Dispatch from Tehran: A Live Blog of Khamenei’s Friday Prayer


This is a guest post written by “Shane M.” — an anonymous student in Tehran who has been writing dispatches from Tehran for
The Washington Note over the last week. Shane M. has a major op-ed in today’s New York Times titled “A Different Iranian Revolution.
Tehran Dispatch — Live blogging the Friday Prayer, Another Turning Point — sent 6:04 am, 19 June 2009
Rough notes… The event is like the old Red Square May Day parades. We look to see who is there, and who is not. Dr. A, Larajani, Haddad Adel, the top leadership is all there. Karrobi and Mousavi are not…but Rezaei is, sitting in the back of the VIP section.
Supreme Leader emphasizes that difference in opinion, difference in program between candidates is normal, natural. But beware, for months the enemy had been laying the groundwork to label these elections a fraud. These elections which, with the exception of the vote for the Islamic Republic in Spring of 1979, were without rival. Iran represents a third way, between dictatorships and the false democracies of the rest of the world.
He speaks of the violence, it is clear that they are laying the groundwork for a crackdown.
Chaos has to be stopped. The way of the law, rahe qanun. There are laws and we cannot allow the killing or violence to continue, either by basijis or opposition (throughout the speech he condemns the mistakes of both sides, but as I will soon make clear, comes down in favor of one side).
Supreme Leader names Nouri and Rafsanjani by name, a remarkable act by his own admission. He lauds the long record of service of both men to the country, says that he has known Rafsanjani 52 years. Leader says while there is corruption in Iran, how can anyone say that Raf. is corrupt? Stands up for him. This is clearly a slap on the wrist to the current president, for what Dr. A said about Nouri and Rafsanjani during the debates. It is not Iranian, not appropriate for such ugliness to penetrate politics. Good words were spoken during the debates, but unfortunately nastiness and un-Islamic comments were made and we need to be careful…
Mousavi, Karrobi, and Rezaei were described by their previous post and experiences, they were all defended by the Leader as good men devoted to the IRI.
They are almost incidental, it is so so clear that this is a grudge match, beef, between Hashemi and Dr. A. The Leader himself said as much, saying that there has been a difference in opinion between the two men stretching back to 2005. Then came the kicker, the turning point, one sentence followed by a great cheer from the audience: There is a difference in opinion between the two, and my opinion (or preference) is closer to the president than Rafsanjani.
The Leader made his choice clear.
The green light has been given to the basij to, excuse my language, to kick ass, chew gum, and take names.
A particularly juicy twist, turning night into day and a shot at the U.S. and the 2000 elections, says that you can say that cheating occurs when the difference in the votes is close, 100,000 or 500,000, or 1 million. But 11 million? How can that be cheating?
But we have a process, we will count the votes with the representatives of the candidates present, the Guardian Council will fulfill its obligation.
More night-into-day-ism: Says that there are winners and losers in elections, and for the losers to now want the “rules” to be changed or modified is wrong.
Qanun, qanun, qanun. Law, law, law. It’s unnerving the emphasis on the need for law and order.
By the end, and uncharacteristically, the Leader, gets hot…folks here and there interrupt his speech and he tells them to listen. When talking about U.S. and the west and the efforts of a certain American zionist to launch a velvet revolution in Georgia, he says that these “aqmaqha” or idiots think that they can do the same in Iran…to use such language is really shocking in the Iranian context.
Bizarre ending, ends in weeping, because the Leader says that I love you more than you know…
Overall, it does not look good, worse than it ever was…
— Shane M., an anonymous student in Tehran


6 comments on “Dispatch from Tehran: A Live Blog of Khamenei’s Friday Prayer

  1. Accessteam says:

    I saw this in 1979 and can attest to the power of the Iranian people. Do not understimate them.


  2. DavidT says:

    Thanks Steve,
    This post is quite interesting, instructive, and insightful. I loved the comparison to a Red Square May Day parade.


  3. Brian B says:

    Iran needs the status quo to continue diplomatic negotiations with nations who are supplying materials for the Iranian nuclear program. The Ayatollah is not interested in slowing the nuclear process down which is what will happen with a new President in place. Therefore, it [the speech] should be analyzed that the Iranians believe that they are at least 4 years, if not less, away from acheiving fissile material for weapons.


  4. samuelburke says:

    State Department Backs ‘Reformists’ in Wild Iranian Election
    The National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting “color” revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques.
    Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.


  5. aravir says:

    The fact that he feels the need to praise men who are clearly now his enemies means he is trying to paper over a chasm with words. I wonder what is happening in Qom right now.
    In situations like this, threats of violence are generally a sign of weakness.


  6. samuelburke says:

    June 19, 2009
    Who Put the ‘green’ in the Green Revolution?
    The United States, of course.
    As in the previous “color revolutions” that seem to tirelessly capture the romantic imagination of US journalists, elites, and the propagandized population, the warm embrace of the US empire is firmly guiding the “spontaneous” Iranian uprising against last week’s election results. While I do not and should not– nor should any other American — care in the slightest who rules a country some seven thousand miles away, when the fingerprints of the US empire show up on these dramatic events overseas it is very much my business.
    Several commentators have already dredged from the memory hole press reporting at the time on a presidential “finding” on Iran, which is the formal method for the president to initiate covert actions against another country. Back in 2007 — plenty of lead time for this election — the president met with the Congressional Star Chamber, the “gang of 8″ House and Senate leaders, and was granted the authorization to use some $400 million for among other things, as the Washington Post reported, “activities ranging from spying on Iran’s nuclear program to supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics….”
    Arch neo-conservative Kenneth Timmerman spilled the beans on activities of the other arm of US meddling overseas, the obscenely mis-named National Endowment for Democracy, in a piece written one day before the election, stating curiously that “there’s the talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” Interesting. I wonder where that “talk” was coming from. Timmerman did not appear to be writing from Iran.
    Timmerman went on to write, with admirable candor and honesty, that:
    “The National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques.
    “Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”
    Yes, you say, but what does a blow-hard propagandist like Timmerman know about such things? Well, he should know! His very spooky Foundation for Democracy in Iran has its own snout deep in the trough of NED’s “open covert actions” against the Iranian government.
    How does the “Foundation for Democracy in Iran” seek to “promote democracy” in Iran with our tax dollars? Foundation co-founder Joshua Muravchik gives us a hint in his subtly-titled LA Times piece, “Bomb Iran.”
    Frankly, what I find more disturbing than the fact that the US government continues meddling in this new magical era of Obama is how many in the United States continue to be taken in by these events color-coordinated from afar. Pundits have turned their websites green in “solidarity” with this “green revolution.” Self-described “libertarians” have thrown all critical thinking aside to embrace their inner green. As if hoping, somehow, that this time it will all be true. That the “people power” really is on the march. That it is a binary world where there are evil incumbents — the old guard — oppressing thrusting “reformers” who are Twittering away toward the bright tomorrow of a world where everyone wants to be just like us! Democracy!
    At times like these, I turn to the great Matt Taibbi, who has written the best piece of all time on how the US has morphed into the USSR:
    “Modern observers look back at the early Soviet days and wonder how it is that people could possibly have believed those fantastic tales they read about in the state papers–the lurid descriptions of fascist terrorists and wreckers who conspired to poison reservoirs and turn up rails and put broken glass in sausage in the most faraway, seemingly irrelevant places in Siberia and the far north. The answer probably is that they wanted to believe them. Because that was what was in their hearts. It wasn’t a lie that was being put over on them. It came from them.”
    And on it goes…


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *