Iran Updates – June 28

5:47 pm: According to a contact in Tehran, women police are now out in force. Not that the women protesters were free from being attacked, but now there is a special female force solely designed for them.

5:24 pm: LA Times reports that Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, was also at the rally.

5:21 pm: Tweets from a human rights activist in Iran:

  1. Kambiz Norouzi, legal secretary of journalists’ union was arrested today.
  2. Shokoofeh Azar, reporter for Sarmaye Emrooz paper, was arrested in front of Ghoba mosque. Her family have no info.
  3. Mousavi was in the vicinity of Ghoba today but huge crowd & heavy traffic did not let him enter the mosque.

5:17 pm: Some British embassy officials released

(VOA) Iranian state media is reporting that authorities have released some members of the British Embassy staff in Tehran, one day after eight Iranian staffers there were detained for alleged links to the nation’s post-election unrest.

A report quotes the nation’s intelligence minister, Qolam Hosein Mohseni-Ejei as saying Sunday it has proof that some British embassy employees collected news about the recent protests.

It is unclear how many staffers remain in custody.

3:50 pm: More on Rafsanjani’s statement, as reported by the Iranian Labor News Agency and translated by Sanaz:

Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Discernment Council said the aftermath of the elections is a “complicated ploy by suspicious agents whose goal is to create separation between the people and the Islamic regime.” According to Rafsanjani, “wherever people have entered the scene with awareness such a plot has been neutralized.”

3:33 pm: Ayatollah Javadi Amoli Calls for Separation of Powers in Iran

“When one person alone enacts, executes and judges the law, there will be problems” (Translated from Mowj news)

Amoli, who led the Friday prayers sermon in Qom, believes that the best way to resolve the current situation is a separation between the executive branch, the judicial branch and the Islamic jurist. Amoli said separation of powers is not a recent phenomenon and it existed before Islam. “Separation of powers does not belong to a particular century. Islamic and non-Islamic governments have it now, too,” he said.

2:39 pm: “Iranbaan” also reports via twitter that “Mousavi could not join [the] people today but apparently he’s spoken to them through a mobile & a loudspeaker.”

2:32 pm: Iranian activists are reporting that Mehdi Karoubi, Morteza Malekian, Faezeh Hashemi & Effat Mar’eshi were among today’s demonstrators.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgUvDmcwmWU]

This video shows Karroubi with demonstrators, but we can’t confirm if it is in fact from today.

1:55 pm: Video of demonstrators

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v-OOpUbkm8]

1:53 pm: Clashes in North Tehran

(Via AP) Riot police clashed with up to 3,000 protesters near a mosque in north Tehran on Sunday, using tear gas and truncheons to break up Iran’s first post-election demonstration in five days, witnesses said.

Witnesses told The Associated Press that some protesters fought back, chanting: “Where is my vote?” They said others described scenes of brutality — including the alleged police beating of an elderly woman — in the clashes around the Ghoba Mosque.

The reports could not immediately be independently verified because of tight restrictions imposed on journalists in Iran.

According to one Iranian human rights activist, the Ghoba Mosque was full and there were “tens of thousands” in the nearby streets. She reports the police are beating people to disperse the crowd.

12:30 pm: Israeli Press – “Good we didn’t bomb Iran”

[E]verything happening at Tehran’s Azadi Square – the amazing coming together of young people, Internet culture, social ferment, and woman power – would not have happened had we listened to the regular bunch of hysterical screamers around here and attempted to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites

What would have happened then? Exactly what happens around here during times of war: The Iranian public would have rallied around the leadership, a wave of patriotic fury would have swept through the whole of Iran, and Ahmadinejad would not have needed to resort to any fraud in order to defeat the reformists.

12:17 pm: Rafsanjani breaks silence, calls for fair and thorough examination of election complaints:

In Sunday’s statement, Rafsanjani praised a decision by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week to extend by five days a deadline for Iran’s top legislative body to receive and look into complaints by the three defeated candidates.

“This valuable move by the Supreme Leader in order to attract the people’s trust towards the election process was very effective,” Rafsanjani told a meeting of families of victims of a 1981 bombing in Tehran that killed many senior officials.

“I hope those who are involved in this issue thoroughly and fairly review and study the legal complaints,” he said.

11:46 am: Is Iran “meddling” in Iraq?

Yes, says Gen. Ray Odierno, Commander of US forces in Iraq. Today on CNN, Odierno said Iran continues to “interfere inside of Iraq.” Although that activity is somewhat reduced, Odierno said that was a result of the improved security situation, not of the Iranians’ intent. Odierno said of the Iranians, “They’re still attempting to interfere in Iraq. They’re still attempting to have undo influence inside of Iraq.”

11:20 am: Iranian employees of British embassy, UN detained:

Iranian authorities arrested eight local employees of the British embassy in Tehran, accusing them of “playing major parts” in the recent unrest over a presidential election, the semi-official Fars news agency reported today.

The eight worked in the embassy’s political section. At least one UN employee has also been targeted:

Iranian authorities have also targeted local staffers of the United Nations. At least one was arrested after she was photographed flashing a supportive “V” signal with her fingers during a rally in support of Ahmadinejad’s challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in front of the U.N.’s Tehran offices.

11:19 am: The Guardian has a piece examining the battle behind-the-scenes for power in Iran. The article provides a lot of context, but breaks little new ground.

NPR has a story about the CIA’s troubles collecting reliable information on Iran.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    2 Responses to “Iran Updates – June 28”

  1. Eloxi says:

    Thank you for still covering the events. Keep it up.

  2. Michelle says:

    Readers might be interested in a prescient 2006 report that traces the history of Iranian women’s struggles for their rights. Iranian women have long allocated funds for women’s empowerment, by working with civil society groups, and by organizing workshops and educational programs. They are also leading in the use of electronic and mass media as part of their push for rights. Its key finding? “The struggle for women’s rights is fully intertwined with the larger struggle for democracy.” The report can be found at: http://www.huntalternatives.org/iran.cfm

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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