telephone coverage and internet. You should avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings.
10:20 AM ET -- Revolutionary Guards threaten to crush protests. "Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned on Monday it would crush further demonstrations over the disputed presidential election after the opposition defiantly vowed to press on with its protests. The Guards -- an elite force set up to protect the Islamic republic in the wake of the 1979 revolution -- warned of a 'decisive and revolutionary' riposte to any further unrest."
9:58 AM ET -- "You can't beat our grandmothers." A very moving appearance by Melody Moezzi on CNN last night:
5:22 AM ET -- Karroubi calls for public mourning of Neda today. In a Facebook post, the reformist candidate who has been supporting Mousavi and appearing with him at rallies calls for people to gather at a central Tehran location at 4PM to mourn Neda. This could get explosive.
5:03 AM ET -- Khamenei to deliver another address on Friday. That news comes via a very reliable Iranian on Twitter, who cites Iran's state television. The same Twitter user also wrote earlier today about apparent plans for a broad strike being organized by reformists:
Soon Mousavi will announce full national strikes, probably starting with Petrochemical - prepare for this... Expect food shortage - transport stoppage - money shortage in bank... Gov will respond with electric power cuts - prepare and have gas cylinders at home or gasoline for light/cooking... People of Iran - THIS IS THE DAWN - This is the new begining - have hope and prepare.
4:43 AM ET -- Report: 40 senior clerics want election results annulled. The intense infighting among Iran's clerical establishment appeared to play out in new dramatic fashion on Monday. Via reader Art, the news site Peiknet reported that Ayatollah Rafsanjani has a letter signed by 40 members of the powerful 86-member Assembly of Experts calling for the annulment of the recent presidential election results.
Moreover, the letter (the authenticity of which has, again, not been verified) charges that the arrest of Rafsanjani's daughter Faezeh on Sunday was a way to exert pressure on him, and that she was followed and identified by the intelligence services during the rally.
More translation via a reader:
It says Khamenai has lung cancer and wanted to have his son as Supreme Leader (the position that Rafsanjani wants), and that the attempt to alter the election results was done in an attempt by Khamenei to eventually allow his son Mojtaba to replace him. It says that at the core the argument is not just about Mousavi but the overall system of government, as it's becoming a like Monarchy rather than a republic. So far, it says, most of the clerics have not accepted Ahmadinejad presidency, and quotes Ayatollah Javadi Amoly saying of the attack on Tehran University students, 'no Muslim will destroy another's property, they must be foreigners.'
If you see any related news, let me know. In the meantime, it's useful to watch this video recounting Rafsanjani's key role in electing Khamenei as Supreme Leader some two decades ago:
3:44 AM ET -- Archives. I've been trying to keep the size of this page relatively small so it loads more quickly, but full archives are available down below. Here are Sunday's updates.
3:40 AM ET -- Mohsen Makhmalbaf. If someone has the contact information for Mousavi's external spokesman, can you please pass it along?
3:39 AM ET -- Rafsanjani speech? Powerful Iranian cleric Ayatollah Rafsanjani, whose family members were arrested and held for several hours on Sunday after his daughter was filmed supporting the demonstrators, will "speak after Friday's sermon," reports Jamal Dajani, a journalist and HuffPost blogger.
3:32 AM ET -- Some stunning video... of street clashes between basiji paramilitaries and demonstrators on Saturday. (Via reader Farbod.)
3:18 AM ET -- Time magazine covers Neda. "In Iran, one woman's death may have many consequences."
Iran's revolution has now run through a full cycle. A gruesomely captivating video of a young woman -- laid out on a Tehran street after apparently being shot, blood pouring from her mouth and then across her face -- swept Twitter, Facebook and other websites this weekend. The woman rapidly became a symbol of Iran's escalating crisis, from a political confrontation to far more ominous physical clashes. [...]
Although it is not yet clear who shot "Neda" (a soldier? pro-government militant? an accidental misfiring?), her death may have changed everything. For the cycles of mourning in Shiite Islam actually provide a schedule for political combat -- a way to generate or revive momentum. Shiite Muslims mourn their dead on the third, seventh and 40th days after a death, and these commemorations are a pivotal part of Iran's rich history. During the revolution, the pattern of confrontations between the shah's security forces and the revolutionaries often played out in 40-day cycles.
2:30 AM ET -- Foreign ministry: U.S. has "racial mentality" toward Iran. CNN aired extended footage of a live press conference by Iran's foreign ministry on Monday morning. An anchor noted many empty seats in the briefing room, a result of the foreign media crackdown.
In one key exchange, a questioner asked about reports that foreign embassies had aided demonstrators after Saturday's violence. The foreign ministry representative said there was, at that moment, a "heated debate" over those reports taking place in Iran's Parliament, and he promised that a "proportional response" from Iran's government was being planned. In the same response, he accused the United States of acting with a "racial mentality" in its behavior towards Iran.
REPORTER: Yesterday we had in the news that some foreign embassies in Tehran, in the past two or three days, they have given shelter to rioters. You said that there's a meeting held right now in Parliament. How does Iran look at this?
FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL: Well, I said that this was asked several times. I ask that you allow me not to make any prejudgments. All the reports and attitudes [sic] are being observed and they're being looked into, and measures proportionate to facts on the ground will be taken. We will not act based on our emotions and feelings. But a proportionate measure to take is being studied now. I have no permission to comment at this point, and just now, I said that there's is a heated debate in parliament right now, and they are looking into all the aspects of this issue. And like I said, at the same time, some Western officials say, some American officials say they don't want to engage in a political football, but that's not true. Reality is different. There was one statement out by those proclaimers of democracy -- there was no sentence, no statement in their comments to invite people to democracy! Not even one statement was mentioned, for your information, we observed it all, we monitored all that they said. They never invited people to do things based on law, legally. If there is going to be some protest in their own countries, people need to be issued a permit. They did not allow them to have a rally in their own countries. Why don't they find the same story in Iran? Why don't they treat us the same way? This is a racial mentality, that Iranians belong to the Third World, we shouldn't talk about law or regulations with them. But we belong to the first class, we are first-class citizens, and therefore you should permits from police to have a rally.
At another point in the press conference, he referenced the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential race, noting that foreign governments didn't urge Kerry voters like those "in Los Angeles" to not accept the results.
1:39 AM ET -- Web access for Iranians. A site called Your-Freedom.me says it is offering free access to its services for Iranians, with widened bandwidth and no time restrictions.
1:13 AM ET -- Calm overnight, state media reports. "Iranian state radio said on Monday that no unrest broke out in Tehran overnight and the capital had been calm for the first time since a disputed June 12 presidential election. 'Tehran last night witnessed the first night of calm and peace since the election,' state radio said."
The New York Times reports, "There were reports of scattered confrontations but no confirmation of any new injuries by evening. But as they had on previous nights, many residents of Tehran clambered to their rooftops and could be heard shouting 'Death to the dictator!' and 'God is great,' their rallying cries since the crisis began."
12:46 AM ET -- State radio: 457 arrested. "Iranian state radio said Monday that 457 people were arrested in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Tehran that took place late Saturday. The arrests were made around the Iranian capital's Azadi square, the radio report said, quoting the police."