17 July 2009

"A gift to our nation"

The uprising in the streets of Tehran is escalating dramatically. Much attention has been focused on today's sermon by Hashemi Rafsanjani, a powerful insider within the regime who expresses reformist views but whose goals remain unclear. NIAC has this interesting report:

A very unusual event occurred before Rafsanjani’s speech, when the head of the organization that oversees the Friday prayers (Taqavi) spoke. In Friday prayers, people are supposed to repeat what the speakers chant. Today, it was different. When Taqavi said “Death to America,” people responded “Death to Russia” or “Death to China” instead. Also, when he said “The blood in our veins, is a gift to our leader,” people said “The blood in our veins, is a gift to our nation.” According to our witness, “whenever Taqavi mentioned the name of the Supreme Leader, people would whistle and boo.” Typically, when the Supreme Leader’s name is mentioned people chant “salavat” (a phrase in Arabic meaning “peace be upon Prophet Mohammad").

Saeed Valadbaygi has a report and pictures from today's protests (he mentions a claim that turnout reached two million, though the source of the figure is unclear), with highlights from Rafsanjani's sermon. Andrew Sullivan's blog (currently without Andrew Sulli-van) has ongoing coverage, though focused more on the internal machinations within the regime than on the uprising itself. This video, if it is truly from today, substantiates the claim that the protest crowds are approaching the size of those seen in June.


Blogger Conrad Strong said...

If news of an escalating uprising is true, that's good news. I was in fear that the movement would begin to lose it's steam. Thanks for the summary of what the people were chanting at the Friday prayers. I had meant to read up on the Rafsanjani speech but haven't gotten to it yet.

17 July, 2009 12:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hello Conrad! I've been blogging about Iran fairly intensively ever since the uprising began right after the fake "election". The MSM have seemed eager to declare the uprising over so that they can go back to blithering about celebrities, but I always expected that it would be a protracted process. Recall that the revolution which toppled the Shah took roughly a year. The "steam" is provided by decades of accumulated anger and frustration at the theocracy's totalitarian rule -- I don't think it will run out quickly.

17 July, 2009 15:30  

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