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June 21, 2009

Iran, The Day After UPDATE: Large Street Protests Today?

Lots of arrests overnight in the wake of Saturday's protests, including the daughter of former Iranian President Rafsanjani.

Iran's government said Sunday it arrested the daughter and four other relatives of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the country's most powerful men, in a move that exposed a rift among the ruling Islamic clerics over the disputed presidential election.

...Rafsanjani, 75, heads two powerful institutions. One of them, the cleric-run Assembly of Experts, has the power to monitor and remove the supreme leader, the country's most powerful figure. The second is the Expediency Council, a body that arbitrates disputes between parliament and the unelected Guardian Council, which can block legislation.

The assembly has never publicly reprimanded the unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei since he succeeded Islamic Revolution founder Aytollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989. But the current crisis has rattled the once-untouchable stature of the supreme leader with protesters openly defying his orders to leave the streets.

Underscoring how the protesters have become emboldened despite the regime's repeated and ominous warnings, witnesses said some shouted "Death to Khamenei!" at Saturday's demonstrations another sign of once unthinkable challenges to the virtually limitless authority of the supreme leader.

Rafsanjani was deeply critical of Ahmadinejad during the presidential campaign and has the potential to lead an internal challenge to Khamenei.

Over 20 reporters and bloggers have been reported arrested since the protests began and things are ominously quite on Twitter today.

There's a report that the transportation union is taking the side of the protesters. Expanding the protests beyond students will be important.

According to one source inside Iran, there were no planned protests today but that didn't stop people from gathering where they could (see the 9:56 update).

Im not doing this to prove Im brave, because Im not. The people that run towards the Basij with bare hands and the ones that have died are the brave ones. Im doing this because we deserve more.

There are no clear rallies for today but most of us are just going wherever there are crowdsDont let people forget us so quickly.

I'm sure this brave Iranian will be happy to hear that Obama is still pretty excited about talking to his government, you know know the ones who unleashed the goons on him and his friends.

Maybe when all of this over, Obama will take him out for ice cream.

From TehranBureau on Facebook

The protests continued today. very scattered. our numbers have gone severely down. There are soldiers literally lined up on the streets. There is a very dark cloud over us. Please understand, we do not have any way of confirming how many people lost there lives in yesterdays massacre. They have cut all communications to a halt. Internet speeds are at 15kbps.

Below the fold, video via a retweet from an ABC reporter that is supposed to be of protests from today, Sunday, June 21. Unfortunately, there's just no way to tell for sure.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:42 AM

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