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Iran Uprising Blogging: Monday Updates

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I'm blogging the latest Iran election fallout. Email me with any news or thoughts, or follow me on Twitter. Send me instant messages at nico.pitney@gmail.com or njpitney on AIM. Scroll down for news related to the front-page headlines. Local Iran time is 8 1/2 hours ahead of Eastern time.

2:24 PM ET -- Help Iranians get online: donate thumb drives. The Wall Street Journal spreads the word to its readers.

2:18 PM ET -- Mousavi website: Protests will continue. Reuters reports:

Iran's opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi said on Monday the pro-reform protests which erupted after the country's disputed June presidential vote will continue, his website reported.

"The pro-reform path will continue," Mousavi said in a statement. "The establishment should respect the constitution and let us to gather to commemorate our killed loved ones on Thursday."

Moderate defeated candidates Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi on Sunday called on the authorities to permit a gathering on Thursday at Tehran's "Grand Mosala," a prayer location where tens of thousands can gather, to commemorate unrest victims.

2:12 PM ET -- "Feisty opposition starts new protest campaign." Time magazine's Robin Wright: "Phase 2 has begun. Six weeks after millions took to the streets to protest Iran's presidential election, their uprising has morphed into a feistier, more imaginative and potentially enduring campaign."


11:44 AM ET -- Ahmadinejad fires his intelligence minister.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired his intelligence minister and his culture minister resigned under pressure Sunday as further rifts emerged in his camp with just days to go until his controversial inauguration for a second term.

Although Ahmadinejad has frequently replaced his cabinet members over the past four years, Sunday's firing and resignation were significant because both Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei and Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi are especially close to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, analysts say.

"All ministers are close to him," said Amir Mohebbian, a political analyst who shares Ahmadinejad's ideology but has been critical of his actions. "But these two are closer to the leader."

Taken together, the moves suggest deep unhappiness within Ahmadinejad's inner circle at a time when the government is still reeling from the impact of a weeks-long campaign by the opposition to overturn the results of June's disputed election, in which Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in a landslide.

11:28 AM ET -- A rare interview from inside Iran. Via reader Yong, here's an interview that CNN's Fareed Zakaria conducted with Tehran University Professor Mohammed Morandi. The talk gets a bit contentious after Marandi claims that the United States government and its media outlets have urged Iranians to riot and use violence. Zakaria asks Mirandi if he worries that one day he will be viewed as a "mouthpiece for a dying repressive regime."


8:56 AM ET -- Still in the streets. A protest, reportedly from yesterday, in front the headquarters of IRIB, Iran's state-backed media.


8:28 AM ET -- Israeli official: No option off the table. From the AP:

Israel dug in its heels Monday in a disagreement with the United States over a potential military strike to thwart Iran's progress toward a possible nuclear weapon, as the visiting American defense chief urged patience.

"We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said pointedly, following discussions with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

"This is our policy; we mean it," Barak continued. "We recommend to others to take the same position, but we cannot dictate it to anyone."

While the United States also reserves the right to use force if need be, the Obama administration is playing down that possibility while it tries to draw Iran into talks about its disputed nuclear program and other topics. Gates said Washington still hopes to have an initial answer in the fall about negotiations.

"The timetable the president laid out still seems to be viable and does not significantly raise the risks to anybody," Gates said.

8:18 AM ET -- Saffar Harandi resigns, Ahmadinejad's cabinet no longer official. "Just eight days before inauguration, Ahmadinejad's cabinet becomes illegal and requires a parliamentary vote of confidence to continue working."

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Useful Resources

News: NIAC Insight | Kodoom
Translations: Google Translate | TehranBroadcast.com | Translate4Iran
Helping Iranians use the web: Haystack | Tor Project (English & Farsi) | IranHelp.org (Farsi)
Demonstrations: Facebook | Sharearchy | WhyWeProtest
Activism: Avaaz.org | National Iranian American Council

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