Iran: Khamenei to Speak, Rafsanjani’s Kids, Makhmalbaf & Satrapi, & more

1. The Khamenei Sermon: The opposition has called off Friday’s rally to avoid clashes with a pro-government rally. For now, demonstrations are planned to continue on Saturday unless something significant develops at Khamenei’s Friday sermon, which is set to be the first time he publicly addresses the issue. It’s noontime right now in Iran so the speech could be well underway. I cannot stress the importance of this speech. Analysts have described 3 different scenarios: 1) He concedes and portrays himself as a champion of the people and calls for a re-vote. 2) He appeals for calm and asks the people to wait patiently for the outcome of the Guardian Council’s deliberations. 3) He hails Ahmadinejad’s victory and threatens against any future demonstrations. Analysts predict the 2nd scenario as an attempt by the regime to buy time.
2. Thursday: Thursday’s mourning processions for the 8 protestors that died earlier in the week went off without a hitch with more than 100,000 attending, according to the BBC. See the footage from the protest here. In all, reports suggest that 15 people have died thus far.

3. Rafsanjani’s Children Banned from Leaving Iran: “Two children of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a political opponent of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been barred from leaving Iran, the semi-official Fars News Agency said on Thursday. Rafsanjani’s daughter Faezeh addressed supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi on Tuesday when they gathered near the state television building in Tehran in defiance of a ban on opposition protests. Fars did not give a source for its report. It said around 300 people demonstrated outside the Tehran prosecutor’s office on Thursday calling for Faezeh and her brother Mehdi to be arrested.”

4. Makhmalbaf and Satrapi Speak at the EU’s Parliament in Support of the Demonstrators: See the video here.

5. University Professors Resign in Protest: Professors are resigning in protest of Basij attacks at universities and university dorms.

6. The Communications Crackdown: There is significantly less information coming out of Iran since the government began its crackdown on Iran’s communications networks two days ago.

7. “Iran’s Titanic Struggle”: Read this outstanding article putting it all into perspective here.

8. Slogan: “Mousavi! Mousavi! Ray-e mano pas begir!” (“Mousavi! Mousavi! Get my vote back” – needless to say, it rhymes and sounds better in Persian)

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