February 09, 2010
February 11, 2010: A Challenge to the Regime 31 Years On
February 11 marks the 31st anniversary of the consolidation of the revolution in 1979 that resulted in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The annual holiday represents a deeply significant and symbolic date for the regime; an opportunity to tout its supposed achievements, display its defiance and convey strength to its citizens and the world. This year’s celebrations, however, will be orchestrated amidst an uneasy environment brimming with tensions within the political establishment and bold challenges to the regime. Both the current administration of Ahmadinejad and the regime’s power vested in the Supreme Guide have received criticism and denunciations from a wide range of sources including anti-regime protesters, reformist leaders, clerical authorities and members of parliament, among others. The events of the day could signify another important marker for the factions within the opposition, including the anti-regime core, despite the regime’s best efforts to choreograph the day to fit its narrative.
The CTP’s IranTracker will be providing recurring updates on the situation in Iran leading up to and during the events of February 11. IranTracker will highlight here the major statements, activities, and events involving the protest rallies, nominal opposition and reformist leaders, the regime’s tactics and responses to dissent, and international responses. The project will also map out all reports of protests, clashes, incidents of violence, and arrests here.
LAST UPDATE: 8:30 PM EST on 13 FEB
*highlights in bold represent recent updates
Protest instructions posted on Facebook for activists provides important tips on preparation for February 11 (carry extra memory cards, first aid kids, vinegar stained napkins “to fight the affects of tear gas,” and prepare rock filled bags for defense) and goals (prolong the ceremony, disable loudspeakers, create disturbances before Ahmadinejad speech in order to affect his “psychological preparation”), and how to identify “thugs” in the crowd.
13 FEB: Iranian filmmaker and "unofficial opposition spokesman" Mohsen Makhmalbaf on forthcoming dates: "What we have in front of us is the national day of Chaharshambe Suri [March 16]. It is a day the regime is normally afraid of because the younger people play with fire in every part of the city. We hope this day will be a very big event."
13 FEB: Iranian filmmaker and "unofficial opposition spokesman" Mohsen Makhmalbaf on the opposition after February 11: "Some tactics now need to change because the people have given enough martyrs and been abused enough...But the real leaders are the young people in every neighbourhood who show people what to do after virtual meetings on the internet."
13 FEB: Mehdi Karroubi on his next steps and coordination with Mousavi, as relayed to The Sunday Telegraph by Karroubi's son : "Mr Mousavi and I will have a meeting in the near future and will let the people know about our strategy and work...The meeting might be sometime this week."
13 FEB: An eyewitness account of the scene in Tehran as described in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph: "The planning for this one was really poor," she said. "When we reached the square it was very busy and there were some people chanting slogans. The police had parked buses on the sides and were arresting those who were chanting and forcing them onto the buses. They were beating the rest with thick electric cables and batons."
13 FEB: Mehdi Karroubi's son on forthcoming plans: "At the moment there is no official rally we are asking the people to attend...We will ask to have a peaceful demonstration in order to show the people's support for our movement. If they don't let us have that, we will have to try different methods to talk and educate the people about the peace movement and extend it to the whole country."
13 FEB: Mehdi Karroubi's son states in an interview with the WSJ: "The status quo cannot continue forever...They cannot rule with batons and sticks and a quasi-permanent state of martial law. Something will have to give."
12 FEB: In an interview with Khabar online translated by the Los Angeles Times, a leading conservative member of parliament, Ali Mottahari, has warned that the domestic unrest is not resolved. “We cannot claim the crisis is totally over until both sides make up for their mistakes. […] Our statesmen should not imagine that people’s massive presence in the Thursday rally reflects the approval of their performance.” He also reiterates key demands of the nominal opposition leadership including the release of political prisoners, respect for social freedoms and a lifting of restrictions on the press so as to create “a climate of friendship and affection.”
11 FEB: On the opposition website Khordaad88, Green Movement supporters detail their experiences in Tehran on February 11th. They describe the heavy security apparatus in Azadi, Tohid and Sadeghiyeh squares and the widespread arrests and beatings that forced opposition protesters to stay silent and dispense with their slogans and any items marking them as protesters.
11 FEB: A YouTube video is released allegedly showing Mehdi Karroubi being attacked by security forces. The video shows tear gas being fired into the crowd and Karroubi being hustled to safety by his bodyguards and opposition protesters.
11 FEB: An unconfirmed report circulated on opposition websites indicated that security forces fired on demonstrators, killing a 27 year-old woman, according to a LAT report.
11 FEB: An anonymous demonstrator remarks on the outcome of the day: “We have lost our fear but we need to know where to go with our new-found courage."
11 FEB: An eyewitness account reported on PBS Tehran Bureau placed estimates of opposition movement size in Tehran at "fewer than 7,000 people" with less than 1,000 of them in Sadeghieh Square where clashes were reported.
11 FEB: Twitter user posts a series of protest videos from Youtube.
11 FEB: Deutsche Welle posts several photographs of protests and security forces.
11 FEB: An on-the-ground observer in Tehran spoke to Fox News about the situation: “The situation, to be honest, is very tense. I’ve never seen Tehran to be dominated by so many militias, police, special guards, and cannons with special police vehicles which they just recently purchased from China.” He continues that protesters were blocked from Azadi Square, but thousands of protesters were scattered around Azadi Square and Sadeghieh Square.
11 FEB: Video of street barricades and shouts of “Death to the dictator!”
11 FEB: Hossein Karroubi told Radio Zamaneh: “Despite the heavy and unprecedented presence of security, special and plain clothes forces all across Tehran, the presence of Green Movement supporters is widespread and telling of people’s courage.”
11 FEB: Observers remark on the smaller-than-expected anniversary crowds in Tabriz.
11 FEB: Opposition website reports clashes at Valiasr Crossroads, Aria Shahr, and Hafte Tir Square in Tehran.
11 FEB: In an interview with Tehran Bureau, Hossein Karroubi, son of Mehdi Karroubi updated his family’s situation. Hossein’s brother, Ali, was arrested during the demonstrations. Hossein “believe[s] he’s in the custody of the law enforcement agency.” Hossein says that his father is being treating for burns to his face and for the effects of pepper spray.
FEB 11: A video showing protesters tearing at a poster of Khamenei.
FEB 11: Opposition website posts three pictures of protests taking place in Iran.
FEB 11: Opposition supporters gathered at Aria-Shahr Square in Tehran, chanting "Death to the dictator!" and "Death to Khamenei!" as security forces "fired on and tear-gassed" them, according to opposition websites cited by CNN.
FEB 11: "Intense clashes" reported near Ferdowsi Boulevard in Tehran according to opposition website JARAS.
FEB 11: Multiple Twitter accounts are reporting that Zahra Rahnavard, the outspoken wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, has also been attacked by the Basij. She was allegedly hit by a baton and kicked and was able to leave only when people formed a human chain around her. This story has been reported on a Facebook page supporting Mousavi.
FEB 11: Protesters chant "Death to Russia!" in a video posted by the LAT blog.
FEB 11: One of Mehdi Karroubi's sons confirmed earlier reports from Twitter that Basij forces attacked his father and also stated that one of Karroubi's other sons had been arrested in the ensuing scuffle, according to an account given to RFE/RL's Radio Farda cited in a WSJ report. Mehdi Karroubi confirmed the arrest of his son, Ali, according to Lara Setrakian of ABC News. CNN correspondent Reza Sayah spoke with Karroubi's son and reported that doctors were treating M. Karroubi's eyes from tear gas burns.
FEB 11: Opposition protesters assembled near Tehran University chanting "Death to Khamenei!" as security forces shot tear gas at the crowds, according to opposition websites cited in a WSJ report.
FEB 11: In Esfahan, "opposition supporters massed on a historic city bridge, as cars honked their horns in support. Antiriot police then fired tear gas and guns in the air, chasing the crowd off the bridge," according to an account in the WSJ citing videos uploaded onto the Internet.
11 FEB: A witness told the LAT that opposition supporters at Vali Asr Square were chanting "Referendum! Referendum!"
11 FEB: An eyewitness confirmed protester concentrations at Sadeghieh, according to a LAT report: "'At Sedighiyeh Square, to the north of Azadi, a large gathering of protesters could be seen defiantly confronting security forces with chants of 'Death to the dictator' and 'Political prisoners must be freed,' while waving green flags and placards and moving closer toward Azadi Square.'"
11 FEB: Unconfirmed reports that Mehdi Karroubi's car was attacked upon arrival at Sadeghieh Square posted on multiple Twitter pages. Opposition websites also reported this incident, according to the LAT, and noted that Mohammad Khatami's vehicle came under attack, too.
11 FEB: First reported, yet unverified, clashes between protesters and security forces occur before 10:00 AM local time on Sadeghieh Street in Tehran, according to three different Twitter users. Protesters chanting "Mehdi, come, Mehdi, come!" near the area. Opposition website JARAS notes heavy presence of both protesters and security forces near Sadeghieh Square, apparently awaiting Mehdi Karroubi.
11 FEB: Opposition supporters are arriving in Azerbaijan, Jeihoun, Sadeghieh, and Sararkhan streets in Tehran as of 9:10 AM local time, according to a posting by a Twitter user tracking developments.
11 FEB: Protesters in Tabriz organizing in "the bazaar and Arg Square," according to a Twitter user citing a radio caller. A second user posts an unconfirmed report that there is now a "huge crowd" in Arg Square.
11 FEB: Twitter users note that people are descending onto Azadi Square as of 8:00-8:30 AM local time amidst security patrols.
10 FEB: Multiple reports on Twitter indicate that Grand Ayatollah Abdul Karim Mousavi-Ardebili told Supreme Leader Khamenei: “Don’t do something that will force us, the marjas, to have to topple you.”
10 FEB: The recent website failure of the regime's media outlet, IRNA, was due to an apparent hack.
10 FEB: Activists post a guide in Farsi on sharing website, Scribd, instructing individuals on how to protect Facebook accounts from intrusion.
10 FEB: A Twitter user tracking developments in Iran says that, according to a statement made by Mehdi Karroubi's son, several aides intending to attend rallies with Karroubi tomorrow "have been summoned."
10 FEB: The Enduring America blog reports that Karroubi will join protesters at 10 AM local time, adding onto similar reports from earlier in the day. Karroubi's office confirmed that he will appear at Sadeghieh Square at that time.
10 FEB: The Guardian reported that protesters have been instructed to use whistles as a means of disrupting tomorrow’s official ceremonies and chant slogans such as, "Death to no one, long live everyone," in reference to other revolutionary slogans like, "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."
10 FEB: LA Times blog reported that opposition protesters shouted slogans in Tehran’s Azadi Square today, such as: “Yes, Islamic Republic, but not dictatorship,” “The continuation of revolution is to fight despotism,” and “Death to oppressors, whether in Gaza or Tehran.”
10 FEB: Mehdi Karroubi writes an open letter to the Review Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting criticizing their biased and selective coverage as having a specific political agenda to damage the reputation of Green Movement leaders, according to a Saham News article.
10 FEB: Unconfirmed reports on Twitter of shouts of “Allah-O-Akbar” [God is Great] and “Azadi” [Freedom] in Ghazvin.
10 FEB: Lara Setrakian of ABC News, confirming from a source in Tehran, asserts that Mehdi Karroubi will join the February 11 march “at 10 AM, heading to Sadeghieh Sq.”
10 FEB: The Facebook page supporting Mousavi stated that the Council of the Unity Consolidation Bureau, “the main Reformist Student Alumni Organization,” issued a statement condemning the regime’s crackdown on political activists, journalists, and human rights activists, calling for safe and peaceful protests on 22 Bahman.
10 FEB: A group of 18 mothers of imprisoned political activists issued a statement to the people of Iran, translated by the Persian2English website, condemning the arrests of their children and the accusations leveled against them: “They say that history is the world’s harshest judge and that in all circumstances the oppressed are hopeful to history’s eventual judgment. If we remain silent, how will history remember the burning fever we feel when we are ignorant of the whereabouts of our daughters and sons?”
10 FEB: A group of 116 professors from Tarbiat Modares University issued a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, posted on a website associated with Mousavi, stating that “Today we are witnessing academics being treated in ways that are at odds with the common traditions of the academia,” criticizing a series of recent attacks on and arrests of students as well as forced retirements of professors, according to a Radio Zamaneh report.
10 FEB: Mehdi Karroubi stated Wednesday that he will march peacefully from a neighborhood in west Tehran to Azadi Square on the morning of February 11, according to a WSJ report.
9 FEB: A VOA report citing opposition websites states that Grand Ayatollah Abdul Karim Mousavi-Ardebili visited Khamenei in Tehran, urging the Supreme Guide to release detained protesters. Details of the meeting are reported on an opposition website.
9 FEB: Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Hashemi Rafsanjani met with Supreme Leader Khamenei to protest attempted arrest of the wife of Ali Reza Beheshti, advisor to Mir-Hossein Mousavi. He reportedly gave an ultimatum to Khamenei stating, in part, that the government actions are “shameful and embarrassing,” according to an opposition website article translated by the Persian2English website.
9 FEB: Hassan Khomeini, grandson of deceased Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, accused an Iranian broadcasting organization of “distorting” his grandfather’s character, according to a report on the Iranian.com website.
8 FEB: According to Facebook page supporting Mousavi, the youth of the Islamic Iran Participation Front issued a statement that they will participate in the 22 Bahman protests: “By our Green, calm and responsible presence in this great and defining day we will step in the path of justice, freedom and choosing our own destiny and in response to the aggressive and violent acts and the provocative slogans of the authoritarians, we will maintain our peacefulness and we remember that no weapon can stay stronger than silence against the anger.”
8 FEB: Former President Mohammad Khatami urged Iranians to attend anniversary rallies according to a RFE/RL report: "God willing, all people will take part in the [February 11] marches, with the common points of defending the revolution and human rights, as the principal owners of the revolution.”
7 FEB: Security forces anticipate that 3 million anti-government protesters will join rallies in Tehran on February 11, according to “a source inside Tehran police headquarters” who relayed the information to a “friend of The Los Angeles Times.”
7-6 FEB: A coalition of 17 political groups collectively named the Coordinating Council of Reform Front (CCRF) issued a statement calling on supporters to join the February 11 protests: “We’ll come on 22 Bahman to show that the green movement is intertwined with national and religious values and it insists on its rightful demands stipulated in the constitution…We’ll call for a return to ideals and principles instead of jail, violence and confrontation with the nation.” CCRF previously announced that during February 11 protests it will chant: “Yes, to the Islamic Republic! Never, to authoritarian rule!”
6 FEB: The Association of Combatant Clerics, an association of reformist figures, made a statement on the imminent 22 Bahman anniversary, according to a post on the Khordad88 blog. In part it declares, “Islamic republic considers criticism, protest, and even denouncement of rulers and officials not only as a right but also as a gift from God.” Later it asserts, “It is deeply saddening to see some of the most loyal companions of the Imam [Khomeini] in prison: Individuals who were defenders of right and dignity of people and who want nothing for this nation other than prosperity.”
6 FEB: A letter written by Iranian journalists in exile and posted on a social networking site indicates that “The main march will start from Enghelab street in east Tehran – go through Imam Hossein Circle – and end at Azadi Circle in west Tehran.” The letter also notes that the IRGC has plans to block potential entry points onto Enghelab Street.
6 FEB: A group of Iranian journalists in exile posted an open letter on a Facebook page hosted by “United for Iran – Germany,” a human and civil rights organization. The drafters calls on foreign journalists being invited into the county by the regime for February 11 to remain vigilant as authorities restrict their access: “Like on other similar occasions, the coup government will attempt to control all the paths so that the only people that will come in view of your cameras will be the Basijis, who will present a caricature of the Iranian nation for your television cameras…Do not be fooled by the deceptions of your hosts, look at everything that is worth looking at, expose their shows, and listen to the true calls of the Iranian people. And on this historic trip relay and report the innocence of the Iranian people. This is the expectation that your suffering fellow journalists have of you.” The letter is signed by over 40 journalists, including Maziar Bahari, the Newsweek correspondent who was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents after the elections and underwent abuse and coercive interrogations for nearly four months before being released.
6 FEB: Following online postings by opposition supporters apparently showing the regime’s installation of loudspeakers along potential protest routes, social networking site users tracking the events in Iran shared a diagram depicting and describing the steps necessary to neutralize the loudspeaker wires.
4 FEB: A post by a local blogger, translated by Persian2English, reported that body building champion Rashid Ghaleh Shahini painted his body green for a championship in Islamabad, Iran. “The championship organizers, however, refused to let him compete and expelled him from the tournament” for displaying his support for the Green movement.
4 FEB: The Facebook page supporting Mousavi posted: “The Assembly of the Researchers and Teachers of the Qom Seminary School (a religious reformist organisation) by issuing a statement invited everyone to participate in Feb 11th (22 Bahman) demonstrations so that the founding principles that the Islamic Republic was built on won’t get damaged more.”
3 FEB: A banner stating ‘Death to Khamenei’ was hung on Komeil Bridge in Tehran, according to the homylafayette blog.
3 FEB: Karroubi calls for an abolition of the Guardian Council’s power to oversee elections, condemns the heavy-handed state-sponsored repression that collapsed “the walls of trust between people and the establishment” and predicts the opposition’s actions on February 11 will mark a “turning point” in Iran’s history.
3 FEB: Karroubi calls for non-violent marches on February 11 “with patience and without verbal and physical violence” to demand free elections, the release of political prisoners and reform of the system of government, according to a statement posted on the website closely associated with him, Sahamnews.org).
3 FEB: Mohammad Khatami urges supporters to join rallies on February 11, according to the website of his Bahran organization.
1 FEB: Mohammad Khatami issues a statement framing the opposition as striving to restore the principles of the 1979 Revolution and condemns the “pressure, repression, imprisonment, and possibly execution” that “will only make the crisis deeper and make the tendencies to exit from the boundaries [of the Republic] stronger.” In the statement he calls for February 11 protests and marches to be nonviolent.
30 JAN: Mousavi and Karroubi meet in person and invite their supporters to attend rallies on February 11. They express deep sorrow over the recent executions of two individuals and condemn Ayatollah Jannati’s recent Friday Prayer sermon in which Jannati evoked religious justification for their killings. A statement posted on a Facebook page associated with Mousavi and Karroubi’s news website (Sahamnews.org) carried a statement from the nominal opposition leaders: “It is regrettable to see the Friday prayers tribune has turned into a venue for inciting violence and encouraging more executions.”
12 FEB: An unconfirmed post appearing on several Twitter feeds at approximately 12:30 AM local time on 12 FEB indicates that authorities arrested nearly 1,000 people on 11 FEB. The post is attributed to "a colonel of the police detention center in Enghelab Square."
11 FEB: Two close acquaintances of Mehdi Karroubi, identified as Askarian and Ahmadinejad, were reportedly arrested according to a Saham News report.
11 FEB: An unconfirmed report posted by a Twitter user notes that Tara Sepehrifar, Secretary of the Islamic Association at Sharif University, has been arrested.
11 FEB: The opposition website Norooz reported that 30 people were arrested "in one Tehran square" according to a Reuters report.
11 FEB: Ayatollah Khomeini's granddaughter, Zahra Eshraqi, was detained be security forces along with Eshraqi's husband (Mohammad Khatami's brother), according to a Reuters report citing opposition websites. A second report later indicated that Eshraqi has since been released.
11 FEB: Security forces made a series of arrests this afternoon on Enghelab Street, east of the official rally in Tehran at Azadi Square, admist reported clashes.
11 FEB: Security forces arrested an unknown citizen chanting slogans from his vehicle near Vali Asr Square, according to a LAT report. An eyewitness stated that "Security forces attacked the vehicle, dragged him out and took him away as his mother begged for his release."
10 FEB: According to the Reporters and Humanrights Activists in Iran organization, the prosecutor in Tehran has confirmed that Ali Reza Firoozi and Sourena Hashemi are imprisoned in Evin prison after nearly two months during which their whereabouts were unknown.
9 FEB: The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran estimates that authorities imprisoned over 1,000 people in Iran during the past two months, according to a NYT report.
9 FEB: AP reports that authorities detained Saleh Noghrehkar, a nephew of Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard, according to a website associated with Mousavi.
8-7 FEB: MOIS officials arrested the following journalists, according to the Reporters Without Borders organization (RSF): Akbar Montajabi (Etemad-e Melli), Ahmad Jalali Farahani (formerly of Mehr News Agency), Mahsa Jazini (Iran), Zeynab Kazem-Khah (ISNA), Ehsan Mehrabi (Farhikhteghan), Vahid Pourostad (Farhikhteghan). The organization stated in a press release that the there are now more than 65 journalists and “netizens” jailed in Iran.
8 FEB: Several activists were arrested according to unconfirmed statements posted by a Twitter user tracking developments in Iran. The list of arrested includes women’s rights activist Maryam Ghanbari, children’s rights activists saiedeh Mirzaei and Babak Nazari, journalist Hassan Zohouri, Ashura photographer Amir Sadeghi, and a group of students summoned by Tehran’s Polytechnic University and detained by MOIS officials.
7 FEB: MOIS agents arrested journalist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign for human rights, Somayeh Momeni.
5 FEB: The Reporters and Humanrights Activists in Iran (RAHANA) organization identifies 15 activists and journalists arrested by regime authorities over the past two days.
5 FEB: Amnesty International (AI) states that seven members belonging to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), an organization campaigning against human rights violations, remain in detention since November 2009. Two of the individuals stand accused by regime authorities of being “enemies of God” (mohareb). One of the two, Mehrdad Rahimi, told family members that authorities are attempting to obtain a coercive confession from him, according to the AI bulletin. The regime’s prosecutor in Tehran alleges that the organization is linked to the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI).
4 FEB: Regime authorities arrested student activist and member of the One Million Signature Campaign to Stop Discriminatory Laws, Maziar Samii after seizing his personal items.
4 FEB: Plainclothes agents arrested without charges Sahar Ghassemnejad and Nazanin Hoseinnia, perhaps in connection to their families’ political activism, according to a report.
3 FEB: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) releases a listing of 47 journalists currently being held by regime authorities that includes their names and background. The statement issued with the release notes that the number of journalists known so far to be jailed is the highest recorded in any single country by CPJ since 1996.
11 FEB: A local Iranian journalist notes: "Gmail is completely shut down. Google is on and off, and Hotmail, Yahoo and all the major e-mail accounts have been shut down."
11 FEB: SMS was cut prior to Ahmadinejad's speech in Azadi Square and remained down into the early afternoon, reports Lara Setrakian citing a local Tehran resident.
10 FEB: Google Inc. confirms that usage of its e-mail service in Iran has dropped significantly despite a running network, according to a BBC report. This report comes after regime authorities announced the suspension of Google e-mail services earlier on 10 FEB.
10 FEB: A Guardian report profiles a Twitter activist who uses "her 10,000 Twitter followers to disseminate ways of avoiding the anticipated crackdown." According to the report, she has "built a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of information on the turmoil" with over 12,000 posts on her public account.
10 FEB: BBC radio reports on “Iran’s cyber-war on Twitter” and other sites.
10 FEB: According to a WSJ report, “Iran's telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.'s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out.”
10 FEB: Enduring America blog reports joint cooperation between Iranian and Venezuelan resistance movements on Twitter: “We are doubling the fun on Twitter in co-operation with the Venezuelan resistance. We are planning to tweet up a storm with supporters of Iran and Venezuela both tweeting in mutual support, using a combined hashtag: #IranVzla – in addition to any other tags we might use. The tweet campaign will be starting from 12:00 noon Venezuela/20:00 Iran (1630 GMT).”
7 FEB: Communications Minister Reza Taghipour states that Internet connections in Iran will be slow in the coming days due to ‘damages to the fiber optic network’ and claimed that recent disruptions to SMS service are caused by “changing software.”
5 FEB: Two student-run websites, Amir Kabir Newsletter and Advar News, faced a cyber-attack from the pro-regime “Iranian Cyber Army,” according to a report by Radio Zamaneh. The report also noted that Internet service providers in Iran reported 30% decreases in service “due to technical difficulties.”
4 FEB: A communications ministry official, Hossein Shafi, stated that Internet disruptions in southern Iran were caused by a cut cable but that “An exact date for when the Internet will go back to normal cannot be given.”
4 FEB: A Guardian report states that the regime has stood up “a national webmail service via iran.ir, intended to replace free foreign webmail services with a domestic one that is easier to control.” The report cites statistics attributed to the regime indicating that 95% of Iranians use Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail e-mail accounts. Google services, such as Gmail and Google Translate, have recently been blocked in some parts of Iran, according to the report.
13 FEB: Mehdi Karroubi's oldest son describes the treatment of his brother by the authorities: "His wrist was fractured, he received so many lashes on his back and legs and his internal bleeding was so bad he was vomiting up blood. He was tortured by the basij and the police for five or six hours before they released him."
11 FEB: A Daily Beast summary describes Basij tactics: "They marked people with spray paint or shot them with paintball guns when they couldn’t arrest them because things were too chaotic. Later, when things died down and the mass groups dissipated, the Guards arrested those with paint on their clothes."
11 FEB: Authorities reportedly interrogated and recorded the equivalent of social security numbers for individuals who traveled into Tehran for rallies.
11 FEB: Three witnesses from various parts of Tabriz estimated that 50,000, or roughly 2%, of the population in Tabriz attended the rallies today, according to a RFE/RL report.
11 FEB: A RFE/RL report on Basij commander's instructions to Basiji members at a Tabriz high school: "This year, the one they were supposed to shout most frequently was: 'Death to the opponents of Velayat-e faqih!'"
11 FEB: "Hundreds of thousands" turned out in Tehran for rallies, according to a Financial Times report filed by reporters in the capital.
11 FEB: Pro-government television stations showed regime supporters reportedly "carrying effigies of Western politicians decorated with the flags of Israel and Britain.
11 FEB: Fars News Agency claims 50 million turned out for rallies across the country.
11 FEB: MOIS officials released Mehdi Karroubi's bodyguards under the condition that they refrain from protecting Karroubi, according to Karroubi's son who spoke with ABC News' Lara Setrakian.
11 FEB: Security forces used "machetes, batons, and paint pellets" against protesters according to an account given by Mehdi Karroubi's family to ABC News and reported by Lara Setrakian.
11 FEB: Security forces are seen assaulting an individual in this video posted on Youtube.
11 FEB: Riot police fired paintball guns at "hundreds" of opposition protesters in Sadeghieh Square, according to a Telegraph report.
11 FEB: Tehran residents noted that the capital had "the feel of martial law" with a heavy security presence and the closing down of shops, according to a WSJ report.
11 FEB: Ahmadinejad announced it his speech in Azadi Square that Iran had successfully produced its first batch of 20% enriched uranium, according to a WSJ report.
11 FEB: "All the side roads leading to Engelab and Azadi streets are cordoned off by anti-riot police, Basiji militiamen and plainclothes security officials, some holding cameras," according to an eyewitness who spoke to the LAT stated.
11 FEB: More than a dozen Basij members were posted at every intersection on the oustkirts of Azadi Square.
11 FEB: Armed forces deputy chief of staff Gholam Ali Rashid was quoted saying: "The massive turnout of the nation in the rally triggered a shock into the central command of the arrogant front, including the U.S., England and the Zionist regime, and the think-tanks of the seditionists will be destroyed for good," according to a LAT report.
11 FEB: Websites for regime-affiliated media outlets, including Press TV, IRNA, IRIB, and Fars News Agency, appear to non-functional as of 11:10 AM local time, as noted by users of Twitter.
11 FEB: Ahmadinejad is in Azadi Square, as reported at approximately 10:08 AM local time by CNN's Iran desk, citing Iranian television outlets.
11 FEB: Security forces wielding batons and tear gas on patrol near Vesal St. according to an unconfirmed Twitter user report at approximately 10:00 AM local time.
11 FEB: Pictures showing loudspeakers set up along protest route in Tehran, apparently for drowning out dissenting voices, according to opposition website JARAS.
10 FEB: The government's official Tehran celebration routes in a Youtube video. Seven routes will cross the capital city beginning at 9:30 AM, according to a blogger tracking developments in Iran. All routes will culminate at Azadi Square, site of President Ahmadinejad’s scheduled speech.
10 FEB: Earlier in the day, the Iranian Cyber Army hacked the website of former high-ranking IRGC official-turned-political dissident and journalist, Mohsen Sazegara.
10 FEB: Regime preparations in Tabriz, according to an anonymous contributor to RFE/RL: providing Basij members with 5 kilograms of cooking oil and 10 kilograms of rice to show up at official rallies, and urging them to bring their friends and family; providing three days worth of salaries for street cleaners and threatening to dock three days worth of salaries for non-participation; providing municipal workers an extra day off for attending rallies and threatening them with "administrative reprimand" for non-participation; instructing all "officers, corporals, soldiers, and support staff" to attend official rallies; bringing in additional Basij forces from the suburbs.
10 FEB: The transportation hub reported to be a headquarters for security forces earlier by the WSJ is located northwest of Azadi Square where the main regime rallies will take place, according to a post by a user on Twitter.
10 FEB: Regime authorities erected checkpoints in Tehran as early as 9 FEB in anticipation of Thursday's events, according to a CSM report.
10 FEB: Authorities will confine Iranian and foreign journalists to the official government rallies in Azadi Square on February 11, according to a Times (London) report.
10 FEB: The website of the regime's official news agency, IRNA, is down (as of 6:30 PM EST).
10 FEB: Hassan Rowhani, former chief nuclear negotiator and previous Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, remarked that the 22 Bahman rallies are an opportunity for unity and reconciliation.
10 FEB: Eyewitnesses observe military helicopters circling Tehran’s Azadi Square during preparations for Thursday, according to a LAT report.
10 FEB: Revolutionary Court hands down death sentence to “rioter” accused of “acting as a ‘mohareb’ (enemy of God), threatening the national security and actively propagating against the Islamic establishment,” according to the regime’s media outlet Press TV.
10 FEB: The Persian2English website reports that Seyyed Hassan Ahmadian, a Mousavi campaign official has been sentenced to six years in prison for “propagating against the regime” and “conspiring against national security.”
10 FEB: LEF seize satellite dishes from building roofs, according to a WSJ report citing opposition websites.
10 FEB: Opposition websites report that LEF in Tehran searched and seized some cell phones from passersby, according to a WSJ report.
10 FEB: Basij shuts down a transportation hub in western Tehran and states that “the area will serve as headquarters for security forces” including those being brought in from outside the capital, according to a WSJ report citing opposition websites.
10 FEB: “Morality police” are harassing individuals wearing green in Tehran, according to a WSJ report citing opposition websites.
10 FEB: An eyewitness account from southern Tehran reported on several opposition websites noted that a group of 15 Basijis on motorbikes canvassed a neighborhood with flyers warning that protesters would be confronted on February 11, according to a WSJ report.
10 FEB: LEF head Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam announces that his forces arrested several individuals who “intended to have deviant slogans” on February 11, according to an AFP report citing local outlet Fars News Agency.
10 FEB: Remaining foreign reporters in Iran are restricted to covering pro-government events and “banned from interviewing opposition supporters or regular citizens,” according to a WSJ report.
10 FEB: The regime’s official rally will be held in Azadi Square where Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address supporters, according to a Guardian report.
10 FEB: Italian newspaper La Repubblica posts on its website a collection of pictures showing the 9 FEB pro-government supporters’ assault on the Italian embassy in Tehran. A video of the assault on the neighboring Italian and French embassies in Tehran has been posted here.
9 FEB: A hundred plainclothes Basij militia members and government supporters assaulted the Italian embassy in Tehran, pelting the building with stones and eggs, according to an account the Italian foreign minister provided to the Italian Senate in Rome that was published by the NYT. The vigilantes shouted “Death to Italy” and “Death to Berlusconi” during the assault, which was dispersed when police intervened.
9 FEB: Pro-regime demonstrators reportedly staged rallies in front of the French embassy in Tehran, according to a Times (London) report.
9 FEB: Unconfirmed reports indicate that pro-regime demonstrators protested outside the German and Dutch embassies in Tehran, according to a Times (London) report.
9 FEB: IRGC cultural and press defense commander Massoud Jazaeri calls for harsher restrictions on media coverage according to a Radio Zamaneh report citing the local Mehr News Agency.
9 FEB: Tehran’s Revolutionary Court called on the wife and children of detained journalist, Mohammad Nourizad” to appear in court as political prisoners, according to a NYT report citing the website, Kaleme.org, which is closely tied to Mir Hossein Mousavi.
9 FEB: Tehran’s prosecutor announced that two Mousavi aides, Mohammad Reza Tajik and Ali Reza Beheshti were being released following their arrests after Ashura in December, according to a Radio Zamaneh report. In the same announcement the prosecutor indicated that the court rejected sentencing appeals for 35 other prisoners.
9 FEB: Rafsanjani stated that February 11 should be marked by “loyalty to the Islamic Revolution,” according to a Payvand.com report citing Mehr News Agency. He also urges tolerance and free expression of ideas as essential towards progress.
8 FEB: Khamenei states that “The Iranian nation will show on (February 11) how it will punch the faces of all the world's arrogants -- America, Britain and Zionists -- with its unity.”
8 FEB: Khamenei states that “…those who stand against the great job done by the Iranian nation in the  election, are not part of the [Iranian] people.”
8 FEB: MOIS head Heydar Moslehi states that “Well-known intelligence and military elements were instrumental in the post-election sedition” according to the Aftab News website cited by the LAT.
8 FEB: Deputy foreign minister under Mohammed Khatami, Mohsen Aminzadeh, sentenced to six years in jail for organizing post-election protests, “…disturbing the country’s security, as well as spreading propaganda against the system by giving interviews to foreign channels.”
8 FEB: Authorities are installing closed-circuit security cameras along Enghelab and Azadi streets in downtown Tehran, approximately 50 paces apart, according to a Iran News Agency report translated by the website Persian2English.
7 FEB: Authorities will bring into Tehran 12,000 Basij additional members from elsewhere along and transport government supporters from other parts of the country into Tehran.
7 FEB: Regime authorities have managed to gather only 500,000 supporters to attended the sponsored rallies for February 11, according to “a source inside Tehran police headquarters” who relayed the information to a “friend of The Los Angeles Times.”
7 FEB: The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) issues statement through local media claiming that “Seven people tied with counter-revolutionary and Zionist satellite networks and the sedition have been arrested.” The ministry alleges that the arrested had been linked to RFE/RL’s Persian service, hired by the CIA, and engaged in “provoking rioters.”
7 FEB: LEF chief Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam claims that his forces received “precise information about the oppositions’ plans” for February 11, according to a state media outlet report. He also reiterates a previous statement that “…police will no longer tolerate lawbreakers… Police feel obliged to confront anyone threatening national security, insulting sanctities and crossing red lines.”
7 FEB: Deputy Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) chief Ahmad-Reza Radan called on IRGC officers, Basij members and LEF commanders to “drive the last nail into the coffin of seditionists” on February 11.
7 FEB: A user has posted a video on Youtube showing the regime’s apparent effort to install loudspeakers on Vali Asr Avenue in downtown Tehran in a move viewed by opposition supporters as a way to drown out anti-regime demonstrations.
6-7 FEB: Prosecutor General Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei states that the regime is investigating a complaint against Mousavi issued by a group of parliamentarians.
6-7 FEB: Assembly of Experts member and cleric Ahmad Khatami issues a warning ahead of February 11: “Today, we have only two fronts and no third front is recognized…The first front brings together the revolution and people. The second front regroups the United States, Britain, Zionists, hypocrites, monarchists, communists, fugitive singers and dancers. There is no third way.”
6 FEB: An opposition website publishes an open letter written by a prominent “principalist” parliament member, Ali Mottahari, and addressed to Mousavi indicating that Khamenei’s concerns with Mousavi and Karroubi have overwhelmed any attention he can give to issues of reform: “I can guess with a high probability that if the supreme leader could stops [sic] concerning himself about the two of you honorable Messrs he can move on to misdeeds of the respectable president and those who claim to be principalists. You could at least try this approach for couple of months and if it did not work you can return to your old path, a path that I view as harmful and inconclusive.”
6 FEB: Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) chief Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam issues warning to opposition: “Now that the different dimensions of the sedition are clear, we won’t show any more tolerance…Police will act firmly to defend the society’s security and those who break the law will be dealt with severely.”
5 FEB: According to a Radio Zamaneh report, “Tehran Governor, Morteza Tamddon told ISNA they have taken ‘no particular security measures’ because ‘rioters’ will be ‘ineffective’ on this day.”
5 FEB: Friday Prayer leader Ayatollah Emami Kashani threatens opposition protesters: If God forbid we come out [onto the streets] and chant undesired slogans, if we come out and engage in undesired actions, and if we take away from the beauty of the gifts and deface their greatness to the world, I swear to God that each one of us who attempts to do that is responsible in front of God and in front of the martyrs and the Imam [Khomeini] of the martyrs…The path we are taking, with all its problems, needs to end up with the 12th Imam [to be resurrected]. I am not condoning the problems. I am not trying to defend everything that has been done, not at all! All I am saying is that the path is leading to the 12th Imam! Those who try to disrupt this path are betrayers! That is the point!”
5 FEB: Armed forces chief of staff Hassan Firuzabadi calls on IRGC, Basij, LEF, Artesh, and defense ministry personnel and their families to participate in the regime’s February 11 rallies.
1 FEB: IRGC commander for Tehran, Hossein Hamedani, states that “If anyone protests [in anti-regime rallies] on February 11, he is not part of the Iranian nation, and I can say clearly that he is a foreign agent.”
31 JAN: Iranian ambassador to France, Mehdi Mir Abu Talebi, appeared to be involved in a scuffle with French police as anti-regime protesters surrounded Khomeini’s Paris abode, Neauphle-le-Chateau. According to a Guardian report, one account recalled that Ambassador Abu Talebi punched one of the French police officers attempting to hold him back from confronting the demonstrators.
11 FEB: U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Sam Brownback introduced the Iran Democratic Transition Act that "would establish a program of direct assistance for the Iranian people and would help pave the way for a freely elected, open and democratic government in Iran." The bill calls for non-military support and assistance for democratic opposition organizations and victim's of the regime's abuses, and the creation of an envoy to coordinate human rights issues in Iran.
11 FEB: U.S. Senator John McCain comments following the announcement of legislation targeted at identifying and sanctioning human rights abusers in Iran: "Thirty-one years of a regime that puts its own selfish interests and those of foreign terrorist groups ahead of the needs of the Iranian people...Thirty-one years of justice denied, freedom curtailed and dignity trampled We will shine a light on the names of Iran's human rights abusers, and we will make them famous for their crimes."
11 FEB: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: "While we are concerned about the regime in Tehran, our solidarity, for Canadians, is with the great Iranian people who continue to suffer terrible rights abuses, and our solidarity is with them going forward."
11 FEB: U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman following introduction of legislation to target agents of Iran's crackdown: "The Iranian government and the people of Iran...we see you, we hear you. In the case of the people of Iran, the protesters, we stand with you. In the case of the government, which is suppressing the people's rights, we are going to take action against you."
11 FEB: The Wall Street Journal reports European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton expressing support for the protestors and lashing out at the regime. “The choices this regime is making vis-à-vis its people and the international community are the wrong ones […] The determination shown by protestors on Iran’s streets clearly demonstrates the strength of their desire for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
11 FEB: U.S. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman will hold a 1:30 PM EST press conference to announce the introduction of sanctions legislation targeting abusers of human rights in Iran.
10 FEB: British ambassador to Iran Simon Gass will not attend the Iranian regime's planned celebrations on February 11 due to a "range of problems" between Iran and the U.K. according to the Foreign Commonwealth Office. The French, Italian, Dutch, and German ambassadors in Tehran may also boycott the event, according to a Times (London) report.
10 FEB: Responding to reports that regime authorities shut down Google's e-mail service, Gmail, U.S. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley stated, according to Reuters: "While information technologies are enabling people around the world to communicate ... like never before, the Iranian government seems determined to deny its citizens access to information, the ability to express themselves freely, network and share ideas...Virtual walls won't work in the 21st century any better than physical walls worked in the 20th century...The Iranian people are dynamic and determined and will find a way to overcome the obstacles the Iranian government puts in their way."
10 FEB: A former Iranian journalist in exile comments in a Guardian report on the regime's use of Twitter against activists: "One day a whole load of new people arrived on Twitter. It was quite clear that some ministry got them to join at the same time and follow each other. They started putting out rumours about me. When Persiankiwi [another prominent Twitter user] went silent, they said it was me who had turned him in. Then they started saying I was Maryam Rajavi [an exiled opposition leader regarded as a terrorist in Iran]."
10 FEB: The Guardian reports that John Limbert, Deputy Assistant Secretary overseeing the Iran portfolio in the State Department’s Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs and a former hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran urges a UN investigation into alleged abuses and detainments of opposition supporters.
9 FEB: Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini vowed that Italian representatives in Iran would boycott the regime’s celebrations on February 11 after an assault on the Italian embassy in Tehran, according to a Times (London) report.
8 FEB: The United States and European Union issue joint statement condemning detentions, show trials, and the suppression of peaceful expression in Iran while also highlighting concerns about potential violence and repression leading up to February 11. The statement calls on Iran “to live up to its international human rights obligations, to end its abuses against its own people, to hold accountable those who have committed the abuses and to release those who are exercising their rights.”
5 FEB: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband issues statement on the Ten Days of Dawn (February 1 –11) in Iran: “In a blatant attempt to cow the opposition movement ahead of the 31st anniversary of the Revolution, the Iranian regime has resorted to a chilling campaign of threats and intimidation in the form of mass arrests, executions and calls for hangings to quell demonstrations…We in the international community will continue to speak out in defence of those who are killed, arrested or brutalized in the name of free speech and freedom of expression. We have a right to do so, and a duty. The people of Iran have legitimate concerns which their government must address. Such brutality and hateful rhetoric can only serve to further erode whatever remains of the fragile bond of trust between the Iranian regime and its people.”
12 FEB: A Facebook page for ‘Iran Election News’ carries information of solidarity events planned between February 12th and February 14th. Locations include cities in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
11 FEB: The Enduring America blog carries videos of solidarity events held around the world. Videos include demonstrations and vigils in Vienna, Kuala Lumpur, Rome, London, Brussels, The Netherlands, Oslo, Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.
11 FEB: Amnesty International in coordination with United4Iran, the Student World Assembly and Where’s my Vote NY organizes a silent vigil outside UN Headquarters. About 50 protesters are in attendance calling for freedom of expression and the press in Iran.
11 FEB: United4Iran, an opposition supporting website carries pictures and footage of solidarity events held around the world in support of the February 11th protests. Cities include Brisbane, Brussels, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Munich, Paris, Perth City, Phoenix, Portland, San Jose, Tempe, Tokyo and Toronto.
11 FEB: A picture galleryposted by the WSJ shows pro-opposition supporters protesting in Sweden, Greece, the U.K., Singapore, Germany, Italy, and Pakistan.
11 FEB: Earlier today pro-Green Movement protestors clashed with German police outside the Iranian Embassy in Berlin.
11 FEB: Protesters demonstrated outside the Iranian embassy in Sweden in an incident that led to clashes with security forces, according to a report posted on a media blog.
10 FEB: United4Iran, a website supporting the opposition lists planned protests and vigils worldwide to convey solidarity with protesters on February 11. Rallies planned across the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Romania, Switzerland, Malaysia, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden, among other locations.
10 FEB: A group of intellectuals living abroad have signed a statement in support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and the Green Movement, including prominent professors from the U.S. like Abbas Milani, according to the Payvand news site.
10 FEB: The Iranian Embassy in Paris was sprayed with green graffiti overnight with slogans such as “Where is my vote?” and “Down with the Dictator,” according to a Straits Times report.
10 FEB: Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris and a prominent Socialist Party leader has issued a statement on his personal blog expressing his “solidarity and friendship” with the Iranian people. He urges Western nations to engage with the Iranian people not the Iranian regime.
9 FEB: Iranian Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi writes a letter entitled ‘Our Patience is Not Infinite’ to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to the Iranian.com website. She warns that continued repression can bring about a “catastrophe” that can undermine peace and security domestically and regionally.
7 FEB: Several individuals doused the walls of the Iranian embassy in Copenhagen with green paint.
6 FEB: Iranian Nobel prize winner and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi on February 11: “I believe people should take part in the demonstrations…They should ask for their rights, but they should do it peacefully. Obviously the regime wants people to be violent because it gives them an excuse to crack down. People must not give them that excuse.”
5 FEB: An Iranian all-female musical ensemble “inspired to form the group in part as a protest against the current Iranian regime’s prohibition against women performing in public” performed in Seattle, Washington.
5 FEB: More than 40 Nobel prize winners sign onto an advertisement denouncing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The advertisement will appear in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune.