Friday’s events

— I have not been able to devote any time to Friday’s events – the day (and night) job again. But in reality there was only one key event, the speech by Ayatollah Khamenei at Friday prayers in Tehran where he resolutely stood by the election result as announced,  refused to bend to the opposition demands, and threatened a bloody crackdown on further disturbances. The gist of what he said comes from the Tehran Times and here is the BBC take on it.

— An article by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the filmmaker and aide to Moussavi, carried on the guardian website suggested Moussavi may be under some form of house arrest and said all his aides had been arrested. The article appeared to urge people to continue with their plans to demonstrate on Saturday despite the threats from Khamenei. Under the heading ‘I speak for Mousavi. And Iran’ the article says Mousavi’s offices have been wrecked “by plainclothes police officers” and he has been instructed by the Revolutionary Guards to stay silent.

“I have been given the ­responsibility …to urge people to take to the streets because Mousavi could not do so directly.”

In an interesting piece Makhmalbaf answers those who accuse Moussavi of being a chip of the same revolutionary block as his rivals by arguing that his outlook has changed dramatically, summing it up by saying: “Now he knows Gandhi – before he knew only Che Guevara.”

— In  a slightly firmer posture on the Iran situation President Obama has warned Iran he will be closely watching the events that unfold in Tehran. Both houses of Congress passed resolutions condemning the crackdown. Britain’s Foreign Office summoned the Iranian ambassador for a chat, presumably about anti-British statements in Khamenei’s speech.


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