There were reports that moderate reformists Mousavi had been jailed but Nico Pitney reports at HuffPo,
10:06 PM ET — Rafsanjani, Mousavi meet with parliamentarians. “Mousavi and Rafsanjani met senior parliamentarians on Wednesday. The semi-official Fars news agency said only that the ‘election and latest developments’ were discussed and it was not clear whether the pair were trying to make peace with the hardline-dominated parliament or trying to win support.”
Which is even more interesting in light of this report from the IBTimes in the UK, Rafsanjani has enough support to remove Khamenei: reports
As the Iranian government continues to crackdown on protestors against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, behind the scenes there is reported to be movement which, although hidden, could bring an end the reign of the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and Mr Ahmadinejad.
Behind the scenes Khamenei’s arch rival, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is believed to be working to remove the Supreme Leader and is even reported to be considering abolishing the post of Supreme Leader altogether in what would be the biggest constitutional change since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Rafsanjani is the head of Iran’s Expediency Council and crucially the Assembly of Experts which is responsible for overseeing and if necessary removing the Supreme leader. He is also a prominent backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidate who has become the focal point for protestors.
That some of Iran’s most powerful clerics and political leaders are unhappy with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei are important developments. One’s that make the Right’s continued shrill and disingenuous contributions to the national debate as irrelevant as their attitudes toward what should be done in Iraq in 2002 ( We’ve had boots on the ground in Iraq for six years, taking what the Right considers the strong policy position of the kind President Obama should take toward Iran – Bomb Strikes Shiite Market In Baghdad, More Than 60 Dead – “A series of blasts this week have killed more than 160 people”. Read between the lines of this editorial from a neocon on winger welfare at the far Right Hudson Institute, A Weak American President
President Obama has staked his reputation on being a human rights guru to people around the world. But his remarks at Tuesday’s news conference and behavior since taking office have instead exposed a different persona–that of human rights charlatan.
The conservative movements has decided, with a few changes in punctuation, to keep writing the same editorials over and over again. Never do they spell out what they would do that would save Iranian lives and at the same time convince the current regime in Iran to give up. M’s Bayefsky, much like Andrew McCarthy at National Review or Michael Barone are throwing temper tantrums from the peanut gallery. These are the same people that support suspension of hapeas corpus, suspending most of the 4th amendment and think torture is as all American as apple pie. All the sudden Iranians are tortured and torture becomes a cudgel to beat Obama with. Where is the shame from these shameless hypocrites who have caused as much if not more misery and death in the middle-east as Iran’s hardliners. Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are Iran’s conservative movement. Morality is what ever they feel like defining on any given day. This washed up neconservatives still seem to have an endless suppy of hypocrisy. They are well aware of what they have written in the past and have left a stinking trail of moral relativity. Any opportunity to portray a Democrat as weak is the only game they’re playing. They honestly feel that life is a school yard where shrill, loud and repetious lying will win out over reason. When the neocons claimed to speak for the Iraqi people, who did they drag out Ahmad Chalabi – an Iraqi expatriot. As it turned out that Chalbi was more of an eccentric embarrassment then anythong else the Bushies pretended like they never heard of him. So here in 2009 we’re to believe the Right has turned over a new leaf, they’re ready to make honest points and come to moderate grown-up policy decisions. Iranian-American journalist Hooman Majd separates facts from fantasies about the Iranian protests
Let’s talk about Obama. At his press conference on Tuesday he once again condemned the government violence against the protesters.
But he also said that the crisis is about Iran, not the U.S. and the West. What do you think of this policy, and what impact is it having with the various parties inside Iran?
People in the West, especially in America, tend to think we have more influence than we do. Iranians are more concerned with their own issues than whether the U.S. is with them or against them.
[ ]…But this is an internal matter. For the U.S. to get involved in any way is a huge mistake in my opinion. It makes Iranians very suspicious. One reason they were able to get 3 million people out on the streets from a broad socioeconomic spectrum across all political lines — you don’t get 3 million people on the streets of Tehran if they’re all students like in 2003 — is because the lower class, the middle class, the upper class, students, old people, families, religious families, women in chadors, men in beards, they all came out. These people also voted against Ahmadinejad or felt the vote wasn’t fair.
At first, none of them would have believed that the U.S. had a hand in this. But the government is now trying to say that’s what’s happening. The story could start to stick if Obama or Western governments start coming out strongly on one side. Nationalism starts to come into play. The government’s own propaganda machine, which is pretty strong, will be able to label a lot of people in the opposition as being stooges of the CIA.
This incredulous claim by Iran TV is a good example “Foreign bullets.” NBC’s Ann Curry: “Today Iran’s state tv reported that Neda was murdered by a foreign bullet. It is the only source for this claim.”(emphasis mine). For now President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei only have to convince the hardliners, the fence sitters and the Basij/Security forces of this kind of propaganda to keep them fighting the protesters.
Iran has executed its Tiananmen Square. Baharestan Square has become synonymous with barbarity, cruelty, massacre and inhumanity.
An Iranian blogger (whose URL I will not publish) live blogging from Baharestan Square in central Tehran today captures but brief glimpses of the unimaginable horror that took place today. Bus loads of protesters were stopped and unloaded from their buses by “black-clad police” and literally herded. When the massing was sufficient, as the barely controllably distraught Tehran caller to CNN described first hand, hundreds of the regime’s Basij thugs poured out of an adjoining mosque and commenced a massacre with axes, clubs, guns and gas.
Anyone who has been able to seat through some of the videos of the protests knows how deeply deplorable the Iranian regime has reacted. TW, like many on the Right has taken the self righteous and hypocritical stance – there can be no negotiations with people that kill their fellow citizens with tanks or axes. Yet he mentions China’s Tiananmen Square. China has become an authoritarian capitalist state – you name the company from General Motors and Ford to Microsoft, Apple, John Deere, Bank of America – hundreds of American companies do business with China. Very large probability that TW wrote that post on a computer made with Chinese parts. We don’t just share hot dogs and diplomatic relations with those, you know Tiananmen Square thugs, we help finance their government.
An Iranian post on how to fight back more effectively against the Basij, It might save their lives
A fabric socked in vinegar can very well protect you against tear gas. Cover your nose and mouth with the fabric and keep plenty of water around to wash your eyes if you come in direct contact with tear gas. Urban Legend: burning tires will reduce the effect of tear gas. Not true, it actually increases the effect and it smells bad too.
Basij and police security guardsmen perform best when crowd disperses and becomes separated. The worst scenario for the riot police is when the crowd is together and inseparable. South Korean labor protestors in the 90s were the best organized units in history of rioting. Thousands of them held on to each other (locked arms) and no matter what, they did not let go. It made it impossible for the riot police to disperse them.
More at the link.