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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today in Tehran ~

With flattery he will corrupt those
who have violated the covenant,
but the people who know their God
will firmly resist him.
~ Daniel 11:32

One of the demonstrators asks a police officer,
"Is it true that you are Arabs, or do you speak Farsi?"
There are rumors that Hezbollah, Hamas
and other non-Iranian jihadists
are being used as muscle.

Protesters said that tens of thousands massed in central Tehran again on Wednesday as Iran tried to block any coverage of opposition activities.
The sense of threat against the opposition was growing. Reuters reported that Mohammadreza Habibi, the senior prosecutor in the central province of Isfahan, had warned demonstrators that they could be executed under Islamic law.

“We warn the few elements controlled by foreigners who try to disrupt domestic security by inciting individuals to destroy and to commit arson that the Islamic penal code for such individuals waging war against God is execution,” Mr. Habibi said, according to the Fars news agency. It was not clear if his warning applied only to Isfahan, where there have been violent clashes, or the country as a whole, Reuters said.

The government’s new restrictions were directed at blocking communications between opposition supporters and any news coverage of their activities.

The Associated Press reported that the powerful Revolutionary Guards threatened to restrict the digital online media that many Iranians use to communicate among themselves and to send news of their protests overseas. In a first statement since last Friday’s vote, the Revolutionary Guards said Wednesday that Iranian Web site operators and bloggers must remove content deemed to “create tension” or face legal action, The A.P. said.

In Paris, Soazig Dollet, a spokeswoman for Reporters Without Borders, a press freedom advocacy group, said at least 11 reporters had been arrested since the elections and the fate of 10 more was unclear since they may either be in hiding or under arrest.

On its Web site, the organization said Aldolfatah Soltani, a lawyer and human rights activist, had been detained along with “10 or so opposition activists, politicians and civil society figures” in Tehran and three other cities — Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz.

On Tuesday, the government revoked press credentials for foreign journalists and ordered journalists not to report from the streets. On Wednesday, government officials telephoned or sent faxes to reporters in Tehran working for foreign news organizations ordering them not to venture outside to cover events being held without an official permit. That included rallies by supporters of Mr. Moussavi and news conferences or other public events held without the government’s approval, reporters in Tehran said. At least one newspaper has stopped printing.

Government officials told journalists that they were at risk on the streets following an incident on Tuesday when a photographer was stabbed and wounded while covering a rally. Two well-known analysts, Sayeed Leylaz and Mohammad-Reza Jalaipour, were detained Wednesday and were likely to be held for several days, associates and family members said.

Defying the restrictions, new amateur video surfaced outside of Iran on Wednesday, apparently showing a government militia rampaging through a dormitory area of Tehran University late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Submit yourselves, then, to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
~ James 4:7

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