UPDATE 10:25 a.m.:
- The AP and Reuters are contradicting the claim made by official Iranian media that the streets of Tehran are calm today. The AP is reporting that police are attacking protesters with tear gas and firing warning shots into the air. Reuters reports an opposition rally of around 1,000 people took place in Tehran Monday.
- According to the N.Y. Times, the Iranian government is now considering taking legal action against Mousavi, describing his protest of the election as a “criminal” act.
- Below is a helpful graphic put together by the AP explaining the Iranian government’s power structure.
UPDATE 9 a.m.:
The big news out of Iran this morning is that Iran’s most potent security force, the Revolutionary Guard, has announced that protesters should be prepared for a “revolutionary confrontation” if they go to the streets again to denounce the nation’s June 12 election. This is by far the most direct and dire threat the force has issued thus far during the conflict. AP reports coming out of the country have said there are massive police forces on the streets in Tehran.
The situation in Tehran appeared to be relatively calm overnight, however. Iranian state radio said that there were no protests in the capital for the first time since the presidential election on June 12. Sunday night, Mir Hossein Mousavi vowed to continue to contest the election with his supporters.
There also appears to be an increasing rift between Iran’s most powerful clerics over the outcome of the election. According to Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney, the news site Peiknet has reported that “Ayatollah Rafsanjani has a letter signed by 40 members of the powerful 86-member Assembly of Experts calling for the annulment of the recent presidential election results.” This comes in the wake of some of Rafsanjani’s family members being arrested over the weekend. Rafsanjani is a former president of Iran and the current head of the Assembly of Experts, a group that selects and oversees the supreme leader.
State television reported the death of at least 10 protesters over the weekend. Radio reports put the number at 19. As Salon’s Alex Koppelman wrote over the weekend, independent sources put the number of dead at 30 from the Saturday protests. State radio also announced the arrest of 457 people in the strife between protesters and police that took place Saturday in Tehran. Iranian state radio said that 40 police officers had been hurt in the fighting.
Pitney, one of the best sources of information on the Iran protests, wrote this morning that a dependable Twitterer from inside the country has said that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will give another speech this coming Friday. During a speech Khamenei gave last Friday, he declared the elections fair and warned protesters to stop gathering or face reprisals from the government.
There continue to be serious questions about the legitimacy of the election. Iranian authorities have now admitted that there could be problems with up to 3 million votes. In 50 cities, there were more recorded votes than there were voters. However, the powerful Guardian Council said the irregularities did not violate Iranian law and gave no indication as to whether the votes would change the result of the election.
As outside analysts begin to take a closer look at the results, they’re finding startling discrepancies and irregularities. As one example, in two conservative voting districts, turnout was listed as more than 100 percent.
Iranian leaders are also continuing to lash out at the West. At a Monday press conference, Hassan Qashqavi, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, praised the election turnout and then accused unspecified Western powers of fomenting “anarchy and vandalism.” BBC posted video of the Qashqavi’s speech in which he said the West sought “Iran disintegration.”
Tehran Bureau, an independent and valuable news site on the Iranian protests, has also compiled a partial list of the Iranian journalists and politicians who have been arrested during the unrest.