This is a live-blog report on clashes occurring in Iran on December 26, on the eve of Ashura. As reports come in, they will be placed at the top of this page. To read this in chronological order it must be read from the bottom up.
[10:13AM Tehran Time]
This video is of footage from Jamaran Mosque after the Basiji attack when Khatami was speaking:
[9:49AM Tehran Time]
Another video of protesters chanting “Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!” and “Marg bar Diktator!”, via our friend, Tehran Weekly on Twitter:
[5:38AM Tehran Time]
BREAKING: Several videos have surfaced showing Jamaran Mosque, where former president Khatami attempted to give a speech but had no choice but to cancel it due to attacks from proo-government forces (Basij and plain-clothed operatives):
[12:39AM Tehran Time]
People chanting “Rape and barbarism, down with this regime!”
[12:15AM Tehran Time]
What an unbelievable day it has been in Iran. Yet again the people of Iran have shown that their green movement is resilient in the face of the darkest of tyrannies.
The situation borders on anarchy, as the people have poured into the streets in numerous cities protesting against the regime.
We end today’s live-blog with the following, before we resume our coverage of protests on December 27, the long-anticipated day of Ashura:
Ever since Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri’s sudden death last Sunday, events in Iran have been unfolding at a dramatic pace, and with Ashura now only a day away, the regime’s fate has never been more uncertain. In fact, Montazeri’s death may end up being the seminal event that takes the Green Path of Hope from being a social movement into becoming a full-fledged and national uprising.
The regime’s handling of the late dissident cleric’s death has had two discernable effects. First, it has only expanded public sympathy for the Green cause, and particularly to a more pious demographic. The shocking disrespect Khamenei showed in his message of “condolence” by saying he would ask God to forgive Montazeri for failing his “momentous test” — a reference to the falling out the Montazeri had with Khomeini and his eventual renouncement of the Islamic Republic — has enraged many Iranians. Khamenei, it should be noted, was not even an Ayatollah when he was anointed Supreme Leader after Khomeini’s death. Montazeri, on the other hand, stood alone with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani as the most senior religious authority in the Shia faith. Khamenei’s recent delusions of self-grandeur have only made many religious Iranians become cognizant of a truth that Montazeri stated long ago: the Islamic Republic acts anything but Islamic.
The Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has reportedly recognized just how ill-advised the regime’s provocation of those mourning Montazeri’s death may come to be. In a letter to the Interior Minister, the council blasts the attack on Ayatollah Taheri’s mourning ceremony in Isfahan, citing the enormous outrage it created after word leaked out and first reached Qom and then to the rest of the country. For a supposed theocracy to be targetting the clerical class is indeed telling of just how desperate (and paranoid) the regime has become.
[12:07AM Tehran Time]
Video showing crowds chanting at night:
[11:35PM Tehran Time]
Video of protests at Niavaran via Mehdi Saharkhiz. A man’s voice can be heard saying, “They’re firing bullets! They’re firing bullets. Watch out!”
[11:18PM Tehran Time]
While CNN completely fails to report on the situation in Iran, the BBC produces this insightful report. John Leyne provides astute commentary.
[10:59PM Tehran Time]
One source reports “they attack people with gas and electric batons. People respond ‘Death to you.'”
[10:55PM Tehran Time]
Forbes article, Iran’s Regime on the Ropes:
The military regime in Tehran is in its final days. The signs of an imminent collapse, perfectly traceable on the Iranian streets, are evading the most prominent Washington experts. The slogans on the walls, the nighttime chorus of Allah-o-akbar on the rooftops, the crowds chanting “death to the dictator,” all signaling a collective defiance despite the brutal backlash, and all reflecting a mass mobilization unseen since the 1979 revolution.
[10:47PM Tehran Time]
People chant: “Khomeini where are you? The Basij are killing people!”:
[10:37PM Tehran Time]
Crowd at Jamaran chanting “Marg Bar Toh!” (“Death to You!” directed at regime leaders) along with “Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein” and other chants:
[10:24PM Tehran Time]
Picture of Khamenei “crying” (shedding crocodile tears) posted on IRNA (source).
As of 11:00PM Tehran Time it looks like IRNA removed the pic. Good thing we saved it…
[10:15PM Tehran Time]
Video: People chanting:
“Those who cheated [the election] is the ones who tore [Khomeini’s] photo.”
“Ashura, Ashura …”
“Khamenei is a murderer! His leadership is void!”
“This is a month of blood. Yazid will topple!” (Yazid is a reviled dictator who killed Imam Hossein in the early days of Islam. People are associating Khamenei with Yazid.)
[10:10PM Tehran Time]
Picture of a man injured during today’s protests (source):
[10:05PM Tehran Time]
Unconfirmed reports of shootings heard in direction of Moddaress Expressway.
Loud chants of “Marg Bar Diktator!” in Niavaran.
[9:58PM Tehran Time]
Video showing protesters chanting, “Rape in prison? Where in the Ghoran (Koran)?”:
[9:38PM Tehran Time]
Another video, people chanting “This month is a month of blood. Seyyed Ali will soon topple!” Seyyed Ali refers to Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Other chants: “Marg Bar Diktator!”, “Today is a day of mourning!” and “Basijis no longer have any effect!”
[9:22PM Tehran Time]
Video, from outside Jamaran Mosque, masses of people chanting “Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!” and “Allaho Akbar!”:
[9:13PM Tehran Time]
I posted a video earlier at 8:34PM Tehran Time, then removed it due to being informed by someone that it was not from today, I am now getting conflicting reports saying it is indeed from today. I cannot confirm this yet, but I am reposting the video as multiple sources are reporting that it is from today:
Another video appearing to be the same group of people above:
[9:05PM Tehran Time]
More details on Khatami speech: He was supposedly either due to speak at, or had just started to speak at Jamaran Mosque, when plainclothed agents entered and started attacking people. Reports of masses gathered outside the mosque chanting anti-government slogans, while many move towards and carry protests to Niavaran.
[9:00PM Tehran Time]
There are unconfirmed reports coming in that former president Khatami was about to speak when plainclothed security forces (regime thugs) started attacking people with chains, forcing him to cancel his speech.
[8:55PM Tehran Time]
Removed a video posted at 8:34PM showing people chanting against Velayateh Faghi as it was brought to my attention that it was not from today.
[8:48PM Tehran Time]
There are reports of Khamenei’s residence in Tehran heavily surrounded by security forces.
Here is a video protesters in Kashan chanting, “Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!”:
[8:40PM Tehran Time]
The New York Times reports on today’s protests here. Confirming an earlier report of security forces attacking people taking refuge in an office of ISNA (Iran Student News Agency):
A witness said at least two people were wounded when the police chased protesters into the downtown building.
“They fractured the skull of one ISNA person and badly beat up another employee,” the witness said. ISNA’s news service appeared to be working normally, and its reports made no mention of security forces breaking into its building.
[8:10PM Tehran Time]
Video showing security forces arresting someone, people chant “This month is a month of blood. The Basij will topple!”:
[7:52PM Tehran Time]
Another video (via Mehdi Saharkhiz):
[7:34PM Tehran Time]
There are reports that a group called Mourning Mothers have been attacked in Laleh Park in Tehran.
And, another video of protests today:
[4:09PM Tehran Time]
Less intense than the video below showing shots being fired by government thugs, a video of people on a bus chanting anti-government slogans:
[4:05PM Tehran Time]
First video evidence of shots being fired!
[4:00PM Tehran Time]
This picture was just posted showing heavy policy or government security forces in the streets. This has been reported to be from the summer and NOT today (thanks to commenter Atlat2).
[3:54PM Tehran Time]
Video showing heavy police presence in street:
[3:45PM Tehran Time]
Video surfaces showing regime forces on motorcycles on a sidewalk and people dispersing:
[3:24PM Tehran Time]
A report has come in that police attacked people ouside of Africa Cinema in Vali-Asr Street.
[3:08PM Tehran Time]
Report of Basij attack on Tehran University dorms.
The Basij ransacked the dorms immediately following the rigged presidential election in June as well, when unrest first started to break out.
Tension between the government and the people of Iran is at an all time high. The coordination taking place between people, the solidarity being displayed, and the breadth and depth of the protests is unparalleled in the 30 year history of Iran since the formation of the Islamic Republic.
Events do not bode well for Khamenei and his government. In fact, the protests that originated only in the context of a rigged election six months ago, in which people were just asking, “where is my vote?”, have metastasized into full-scale rejection of Khamenei and the concept of Velayateh Faghih (Supreme Jurisprudent) in which one person is the Supreme Leader and acts as sole representative of God on earth, ruling in wait for the return of the Twelfth Imam.
Ashura, a pivotal day, approaches.
One day before the heavily anticipated day of Ashura, for which huge protests are expected during the Shia mourning ceremony, the situation cannot be more tense. The momentum is in favor of the green movement as 6 months of brutality and sabre-rattling against the people by the regime have done little to stop movement.
[3:05PM Tehran Time]
A report has come in that ISNA (Iran Student News Agency) has been attacked by government forces chasing protesters that attempting to hide.
[3:04PM Tehran Time]
Third video out of Tehran today:
[3:00PM Tehran Time]
Second video from Tehran protests today, at Enghelab Square:
[2:53PM Tehran Time]
First video from Tehran today:
[2:30PM Tehran Time]
Reports on clashes throughout various cities in Iran continue to come in, but new information is coming in more slowly now. Will continue to monitor the situation and will write a full report, providing context in several hours. For now, this live-blog is paused. I will provide a link to my report on the day’s events on my Twitter account here, IranNewsNow on Twitter, when it is ready.
[2:19PM Tehran Time]
Clashes now being reported in Qom, Najafabad (in addition to Tehran, Esfahan, Mashad, and Kermanshah).
[2:16PM Tehran Time]
EDIT: Removed picture posted at 2:01PM of Police deployed in Tehran. It was not from today.
[2:01PM Tehran Time]
People are marching towards Enghelab and Azadi Squares but are meeting with heavy anti-riot police and security forces presence and confrontation.
[1:44PM Tehran Time]
Basiji’s dressed in black are chanting they will be martyrs against protesters for their leader’s sake.
[1:39PM Tehran Time]
Clashes reported in the Shire-khorshid Square in the Kermanshah as people chant against the regime.
[1:28PM Tehran Time]
Clashes being reported now in Mashad. So far Tehran, Esfahan, Kermanshah, and Mashad are reporting clashes between government forces and protesters.
Heavy clashes now being reported in Enghelab, Ferdowsi, and Baharestan squares in Tehran.
[1:24PM Tehran Time]
Clashes being reported in Kermanshah.
[1:21PM Tehran Time]
Source: Freedom Messenger – Facebook
[1:17PM Tehran Time]
Clashes reported in Haft-Tir Square.
Reports of women being beaten badly by security forces in multiple locations.
[1:13PM Tehran Time]
Picture of government forces and Basiji plainclothes:
[1:07PM Tehran Time]
Washington Post is the first western mainstream media to catch onto the clashes in Iran. (Read Washington Post article)
[1:01PM Tehran Time]
Clashes now being reported in Palestine Square. People in public buses can be heard chanting anti-regime slogans.
[12:57PM Tehran Time]
From Persian2English Blog:
Extensive clashes in Tehran’s Toopkhane Square has expanded to Ferdowsi square, Jomhoori Street, Istanbul street, and Baabe Homayoon.
Some reports show that there are tens of thousands of people in these regions.
Among slogans: “Khamenei is called Yazid; Bad reputation for Yazid.”
In Baabe Homayoon Street, police oppressive forces started to brutally beat demonstrators.
[12:53PM Tehran Time]
Multiple gunshots (“lots”) confirmed at Enghelab Square!
[12:48PM Tehran Time]
Reports of gunshots being fired.
Basiji’s breaking car windows.
[12:40PM Tehran Time]
Reports coming in of “fire-engines” going through all parts of Tehran.
Security forces are asking people to keeping moving and telling them, “If you sand, we’ll arrest you.”
A heavy crowd has gathered near an area called Satarkhan, but so far they’re just walking. People are expecting more will join in soon.
In some areas where cars are honking, basiji’s in black are walking between the cars trying to get them to stop, but the honking continues regardless.
One person states, “Government has totally lost the control, people are victorious so far.”
[12:31PM Tehran Time]
People are reporting that some of the anti-riot or government forces are refusing to confront the protesters.
Chants of “Down with the Dictator!” being reported at Enghelab Square.
From Esfahan, a video of police clashing with people:
[12:19PM Tehran Time]
Reports are coming in from multiple sources that there are protests occurring in Iran right now. Clashes with anti-riot forces have been reported, with one report of a woman being between unconscious.
One source from Iran reports that Sharif University is full of Basij forces and should be avoided.
Another reports that Tehran is apparently full of anti-riot forces.
And yet another person reports that the sound of cars honking in the city is defeaning.
We don’t know more than this at this time, but will follow the situation closely and report on developments in the live-blog.