22 Khordad - June 12, 2011 - Poster (via Mehdi Saharkhiz, @onlymehdi on Twitter)

4:00am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

Banooye Sabz has provided us with link to a live roundtable discussion in Washington with opposition spokespersons, Amir Arjomand and Mojtaba Vahedi.

2:45am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

Rahesabz reports loud and sustained nighttime protest chants in multiple areas throughout Tehran, and on various university campuses on the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the rigged election of 2009.

2:10am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

The Islamic Republic has always had a somewhat troubled relationship with sports. Yes, sports. Aside from the fact that women can’t attend soccer matches where men are present, the regime has been sensitive to sports because of the crowds. In the calculus of the hardliners, a crowd could at any moment turn “seditious”. A term they use for any form of opposition to the government.

Two days ago, on June 10, at the end of a soccer match between the Malavan and Persopolis teams in the city of Anzali, close to Rasht, in the province of Gilan, panic and mayhem broke out when security forces started attacking people in the stadium. According to unconfirmed reports, at least two people were killed. Tear gas was used as well. We are not sure what triggered the incident, but we are looking into it. Here are some videos from the event:

In this video you can see tear gas being fired on the crowd:

In this video you can see the regime security forces (the storm troopers) present. It is evident that tear gas is in the air. People are throwing things and chanting. Hard to make out what they are saying:

1:08am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

The cyber activist group, Anonymous, has posted another video in support of Iranians:

A message to our sisters and brothers in Iran:

Congratulations for 2 years of resistance. The world has not forgotten your struggle. Since June 2009 we have seen you, in a war that is forced on you by your illegal government. You, the brave people of Iran, only fought with words against a brutal opponent. You encouraged millions of others, and encouraged them to fight against dictators all around the world. You have shown us what kind of tyranny is forced upon you. We know that those in power are brutal, that they kill and spill blood whenever they fear to lose their power.

What they fear the most seems to be your voices. They want to you stay quiet while they rule over you. They want to control the media. They try to take away your freedom of speech to stop you.

Cyberspace is yours.

In cyberspace your legion will be strong. In cyberspace they can’t hurt you. When they try to close the world wide web to you, don’t feel left alone, for there are many around the world willing to help you. The regime might filter the web, but they never will succeed to close it down.

Don’t let them discourage you. Fight back. Use your voice. Protest against this injustice in every creative form. Show the world videos and photos of their crimes. While they tried to close the doors to your freedom, ours will be open. The path of hope will lead to justice.

We Anonymous won’t stand by while your rights are at stake. We will attack the unjust government sites. We will disarm their cyber army, deny them access to their own sites.

We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.

Expect us.

12th of June, 2011. The fight goes on.

1:00am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

Former President Mohammad Khatami met with families of political prisoners and martyrs yesterday, where he again called for the release of political prisoners.

12:53am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

Dr. Scott Lucas of EA WorldView has posted, in his Iran live-blog, an interesting letter, from the group of dissident clerics behind the Motghan website, calling for open protests against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and the entire system of valayateh faghi (leadership by the supreme jurisprudent).

12:45am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

Amir Arjomand just said in the interview and Q&A on BBC Persian, addressing the regime in Iran:

You are saying that protests are the right of free peoples, except you don’t think the same for Syria and Iran? Well, we want and deserve the same thing! If you’re telling the truth, don’t crackdown today and let people peacefully express themselves, which is their right.

12:40am, Sunday, June 12, 2011 (IRDT)

Opposition spokesperson Amir Arjomand is being interviewed by BBC Persian right now.

11:06pm, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

The following video (unconfirmed) has surfaced, claiming to be footage from tonight in Tehran of people chanting “Allah-o-Akbar”. NOTE: We have received confirmation that this video is actually from 2009. Unfortunately, sometimes people post misinformation. However, there are many reports of chants throughout Tehran. We expect confirmable video to be posted in the next 24 hours (as this is a pattern that has been consistent on the eves of prior planned protest days).

10:30pm, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

Reports various protest chants shouted from the rooftops in Tehran:

“Marg bar dictator” -> “Death to the dictator”
“Mousavi, Karroubi, Azad Bayad Kardad!” -> “Mousavi and Karroubi must be freed!”
“Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!”

Three decades ago, during the 1979 revolution in Iran, people would chant “Allah-o-Akbar” from the rooftops as a form of protest. It means “God is Great”. This was revived following the rigged 2009 presidential election, and it carries no small amount of irony with it considering that the chant is a tribute to God and that the Islamic Republic supposedly sees itself as representing God on earth.

“Marg bar dictator” is a broad swipe at the dictatorial system, but also at the regime’s head, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and at the president, Ahmadinejad.

“Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!” is a symbolic chant linking the embattled opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi to the revered Shia Imam Hossein, who was killed by the forces of the Umayyad Caliph, Yazid, for resisting his rule. Hossein was beheaded by Shemr at the battle of Karbala. By linking Mousavi to Hossein, the chant accomplishes two things: it declares to the ruling regime that he has the support of the people, and it positions the regime as being equivalent to that of the hated Yazid. This narrative is a strong one in Iran, and it is a method that the Green movement has used from the start of the uprising until now — co-opting the regime’s own symbols and using them against the regime.

Mousavi and Karroubi, both candidates in the 2009 election, are currently under house arrest, and have been since back in February they called for a protest to express solidarity with the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Those protests proved that dissent in Iran, and the Green Movement, are far from dead after a year of relative quiet (or, shall we say, disquiet).

12:30pm, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

A few more videos indicative of resistance within Iran.

In the following video, a person paints the date, 22 Khordad 90 (June 12, 2011) and “Death to Khamenei” on a wall (caution: we cannot confirm if this is actually from within Iran, but it appears to have been posted to Youtube on June 8):

The second video is a call to protest scrawled on the ground at Esfahan University:

12:05pm, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

Protest routes for over 40 Iranian cities have been posted (in Persian).

11:45am, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

Opposition advisor, Mojtaba Vahedi, has stated in an interview with Deutsche Well that the opposition protests slated for June 12 in Iran should not be silent. This is in contradiction to another opposition advisor’s (Amir Arjomand’s) call for a silent protest.

There was some controversy with the call for a silent protest, with some activists questioning the effectiveness of a silent protest considering the regime’s complete intolerance for any form of public protest whatsoever.

11:20am, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

PBS NewsHour in a co-production with the Center for Investigative Reporting has released the following report on the plight and suffering of women–including assault, torture and rape–following the 2009 Green Uprising. This is an absolute must-see. We thank @WomanVote for providing the link.

I was scared to death. The first thing he did was lick my face with his tongue. Then he started touching my bra and all over my body. I was crying, “Please, please dont!” I am innocent, I am a virgin! He said, “No, you’re not a virgin anymore.” Then he raped me. After he raped me, he urinated on me, on my whole body.

It gets much worse. It is unbelievable:

11:07am, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

We have reports that there were more chants of “Allah-o-Akbar” on Friday night, June 10, in Tehran. There are also calls for more chants tonight, June 11, on the eve of the anniversary of the disputed 2009 election and the birth of the Green Movement.

10:46am, Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

The following video shows protest chants of “Allah-o-Akbar” which is typically heard throughout Tehran as a protest against the regime, sometimes (but not always) preceding street protests the next day.

The following video comes from a reliable source, it is dated 17 Khordad — that would be Tuesday, June 6, and appears to be students protesting in Mashad. We have not yet independently verified the date and place on this.

We are trying to make out what the protesters are saying, as there are new protests in here that we had not heard in previously. We welcome our viewers assistance. If you can make out what they are saying, please tell us via the comments section below.

UPDATE: Dr. Scott Lucas of EA WorldView has informed us that the students are protesting the rape of a fellow student that occurred at the university.

10:04am Saturday, June 11, 2011 (IRDT)

Two years ago today, on June 11, 2009, Iranians were one day away from the presidential election that led to the biggest unrest Iran had seen since the founding of the Islamic Republic, 30 years prior.

The incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was announced the winner of the election by a huge margin, only a few hours after polls were closed in Iran.

It rapidly became apparent that something was amiss, when an opponent of Ahmadinejad’s in the election, a candidate endorsed by the reformists allied to former president Mohammad Khatami–Mir Hossein Mousavi–cried foul, claiming that he had received official word that he had won the election.

As the revolutionary guards and security forces loyal to the president and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, started to arresting officials linked to the Mousavi campaign, many in Tehran and other Iranian cities questioned the results.

Protests erupted in Iran, unleashing a force that at first, only asked, “Where is my vote?”, while peacefully protesting in the streets of Iran’s cities, only to be attacked brutally by regime forces.

The Green Movement was born in response to the regime’s hubris.

Since then there have been numerous protests by Iranians against the government of Ahmadinejad and the regime in general, with repeated crackdowns and arrests of protesters and activists by the regime.

The regime was able to suppress the protests, with the last major protest being on February 14, 2011, when Iranian’s threw there support behind the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Despite the repression, there have been repeated signs that the the opposition in Iran is still alive–a fire beneath the ashes still burns.

The Green Path of Hope Coordination Council has issued a call for a silent protest in solidarity with political prisoners and opposition leaders on June 12.

There have been videos posted showing calls for protests in Tehran University and reports of several others planning to protest as well.

We expect the regime to be on alert over the next few days. As we were there from the start, we are here now. We will provide complete coverage of the events here at INN.

Stay tuned.

~Dave Siavashi