Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009


This is a live-blog report on clashes occurring in Iran on December 27, during the Shia mourning day of Ashura. As reports come in, they will be placed at the top of this page. To read this in chronological order it must be read from the bottom up.

Be sure to watch the videos. But CAUTION as many are very graphic. It has been the most intense day since the June 12th 2009 rigged election that gave the presidency to Ahmadinejad. The boldest protests seen to-date. Brutal crackdowns have occurred, protesters have been shot and killed, attacked with batons and knives, but they have also stood their ground and fought back. The stakes have been raised in the struggle between the people of Iran and the dictatorial, brutal government of Khamenei.

December 28, 2009: Our live coverage of the events of Ashura has ended. However, more video and pictures are coming in as more people upload them. We will continue to post incoming videos and pictures from Ashura here.

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 29, 2009. 4:52PM Tehran Time]

Video showing a group of protesters taking the initiative in clashes with anti-riot police:

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 29, 2008, 1:47AM Tehran Time]

This is a truly harrowing video. The people filming this show great bravery and despair in their voices at the same time. What you see is a group of regime goons on motorcycles. It’s not clear exactly what’s going on, but based on the words of the people doing the filming, the regime goons have trapped some young innocent people. One of the men filming says, “We have to throw something on their heads!”, then he chants, “Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar!”. Then he says, “Those young people shouldn’t have gone out there right now! They shouldn’t have gone out there right now!”. He is obviously very distressed at this point. He and another man and a woman then all repeatedly shout “Let him go! Let him go!”. Then one of them yells at the goons “Bitches! Filth!” followed by “Down with Khamenei!”. This last chant seems to distress the woman with him, who says “Don’t!” out of fear of getting the goons’ attention on them. There is pause as the goons on motorcycles start riding away, and then one of the men filming says in utter despair, “The women and children shouldn’t have gone out there right now!”. Then, sobbing, he says “They should have hid in someone’s house.”

Video showing protesters forcing a trapped regime police officer to remove his uniform:

Video showing protesters destroying a poster of Khamenei. One protester cuts the eyes of Khamenei out of the photo. You can here a woman say, “They’ll bother you!” probably to meaning warning that the act may draw the ire of the regime police. A few months ago such an act would have been unthinkable, and it is still quite taboo:

Unbelievable video of a burning police station at Vali Asr Square taken over by protesters at 12:40pm on that fateful day. Nearing the end of the video people howl in despair over what looks like a man that has been shot to death. A man’s voice can be heard saying, “Khaeli haramzadehan!” meaning “They are such bastards!”, referring to the regime goons. WARNING: This is graphic:

Video showing protesters carrying a uniform of a regime police officer. People say, “Burn it!”. A group of protesters gather around with the intent of burning the uniform when a woman’s says, “Cover your faces!” cognizant of the fact that if regime operatives or intelligence agents see footage of what is going on they may be able to identify the protesters. The camera then moves to a nearby scuffle between a group of protesters and a trapped regime goon:

Video showing a scuffle taking place on what looks like a bridge between protesters and regime police and plainclothes regime agents. A woman’s voice can be heard saying “They are hitting the girls!”.

This video shows a massive crowd marching, singing and chanting “Marg bar TOH!”, meaning “Down with YOU!”, obviously directed at the regime:

This video shows a large group of protesters dispersing after a tear gas canister is shot at them:

Video showing people facing off against, and then charging the regime police:

Video showing protesters gathered in a street resembling a war zone:

Video showing a vast crowd of protesters:

Video showing protesters on the march, banging on barricades and garbage cans. In the distance you can see regime forces. Then people shout at the regime goons, “Be afraid! Be afraid! We are all together!”

Video showing protesters in the street, amidst flames, filming. Chants of “Marg bar Khamenei!” can be heard:

Video showing a burning police van:

Huge crowd under a bridge chanting “Esteghlal, Azadi, Jomhurieh Irani!”, meaning “Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic!” among other chants:

Video of protesters attacking and tipping a police van over:

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 28, 2008, 1:09PM Tehran Time]

This video shows people setting up a barricade in Tehran on Ashura, yesterday:

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 28, 2009, 12:15PM Tehran Time]

WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO: Video of a man killed by the morally bankrupt regime of Khamenei.

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 28, 2009, 10:50AM Tehran Time]

A picture showing a large crowd of protesters. One protester throws a tear gas canister fired by the regime police back at the police. Click the picture to enlarge it.

protesters-throw-back-a-tear-gas-canister

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 28, 2009, 10:32AM Tehran Time]

Video surfaces showing the daughter of Hashemi Rafsanjani, Faezeh, among the protesters on Ashura, December 27. Rafsanjani is one of the key players in founding and running of the Islamic Republic since its founding. He is a former president of Iran and heads the Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council. Since the June 12th rigged election he has tried to take a “moderate” position, making several key speeches conveying the message that the government needs legitimacy from the people. He is an opponent of Ahmadinejad, but a proponent of the Islamic Republic system. Here is the video of his daughter with protesters yesterday:

[Posted on Iran News Now on Dec. 28, 2009, 8:23AM Tehran Time]

The following video shows what looks like several anti-riot police trapped by a group of anti-government protesters. People ask, “Why they are you doing this?”, and one woman asks, “Do you think you are the only brave ones?”

—————————

Everything from here on down was posted during Ashura, on December 27.

[1:30AM Tehran Time]

Opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi has issued a statement (Karroubi’s Statement on Zamaaneh.com in Persian) in which he expressed condolences for today’s martyred protesters and freedom seekers and in which he directly addressed the coup leaders and illegitimate regime of Khamenei. To the coup leaders and instigators of oppression and brutality against the people protesting during the ceremony of Ashura he conveyed the following message. “The sins that you have committed today cannot be forgiven by God. If you don’t have a belief in God, at least be a human.” He is implying that the coup leaders and Khamenei are not true believers, and that they are not behaving as human being would. Karroubi states that even the Shah respected the day of Ashura and he gave orders to allow people to be free to do as they wish.

[1:18AM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed: A report that clashes are occurring now in front of the building for the Voice and Visage of Iran (Sedah va Seema), another broadcasting station.

[12:53AM Tehran Time]

Confirmed: Multiple reports of protesters clashing with special security forces in front of IRIB, one of the regime’s state broadcasting channels.

Unconfirmed: Special regime forces trying to disperse the crowd in front of the IRIB building, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

More reports of casualties coming in from various areas of Tehran and in other cities.

Rumors are circulating that Khamenei has been transported somewhere by helicopter for his safety.

Multiple reports are coming in of martial law being declared in the city of Najafabad, the deceased Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s hometown.

The situation in Iran is in chaotic and in constant flux. It is not clear what will happen next, but with the killings by regime goons of protesters on the tenth day of the Moharram ceremony of Ashura, the people will likely be even more enraged. It is not clear what will come next, but it has been a monumental day in Iran.

[11:36PM Tehran Time]

Video showing clashes at Vali Asr Square:

[10:35PM Tehran Time]

TehranLive.org has posted some amazing pictures from today. Click here to view the full set.

Here is one picture from the set that will likely be one of many iconic pictures from today (click to enlarge):

war_in_tehran_street

[10:18PM Tehran Time]

Another shocking video showing people attacking and setting fire to a police van. Not clear from the video if the van was empty:

And yet another video showing people clashing with government forces. At one point you here someone shout “Nazanesh!” or “Don’t hit him!”. Another interesting point is when a man wearing a white mask shows off a baton he is carrying, quite likely taken from a regime police goon. This video was brought to our attention by commenter calling self SeyedKham in the comments section below this article:

[9:48PM Tehran Time]

Shocking footage of protesters attacking a government minivan to free arrested protesters:

[9:37PM Tehran Time]

More stunning pictures from today. Click any picture to enlarge it. I will try to add context after uploading them (source: Madyar):

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[9:15PM Tehran Time]

Still seeking confirmation of the video purportedly showing Mousavi’s nephew martyred.

Here is another graphic picture of a protester killed by government forces. God bless his soul (source: Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish):

ashura-dec-27-2009-martyr-god-bless-his-soul

[8:23PM Tehran Time]

BREAKING NEWS: Video (unconfirmed) of Seyyed Ali Mousavi, Mir Hossein Mousavi’s nephew, killed. Seeking confirmation.

[7:13PM Tehran Time]

Two more must see videos from today:

Another must see extended clip from today’s protests. You can clearly see masses of people marching and chanting anti-regime slogans together. Mid-way through, clashes occur and the people are able to beat back the government police goons, even successfully removing their helmets!

This harrowing video shows government police goons attacking people. It is being filmed by someone in a car and you can clearly hear the dialogue between the person filming and a female in the car. Nearing the end of the video you can hear someone showing, “Let’s get out of here, they’re coming!”:

[6:39PM Tehran Time]

We have already seen a day of massive clashes across Iran, with people killed in a brutal crackdown by the regime of the now utterly hated so-called Supreme Leader of Iran, Khamenei. The evidence is clear. Just check out all the pictures and videos below. Read the timeline. The chants of the protesters saying “This is month of blood!” have proven prophetic.

I’m sifting through the flood of reports as they come in of people killed and injured in the various cities.

There are reports that Mousavi’s nephew, Seyyed Ali Mousavi was shot and killed today. There are even unconfirmed reports pouring in of people heading toward Sina Hospital, where it is assumed Ali Mousavi’s body is.

The shocking video of a child killed in todays protests says it all.

There is no way that this regime will be able to hide what happened today from the people of Iran and the world, just as they have not been able to do so during any of the many protests that have taken place since the rigged June 12th elections.

After today, everything will be different. I am predicting that the protest movement will grow as more and more people in Iran awaken to and accept that the regime in power is barbaric. Something has to give, and soon. God bless Iran.

[6:12PM Tehran Time]

My god. Video of a child killed in today’s protests:

[6:03PM Tehran Time]

Reports coming in of continued clashes in Tabriz, where 4 people have been killed, according to Rouydad News. This brings the rough tally of people reported killed at 12 so far (if the hospital reports of 8 deaths are from Tehran only).

Still seeking further information on the Mousavi’s nephew being shot and killed. Will report as soon as I have more information.

[5:56PM Tehran Time]

URGENT BREAKING NEWS: Parleman News is reporting that Mousavi’s nephew has been shot and killed during protests today!

[5:53PM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed: A report from hospital sources saying at least 8 people killed in the clashes today. Over 200 injured.

[5:40PM Tehran Time]

Many amazing pictures of todays protests from Madyar. The following are striking:

Police goon shooting tear gas:
regime-police-goon-shoots-tear-gas

Protesters on the march:
ashura-protesters-marching

Protesters fleeing from tear gas:
ashura-tear-gas-being-shot-protesters-fleeing

[5:17PM Tehran Time]

Reports of continued protests and clashes in Tehran, Esfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz, Rasht, Babol, Sari, Arak and Ardebil.

Reports on known fatalities as of now sit at at least five.

[5:05PM Tehran Time]

Video of protesters in Tehran chanting:

“Down with Khamenei!”
“Khamenei is a criminal! His leadership is void!”
“Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!” (associating Mir Hossein Mosavi with Imam Hossein, martyred during Ashura in the founding years of Islam).
“Yazid will soon topple!” (Yazid is the reviled dictator who killed Imam Hossein. People are associating Khamenei with Yazid).

[4:51PM Tehran Time]

Despite the clear evidence of massive protests occurring in Iran today in which protesters were shot at and killed (see below for multiple amazing videos and pictures of events from today) the Iranian state-run media (IRNA and Fars News) are reporting that protests were small and unsubstantial, and they are denying that anyone was killed.

Quick opininion: The regime has clearly lost all control. These protests and the level of animosity displayed to the regime have been unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic (over the past 30 years since the regime was founded). This is a monumental challenge to the regime. It remains to be seen what their response will be. Likely, it will be more of what we have seen since the June 12th rigged elections: more crackdowns, more arrests, more torture, more rape, more murder, more lies and more denial of the situation in Iran. Barring the government unleashing unrestrained force and brutality on the people, it is difficult to see how they may possibly try to stop the momentum of the protesters seeking freedom and human rights. The despotic regime is looking more and more like a doomed one, but that does not mean they won’t continue to kill and fight until their inevitable demise.

[4:41PM Tehran Time]

Video surfaces showing people trampling a street sign with Khamenei’s name on it while some chant “This is a month of blood. Khamenei will be toppled!”, “Down with the dictator!”. One person shouts, “Enough! Enough! Let’s go before they come!”:

Another video proving helicopters are hovering over the crowds. When the helicopter is noticed by the crowd, the protesters flash the “V” sign towards it. Chants of “This is a month of blood! Yazid will be toppled!”. Again, by Yazid people are inferring Khamenei:

[4:27PM Tehran Time]

We reported on helicopters over Tehran earlier. More reports of many helicopters in the skies above Tehran, several spotted near Jamaran Mosque, where former two-term president Khatami’s speech was interrupted via an attack on the mosque by plainclothed pro-government vigilantes and Basijis (see our live-blog from yesterday, on the eve of Ashura, December 26 for video of the attack.

[4:22PM Tehran Time]

Protest at Tehran College bridge:

[4:12PM Tehran Time]

More vids:

Truck turned over, protesters yell, “Let’s set it on fire!”:

Police car set on fire:

[4:02PM Tehran TIme]

Extended 4-minute video. Things get intense approximately half-way through when a struggle ensues between people wanting to beat up a captured Basiji, and greens chanting “Leave him alone!”, “Velesh kon! Velesh kon!” meaning “Let him go!”. These chants are proof that although anger runs high against the regime, the peoples movement is largely peaceful and seeks non-violence. Having said that, clearly tempers are at an all time high, especially since for the past 6 months the Basij and government forces have brutally beaten, raped, tortured and killed people.

Here is the video:

[3:32PM Tehran Time]

Multiple pictures (source):

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[3:17PM Tehran Time]

Two new videos in:

Frightening, apocalyptic video: tear gas covers the sky — so thick that sky is black:

Another protest video:

[3:15PM Tehran Time]

Video showing security presence and protests at Emam Hossein Square in Tehran:

[3:11PM Tehran Time]

Video showing security forces active near a metro station:

[3:09PM Tehran Time]

Video claiming to show people running away from a tear gas attack:

[3:07PM Tehran Time]

Earlier I reported that Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib was planning to speak in Shiraz at 9:00AM Tehran time, but I had not heard any further news on this. Now, reports are coming in that his home has been surrounded by security forces.

[2:55PM Tehran Time]

Another video showing people beating Basij in the middle of sheer mayhem, as a fire from a burning motorcycle starts to burn the nearby building! Protesters and greens control the street!

[2:37PM Tehran Time]

Unbelievable video showing Basij motorcycles on fire and people chanting, “I will kill, I will kill, those who kill my brother!” Massive clashes. Nearing the end of the video several fights can be seen in what appears to be people beating a plainclothes agent. Also, it looks like a protester or perhaps a plainclothes agent is lying motionless on the ground. Will watch this one more closely to provide further analysis.

[2:23PM Tehran Time]

Video of large crowd at Baharestan Square. Security forces can be seen on the overpass. Distant sounds of what appears to be gunshots can be heard. People are chanting “Mikosham, Mikosham, An keh baradaram kosht” (“I will kill those who kill my brother!”) as they disperse while carrying an injured or possibly killed individual!

[2:19PM Tehran Time]

Another video from Tehran. You can see what looks like a person trying to cut or possibly write something on or take down a poster of Khamenei:

[2:15PM Tehran Time]

Earlier report of people disabling traffic cameras confirmed.

[2:12PM Tehran Time]

Video from Baharestan Square showing a large crowd of protesters chanting anti-government slogans. One, “Marg bar TOH!” means “Down with YOU!” and is directed at Khamenei and his regime:

[2:10PM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed report has come in of people smashing traffic cameras in hopes that it will make it difficult for government forces to track protests.

[2:05PM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed, but from one of our trusted sources, a picture of one person killed during today’s protests:

man-killed-during-ashura
(source)

[1:56PM Tehran Time]

BBC reports on three killed in clashes today:

[1:59PM Tehran Time]

More reports are coming in of clashes all over the city of Shiraz.

[1:39PM Tehran Time]

Two new videos from Tehran. People chanting “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein!” and “Allaho Akbar!”, cars honking.

[1:32PM Tehran Time]

Quick Opinion: The fact that the regime is cracking down on people in the streets during Ashura is a clear indication that the regime has virtually completely shed its religious veneer. Clearly, they are far more concerned with keeping their own death grip on the nation (along with the associated economic benefits of being in control) than on encouraging an Islamic society.

This is a very risky calculation for the regime, because without religious, moral, or political legitimacy, the regime is more and more being seen in Iran as an occupying, alien-force, at least insofar as Iranian cultured and interests are concerned.

No matter what the outcome of today’s protests, it is very difficult to see a way out for the regime that will ever allow them to return to the status quo (as it was before the June election at least). Change is virtually inevitable now. What remains to be seen is how it will manifest, and at what cost. One thing for certain, the widespread nature of the protests (both in segments of the society and in geographic dispersion) indicates that the days of this government are numbered.

[1:21PM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed report of 20,000 protesters in Shiraz from Saadi Cinema to Paramount Street. Protesters chanting slogans against Khamenei.

[1:17PM Tehran Time]

Reports of heavy clashes now in front of Polytechnic University student residences.

[1:10PM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed: Another person reportedly killed in Vali Asr Street.

[12:54PM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed report: One of the people killed was a young girl that was shot in the back. She was purportedly carried away by Basij.

[12:51PM Tehran Time]

First video purported to be from today, from Taleghani Square:

[12:50PM Tehran Time]

Massive clashes between security forces and protesters confirmed in Shiraz.

[12:41PM Tehran Time]

BREAKING NEWS: At least three people killed! Trusted sources, Mehdi Saharkhiz, and IranProxy, confirm that at least three people are confirmed to have been killed near Hafez bridge.

[12:38PM Tehran Time]

Clashes now being reported in Haft-Tir Square. Also reports of heavy clashes in Montazeri’s hometown of Najafabad.

[12:31PM Tehran Time]

Reza Saya of CNN doing a great job reporting on the clashes in Iran. Keep it up and cover more frequently please! He mentioned that witnesses are reporting today’s protests as some of the most intense since the June 12 election aftermath.

[12:24PM Tehran Time]

People are moving towards Enghelab Square where the crowd is getting big.

Reports of several Basij motorcycles set on fire on Hafez bridge.

Mobile service is down in several areas of the city.

[12:19AM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed report of people using trash cans as a sort of war-drum while they chant.

Unconfirmed reports of more cities with protests in Iran, so far in:

Tehran
Shiraz
Ardebil
Esfahan
Mashad

[12:06AM Tehran Time]

Reports coming in of people successful in getting regime forces to retreat in various parts of Tehran.

Helicoptors flying over the city.

Fires and smoke in various areas.

Crowds in various squares chanting loudly against Khamenei and the regime. Tension is rapidly building.

[11:56AM Tehran Time]

Reports of people managing to get past security lines in Vali-Asr, even as security forces attempt to block various major routes throughout the city. It looks like the regime is using a combination of strategic blockages of routes and extreme brutality to quell the protests. This has been tried in multiple past protests following the rigged June 12 presidential elections, becoming less effective over time as protesters have adapted to the technique.

Considering the reports of clashes and bravery as people face the various government forces, and the reports of crowds getting bigger and bigger by the minute, this is far from over.

There are unconfirmed reports of shots being fired. This is not surprising since yesterday shots were fired as well (corroborated by reports by people on the ground and video).

[11:51AM Tehran Time]

Unconfirmed reports of clashes now in South Tehran, historically more conservative than the north. Clashes in South Tehran are a strong indication of widespread discontent that cuts across social and economic classes.

[11:47AM Tehran Time]

Approaching noon in Tehran, reports are streaming in now of clashes in all major squares. Unconfirmed reports of clashes occurring in Shiraz and Esfahan.

Ferdowsi Square in Tehran, one person states, “is like a war zone”, covered in tear gas as clashes continue.

[11:34AM Tehran Time]

People are chanting “Risheye zolmo bekan!” meaning “Pull the roots of oppression!”

In Ferdowsi Square a big standoff between protesters and security forces is taking place. The forces are trying to disperse people but protesters are standing their ground. Reports of bravery especially from women chanting “Don’t be afraid! We are all in this together!” and even as they are attacked with batons and pepper spray. Other chants that can be heard include:

“Allaho Akbar!”
“Down With the Dictator!”
“This is the month of blood! Yazid [associating Khamenei with Yazid] will soon topple!”

One eye-witness expresses awe of the protesters courage, especially that of women. Men and women are rallying each other to charge the government forces. Although people retreat a bit when attacked directly, they are not backing down. Many are standing their ground.

[11:25AM Tehran Time]

Vali-Asr Square is seeing big clashes between plain-clothes and police on one side and protesters on the other. Government forces have blocked exits from Vali-Asr to prevent crowds heading towards other squares.

At Ferdowsi Square people are chanting “Down with the Dictator!”

At Imam Hossein Square people are being beaten with batons.

Reports of protests building in other cities, including Shiraz.

[10:43AM Tehran Time]

Multiple unconfirmed reports coming in that people are being beaten to death and Basij brutally cracking down, even as reports come in that crowds are building.

[10:35AM Tehran Time]

BREAKING: Report has come in that security forces are beating people in the crossing of Mazandaran Street and Imam Hossein Square.

[10:31AM Tehran Time]

BREAKING: Unconfirmed reports of Basij and government forces attacking people in the squares. Rumor of possible killings even. Watching developments closely.

[10:27AM Tehran Time]

A report has come in that plain-clothes and militia are “scattered around Imam Hossein and Enghelab (Revolutionary) Squares in minivans.”

[10:04AM Tehran Time]

There are multiple reports of heavy police and government security presence in Tehran. One report, unconfirmed, is that “special brigades” deployed to protect Khamenei’s residence. Reports of heavy security presence at Khamenei’s residence in Tehran surfaced yesterday as well.

[8:51AM Tehran Time]

All of the various government security forces, IRGC, Basij, Police and plain-clothed thugs are present in large numbers at every intersection from Enghelab to Azadi Squares.

[8:32AM Tehran Time]

There are reports that Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib is going speak at 9:00AM in Shiraz. Dastgheib is a moderate cleric.

[6:30AM Tehran Time]

After a harrowing and eventful Tasoua (December 26, see our Eve of Ashura live-blog from yesterday) in which clashes took place between protesters and anti-government forces in multiple cities throughout the country, and in which even former president Khatami’s speech was interrupted by roudy Basiji’s and pro-government forces in Jamaran Mosque, the stage is set for the long anticipated Shira mourning ritual of Ashura.

Ashura is the yearly remembrance of the slaughter of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson (known as Imam Hossein in the Shia faith) by the forces of the then dictator Yazid over a dispute over the succession of the Prophet after his death. Shiites mourn the killing of Imam Hossein every year by pouring into the streets and mosques, and even self-flagellating.

This year’s Ashura proves to be a very potent one in Iran, with anticipation built-up over six months of protests since the rigged Iran election in which Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by the regime, with the blessing of the so-called Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Protests for Ashura were already planned by the opposition in multiple cities, when last week, the dissendent cleric, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri passed away. Montazeri was positioned by the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, to succeed Khomeini as Supreme Leader, but he had a falling out with Khomeini over the mass execution of dissidents in the late 80s. Khamenei (not the same as Khomeini!) became the Supreme Leader instead. But Khamenei lacked the religious credentials of Montazeri, so in an attempt to silence him, Khamenei had Montazeri placed under house arrest, and severely limited Montazeri’s ability to continue his religious teachings (though he managed to do so anyway). After the rigged elections, Montazeri was very vocal against the excesses of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, stating that the government of Ahmadinejad was illegitimate.

When Montazeri passed away last week, millions of people took to the streets in mourning, mixing chants of mourning with anti-governmnt slogans. The government was virtually helpless in stopping the processions. Khamenei made the mistake of issuing a half-assed statement of condolence over the passing of Montazeri, in which he said that Montazeri had paid for “failing an important test”, a reference to his moderate views and vocal dissent. This caused tremendous anger in Iran, where most people view Montazeri as a stalwart supporter of the opposition seeking more freedoms for the people, and as a staunch dissident against Khamenei.

The brutal government-sanctioned crackdowns since the elections in June, in which we saw Neda Agha Soltan shot to death by a Basiji, along with thousands savagely attacked by the regime, combined with atrocities such as beatings, rape, torture and murder of protesters was cause enough for people to unleash their angst against the regime during Ashura. Add to that the fact that it is the seventh day after Montazeri’s passing and you have an extremely potent mix. This could be the tipping point.

[Corrections]

9:38AM Tehran Time – corrected Imam Ali to Imam Hossein in description of Ashura.

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Dave Siavashi is the Founder and Editor of Iran News Now. He provided coverage of breaking news and analysis on events in Iran during the unrest that followed the 2009 presidential election. One of the early journalists to use social media effectively to report on breaking events, his tweets and articles have been cited in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Christian Science Monitor, Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish and publications.
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  • Bozorg

    Hi,

    I’d like to commend you on the fantastic job you’ve been doing.

    However, I don’t think MikVerbrugge’s tweet about the alleged military letter should be RTed. We should only share reliable information inasmuch as our credibility is our lifeline. Because the content of that message is potentially monumental, it requires a corresponding level of confirmation.

  • IranNewsNow Admin

    Hello Bozorg and thanks for the kind comment. I appreciate what you’re saying about MikVerbrugge’s post. This is, however, why I qualified the RT with ‘Don’t know if true’. This is also why I didn’t post it on this website. I felt it should be RT’ed (with the statement that I dont know if it is true) because as you said, if true, it is potentially huge news.

  • http://enduringamerica.com/2009/12/27/the-latest-from-iran-27-december-the-day-of-ashura/ The Latest from Iran (27 December): The Day of Ashura | Enduring America

    [...] good work being done by the LiveBlogs of The Daily Nite Owl (EA correspondent Josh Shahryar) and of IranNewsNow. Both are already in action this [...]

  • http://godisgreat.datgms.com/22150/live-blog-ashura-in-iran-%e2%80%93-december-27-2009-iran-news-now/ Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now

    [...] post:  Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now Share and [...]

  • http://www.twittlink.com/aj_headline_tb/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5pcmFubmV3c25vdy5jb20vMjAwOS8xMi9saXZlLWJsb2ctYXNodXJhLw== TwittLink – Your headlines on Twitter

    [...] Tweets about this great post on TwittLink.com [...]

  • Marcel vd Boogaart

    Support for green revolution, from the Netherlands

  • http://www.IranNewsDigest.com/2009/12/27/ind-ashura-update/ IRAN NEWS DIGEST: Iran News Digest – Ashura Update

    [...] Latest from IranNewsNow here. [...]

  • Seyedkam

    Another Video if you haven’t already seen it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLpfZYNhZ2E&feature=player_embedded
    Thanks for your great work.
    V

  • http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/massive-protests-break-out-in-iran-tehran-is-in-fire-blood/ Gateway Pundit

    [...] Iran News Now posted this video: Video surfaces showing people trampling a street sign with Khamenei’s name on it while some chant “This is a month of blood. Khamenei will be toppled!”, “Down with the dictator!”. One person shouts, “Enough! Enough! Let’s go before they come!” Comments (4) [...]

  • http://aroundthesphere.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/iran-protests-the-month-of-the-blood/ Iran Protests: The Month Of The Blood « Around The Sphere

    [...] Sullivan: Enduring America, Daily Nite Owl, and IranNewsNow are constantly updating with new details. There are already unconfirmed reports of dead [...]

  • http://www.taylormarsh.com/2009/12/27/mousavis-nephew-reported-killed-amidstiran-clashes/ Mousavi’s Nephew Reported Killed Amidst Iran Violence | Taylor Marsh – TaylorMarsh.com – News, Opinion and Weblog on Progressive Politics

    [...] –video update in comments– There are reports that Mousavi’s nephew, Seyyed Ali Mousavi was shot and killed today. There are even unconfirmed reports pouring in of people heading toward Sina Hospital, where it is assumed Ali Mousavi’s body is. – Iran News Now [...]

  • http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/lazy-sunday-afternoon-call/ Lazy Sunday Afternoon Call « The Confluence

    [...] are getting more messy in Iran as celebrations of Ashura have turned into a day of protests and violence.  (There are some very graphic links on that live [...]

  • mario

    Support from austria, for the brave iranian people!we are amazed!wow,wow,wow
    we pray for you all!

  • http://arabnewspaper.org/americas/live-blog-ashura-in-iran-%e2%80%93-december-27-2009-iran-news-now/ Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now | Arab Newspaper

    [...] is the original:  Live-blog: Ashura in Persia – Dec 27, 2009 | Persia News Now Share and [...]

  • http://freeirannow.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/updates-6/ Updates « FREE IRAN NOW!

    [...] 27. Dezember 2009 — Mr. Moe Einen Live-blog gibt es bei Iran News Now, auch Andrew Sullivan berichtet gewohnt zeitnah. Bilder gibt es bei [...]

  • http://www.themirch.com/8552.html Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now

    [...] the original post: Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now Related PostsBME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Body …Iran News [...]

  • http://www.makemessage.com/?p=5278 Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now | Make Message

    [...] from: Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now Tags: brings-the-rough, people-reported, poker2, rough, rough-tally, tabriz, tehran, [...]

  • http://蛋痛 神秘岛观众

    不必新疆那次严重啊。

  • http://ckmac.com/thewholething/2009/12/contention-of-the-day-chaotic-and-in-constant-flux/ ZOMBIE CONTENTIONS – CONTENTION OF THE DAY – chaotic and in constant flux

    [...] Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009 | Iran News Now. [...]

  • http://churchofatheists.org/2009/12/27/next-time-you-want-to-pray-for-something/ Next time you want to pray for something… | why?

    [...] happens when selfish political ideologies and a frustrated populous clash. Below is a quote from IranNewsNow, who has been covering the story from the start. Unbelievable video showing Basij motorcycles on [...]

  • http://rosemarysthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/12/iranian-revolution-for-liberty.html Rosemary’s Thoughts

    Iranian Revolution For Liberty…

    Before we become engrossed in the facts of today, I would like to ask you to join me in prayer not only for their success, but also for their safety from the basijis and IRGC. May they all their arms against the government and join the revolution…

  • http://www.irannewsnow.com/2009/12/first-video-of-protests-in-iran-on-december-28-first-day-after-ashura-protests/ First video of protests in Iran on December 28, first day after Ashura protests | Iran News Now

    [...] Live-blog coverage of Ashura Uprising in Iran [...]

  • http://www.irannewsnow.com/2009/12/two-videos-showing-protesters-trap-an-humiliate-regime-police/ Two videos showing protesters trap and humiliate regime police | Iran News Now

    [...] have already shown the first of these videos in our Ashura Live-blog on December, 27, two days ago. But the two following videos together paint a more full picture of [...]

  • http://worldwatchresearch.com WWR-IRAN

    Hi there,

    We’re following you for a while now and we must say you’re doing a great job for research institutes like WWR.

    Keep up your great work!

    WORLD WATCH RESEARCH UK

  • IranNewsNow Admin

    Thanks to everyone for your support and for following what is happening in Iran.

  • http://www.irannewsnow.com/2010/11/car-bombing-assassinations-ira/ BREAKING NEWS: Car bombings in Tehran, one professor killed, two others injured | Iran News Now

    [...] January 12, only a couple weeks after the massive Ashura uprising and the subsequent political upheaval and intrigue that followed, a Tehran University professor of [...]

  • http://www.dissectednews.com/2009/12/live-blog-iran-ashura-5-dey-december-27th-2009.html Live Blog: Iran – Ashura – (5 Dey) December 27th, 2009 | Dissected News

    [...] ammunition, battons, and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi released a statement, saying, “The sins that you have committed today cannot be forgiven by God. If you don’t [...]

  • http://theglobalawakening.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/live-blog-protests-and-unrest-in-egypt-and-lebanon/ Live-blog: Protests and Unrest in Egypt and Lebanon « The Global Awakening

    [...] Another must see video. As sirens sound off, protesters chase down anti-riot police, throwing stones. This is yet another video that is very eerily reminiscent of protests in Iran. I am reminded of Ashura 2009: [...]

  • http://simonstudio.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/american-power-mousavi-nephew-killed-in-tehran-protests-2/ American Power: Mousavi Nephew Killed in Tehran Protests « Simon Studio Analysis

    [...] Also, lots of videos at Jawa Report, “This Will Be a Day Long Remembered,” and IranNewsNow, “Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009“: [...]

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