Tens of thousands of supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi rallied yesterday in the capital of Tehran in a fifth day of demonstrations, as Iran’s Foreign Ministry registered a diplomatic protest over what it called “interfering remarks” by U.S. officials since the vote.Mr Mir Hossein Mousavi received only 34% of the vote in the recent elections, to the 63% won by current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The outcome was totally against expectations and has raised the idea of voter fraud, not just on the part of Mr Mousavi and his followers, but across the globe.
(I think that if it had been 52% for President Ahmadinejad it would have been much more believable, given his support out in the countryside—although the majority of Iranians live in urban areas.)
The support outside Iran is subdued, but there are actions of support, including doing things to sustain Twitter, which is the social networking tool presently being used. Apparently "Flash Crowds" are back.
I noted that Instapundit now has a green banner—green being the color of Mr Mousavi's insurgent efforts.
When I took my wife out to LongHorn Restaurant for dinner (half way between the DRC Mother Ship off the 93 Freeway in Andover and our home in the Belvidere), I found the receipts and the credit card receipt printed on green paper. So, I asked the Greeter if this was in support of the Iranian opposition. His response was that they don't support Iran. I further explained and he said that if I supported Mousavi, then they support Mousavi. Good answer.
It does seem the issue of the election, which is fraught with so much potential to see things change in the Middle East, is being downplayed in the US media, notwithstanding the Iranian Foreign Ministry protest about US interference.
So far, fifteen people have been killed as the Central Government tries to suppress the protests. What is interesting is that the protesters are not just college students, but includes middle aged people. Here is a photograph from Teheran
and an anonymous quote to go with it:
If the Iranian regime does not put this down hard and fast they are going to crumble. When the respectable "Mom" starts taking swings at the cops or the regimes attack dogs, something has dramatically begun to change. And if "Mom's" take to the streets and are gunned down—then the regime will be on borrowed time, and we may see a replay of Romanian circa. 1989.This is an interesting series of events and very serious. It also raises the question of if we should have a "realist" view of the Middle East or if we should be taking a view of the area that puts an emphasis on spreading democracy♠.
Regards — Cliff
♠ In researching the links I came across the Henry Jackson Society. I always like Senator Scoop Jackson.