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1 House condemns Tehran crackdown on protesters on Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:54 pm

rosco 357


Veteran
WASHINGTON (AP) - In the strongest message yet from the U.S. government, the House voted 405-1 Friday to condemn Tehran's crackdown on demonstrators and the government's interference with Internet and cell phone communications.

The resolution was initiated by Republicans as a veiled criticism of President Barack Obama, who has been reluctant to criticize Tehran's handling of disputed elections that left hard-liner President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power.

Rep. Mike Pence, who co-sponsored the resolution, said he disagrees with the administration that it must not meddle in Iran's affairs.

"When Ronald Reagan went before the Brandenburg Gate, he did not say Mr. (Mikhail) Gorbachev, that wall is none of our business," said Pence, R-Ind., of President Reagan's famous exhortation to the Soviet leader to "tear down that wall."

Democrats, who are quick to voice their support for Israel anytime the Jewish state is seen as under siege, easily agreed to push through the mildly worded resolution.

Rep. Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-sponsor of the resolution, said "it is not for us to decide who should run Iran, much less determine the real winner of the June 12 election.

"But we must reaffirm our strong belief that the Iranian people have a fundamental right to express their views about the future of their country freely and without intimidation," added Berman, D-Calif.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., have proposed a similar measure in the Senate, although a vote was not certain.

The policy statement expresses support for "all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and rule of law" and affirms "the importance of democratic and fair elections."

It also condemns "the ongoing violence" by the government and pro-government militias against demonstrators, as well as government "suppression of independent electronic communications through interference with the Internet and cell phones."

Congress—particularly the 435-member House—frequently weighs in on foreign policy matters, when a similar message from the State Department or the White House would be considered confrontational. Such resolutions have no practical effect other than to express the opinion of lawmakers and try to influence the administration in power at the time.

The legislative branch's say so in foreign affairs has receded over time, the residue of growing executive branch power.

Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas libertarian who often speaks out against what he regards as government meddling, cast the sole opposing vote.

Obama, whose goal is to engage Tehran in the hopes of blunting its perceived ambition of a nuclear weapon, has stayed mostly neutral on the election dispute, talking in parsed, measured terms, about the aspirations of the Iranian people to have their voices heard.

Obama told CNBC this week that "when you've got 100,000 people who are out on the streets peacefully protesting and they're having to be scattered through violence and gun shots, what that tells me is the Iranian people are not convinced of the legitimacy of the election."

Obama also said that it was "not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling."

Iranians have long blamed the CIA for helping topple the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 and replacing him with the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D98TS0H00&show_article=1

2 Iran police clash with protesters on Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:58 pm

rosco 357


Veteran
MY WORDS: this thing seems to be growing, as now on tv protest in cities all across the world are starting to pick up, especially europe, france is one place mentioned, let us hope . they are saying on tv this should help the good guys in iraq, as the bad guys in iran have been stiring up problems in iraq, lets just hope this continues, and builds, but it will not be easy.

Iranian police have used water cannon, batons, tear gas and live rounds to break up protests over the presidential election, witnesses in Tehran say.

A BBC correspondent at Enghelab Square said he saw one man shot and others injured amid a huge security operation involving thousands of police.

Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi repeated calls for the election to be annulled on the grounds it was rigged.

There were also reports of a bombing at the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini.


1540GMT TEHRAN
BBC CORRESPONDENT

The police couldn't be everywhere and halfway along the avenue leading from one of the squares to the other, I watched a crowd slowly gather and begin chanting, setting fire to rubbish bins and throwing stones at the police.

They had achieved the critical mass they needed and more and more demonstrators joined them. Near me in the crowd a man was shot in the arm and the air was thick with tear gas. I saw another man whose arm had been slashed by a razor wielded by a secret policeman.

The confrontations are still going on and a big column of black smoke from a fire is hanging over the city centre.

Two Iranian news agencies reported that the suicide bomber died and two people were injured in the bombing at the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 revolution.

There was no evidence to support the report, the BBC's Jon Leyne says from Tehran.

The country's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei had warned protesters on Friday not to continue their rallies, but correspondents say the warning appears to have made some protesters more determined.

It was unclear if political leaders had backed their supporters continuing to march.

In a letter to the electoral body, the Guardian Council, Mr Mousavi, who had not made a public comment for two days, reiterated his calls for the election to be declared void.

He alleged the vote, held on 12 June, was rigged months previously.

Official results of the presidential poll gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a resounding 63% of votes, compared to 34% for Mr Mousavi, his nearest rival.

Protesters on the streets of Tehran, 20 June 2009


In other developments:

* Thousands of police, militia and secret policemen blocked access to Enghelab and Azadi squares, and protesters were throwing stones in surrounding streets
* A BBC correspondent saw one man shot in a crowd and another with injuries from a razor-wielding secret policeman
* About 3,000 protesters were reportedly gathered at Enghelab Square, according to Associated Press news agency. They chanted "Death to the dictator" and "Death to dictatorship"
* One witness told Reuters news agency that protesters loyal to defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi set fire to a building in southern Tehran used by backers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
* A column of black smoke is hanging over the city centre, our correspondent says


Some reports could not be independently confirmed. Foreign news organisations - including the BBC - have been subjected to strict controls which prevent reporters from leaving their offices.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, who is in Tehran, says his impression is that the police have broken up large crowds into smaller groups to prevent them assembling.

Confusing signals

Early on Saturday, the wife of Mr Mousavi and an aide to another rival candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, said the rally would go ahead, although this was later contradicted by his party.

Speaking on state TV, deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan warned police would "certainly fight against any form of illegal gathering and protest". He also said protest organisers would be arrested.

The result triggered almost daily street protests - a challenge to ruling authorities unprecedented since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Mr Mousavi had been expected, along with fellow challengers Mr Karroubi and Mohsen Rezai, to discuss more than 600 objections they had filed complaining about the poll at a meeting of the Guardian Council, which certifies elections, on Saturday.

But neither Mr Mousavi nor Mr Karroubi attended the meeting - which suggests, our correspondent says, they have abandoned their legal challenge to the election results.

State TV quoted the Guardian Council as saying it was "ready" to recount a randomly selected 10% of ballot boxes.

It had previously offered a partial recount of disputed ballots from the election, rather than the full re-run of the election demanded by protesters.

3 MY opinion on iran on Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:28 pm

rosco 357


Veteran
i just want to say i agree with obama and Israel,on iran, that any involvement we or israel took would only help the bad guys, as they would blame us for there riots, this is forces inside iran, that want change, any thing we do or say would only hurt the ppl trying to bring about change. western countries need to stay out of this as much as possible, it truly is an uphill battle. and what im about to say is probably from left field. just maybe the ppl in iran that have been under sanctions from the UN see the free elections and things getting better in iraq, that we have worked for with us being there, and ridding iraq of sadams dictatorship,and want more freedoms like iraq has. this is taking over the news now.these ppl are being beat and killed for wanting there freedom, let us hope it will bring change in iran, but it will be hard. but who would have thought it would have gone this far, take care,

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