3:00AM GMT – February 28

We just came across this video that we had not seen, from the protests in Tehran on February 14 / 25 Bahman. It is being filmed by someone on a bus that captures the heavy security presence in the street. Nearing the end of the video, you can see regime forces shooting at people, at which point the people on the bus start to chant, “Allah-o-akbar”:

12:50AM GMT – February 28

In a video from a conference called, Iran Democratic Transition Conference, in Washington DC, held in January, a fellow by the name of Dr. Lenchowski, a former member of the Reagan Administration, speaks about Iran:

“Regimes like this fear the truth.”

The central fact of political life in Iran today is the illegitimacy of the regime. And when regimes are there without the consent of the governed, they have one fundamental problem, and that is fear of their own people.

And when you’re afraid of your own people you setup your own security system to deal with that…

Regimes like this fear truth. They base so much of their rule on organized falsehood. The lie conceals errors of the regime, crimes of the regime. And it serves as a vehicle to enforce political conformity.

Regimes like this fear alternative ideas. And particularly, they fear the ideas of those who would argue for a political system based on the consent of the governed, because these are the ideas that can inspire internal resistance.

“they have to induce people into a psychological sense of futile resignation

A key element of the internal security system of tyrannies like this, is that they have to induce people into a psychological sense of futile resignation, where people believe that resistance to the tyranny is futile, and so why even try…

A huge part of our strategy, in the Reagan administration, was a strategy of public diplomacy. Yes there was a military building, yes there was support of anti-Communist movements, yes there was support of the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan, yes there were the efforts to deprive them of technology and lower the oil prices so that they would get less hard currency. All of that is true.

But ultimately, none of those things fully explained by hundreds of thousands of people would take to the streets in Moscow and many of the other union republics of the Soviet Union, to demand political change.

People were able to do that when they became emboldened, when they developed the courage to go out and do these things. And this was developed partly because people were finally given to believe…that they should not be afraid….

Watch the series of videos from the conference:

Part 1:

Part 2:

7:30PM GMT

Grand Ayatollah Sanei has issued a strong statement condemning the harsh measures taken by the current regime, including the arrests of Mousavi, Karroubi, and their spouses.

7:08PM GMT

In yesterday’s live-blog we reported on the 200 students of Shiraz University were suspended for two terms. Now we know why. Kalameh reports that they were suspended after holding a memorial for Hamed Nour-Mohammadi, killed during the February 20 / 1 Esfand protests.

6:40PM GMT

Kaleme reports that a group of mothers of political prisoners and murdered greens have joined the chorus of calls for a nationwide protest on March 1 (10 Esfand in Iran).

6:00PM GMT

Goon Watch:

A video has surfaced–we are not sure when it was filmed–from Iran, showing regime forces taking a son away from her mother as the mother screams in vain to try to stop them.

The mother repeatedly cries “Toro Khoda! Velesh Kon!” (My God! Let him go!). Another man is heard shouting “Na Masab! Velesh Kon!” (Godless! Let him go!):

5:10PM GMT

Now that we know that Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and the Karroubis have been removed–kidnapped is a more appropriate word–from their homes by the tyrannical regime, and moved to a so-called “safe house” of the Revolutionary Guards (the term “safe house” is often used by the Guards to refer to the places the undisclosed locations they take people to interrogate and even torture them), things have entered a whole new phase.

By this act of desparation, the regime has declared that it either does not care, or does not understand, that the opposition will not take this act lightly.

The bizarre explanation offered by the regime for this act–that they were removed for their own “protection” because people in the opposition are looking for martyrs as an excuse to stir trouble–is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. I would wager that the regime would not dare to harm Masouvi, Rahnvard, or the Karroubis physically–at least not at this time. They have just created a huge mess for themselves that in a weird way is reminiscent of the American Embassy hostage-taking in 1979. Whenever they feel threatened, they take hostages, and let’s not mince any words:

Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, Mehdi Karroubi and Fatemeh Karroubi are prisoners of conscience and hostages of the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei and his Islamic Republic of Iran.

And as far as creating martyrs goes–the opposition doesn’t want them or need them in order to stir trouble for this regime and government. The act of kidnapping/arresting/taking-hostage of their lead figures is certainly excuse enough!

The barbaric acts of beating, shooting, arresting, raping, torturing, and killing innocent civilians who asked “Where is my vote?” after the rigged 2009 election is certainly excuse enough!

Neda Agha Soltan, Taraneh Mousavi, Sohrab Arabi, Mohammad Mokhtian, Saneh Jaleh, and the countless thousand of innocents murdered in cold-blood by this regime that presents itself as a representative of God on Earth is excuse enough!

Yes, as I write this I get even more riled, despite the fact that I prefer to keep my emotions out of these reports. The reality is that this regime is so nasty that I feel perfectly justified in my rage. If it is any measure of what the people of Iran will feel as the news continues to spread, the regime is in trouble.

They have raised the stakes.

And now, the pressure builds.

Join the Facebook page started a few days before the 25 Bahman (February 14) protests to raise awareness of the house arrest of Mehdi Karroubi, Free Karroubi NOW. The page is now dedicated to raising awareness of the arrests of Mousavi, Rahnavard and the Karroubis as well as demanding their immediate release. To join the page, click “LIKE” at the top of the page.

We will be posting running updates in our liveblog dedicated to tracking the arrests as the story unfolds.