At least 19 dead in Iran unrest, hospital sources say

I really hope the governments and citizens of Europe are paying close attention to the events unfolding this week in Iran. I wonder if they will realize that this is what they can expect once their Muslim population is the voting majority in their respective countries. Hard line Muslims have told the world through speech and action that they are willing to kill and die to impose Islamic law wherever they see fit. So heads up Europe. Not like you haven’t been warned a hundred times before.

Iran protesters and policeTEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Thousands of defiant protesters clashed with police in the streets of Tehran on Saturday in protest of last week’s presidential elections, and opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi reportedly said he was ready for “martyrdom.”

The unrest left 19 people dead, hospital sources said. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll as high as 150 on the seventh day of post-election demonstrations.

Police were using tear gas, clubs and water cannon as they tried to disperse the demonstrators.

A stream of videos posted on social networking Web sites appeared to show demonstrators who had been shot.

One video showed a woman trying to protect a man being beaten and kicked by protesters. A motorcycle lies on its side nearby, and another is in flames.

The protests were held in open defiance of warnings issued Friday by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Islamic Republic Security Council. They had said protest organizers — specifically Moussavi — would be held accountable if the protests led to bloodshed.

The message on Moussavi’s page on Facebook urged Moussavi’s supporters to “protest” and “not go to work.” The social networking Web site has proved to be a key source of information in a country whose government has banned international journalists from newsgathering.

The authenticity of the information could not immediately be established, but its posting coincided with growing unrest by demonstrators, who say President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election victory was rigged.

Witnesses in Tehran told CNN one crowd was chanting “Death to Khamenei!” and “I will kill whoever killed my brother!” — a chant that dates to Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution that brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.

In a story posted Saturday on the Web site of the government-run Press TV, Iran’s deputy police commander said 400 police personnel had been wounded since the opposition rallies began last weekend.

Families of those killed or injured in the events since June 12 have filed 2,000 complaints so far,” acting Police Chief Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Radan told Iran’s Fars news agency.

Radan said 10,000 complaints had been filed by people asserting that their daily lives had been disrupted, adding, “They have called on the police to deal with rallies firmly.”

“The recent rallies destroyed 700 buildings, burst 300 banks into flame, damaged 300 cars and 300 public properties,” Radan said.

Meanwhile, the head of Tehran’s Emergency Center, Reza Dehqanpour, said more than 50 ambulances had been reserved to help the wounded.

Demonstrators gathered in major cities in France, the United States and Germany to condemn Iran’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tehran.

In Washington, President Obama urged the Iranian government to stop the violence against its own citizens.

“The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching,” Obama said in a written statement. “We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.”

Obama received intelligence briefings throughout the day and discussed the situation with senior advisers, an administration official told CNN.

On Saturday night, the Iranian state-run news agency IRINN said an attacker had been killed earlier in the day outside Tehran at the entrance to the Khomeini’s mausoleum. The agency said the man “carrying the bomb” was killed, and there were no other casualties.

Press TV had said earlier that three people, including the bomber, died at the shrine to Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution that swept the shah of Iran from power in 1979. Khomeini is regarded as the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In a related development, a witness reported a fire near the French Embassy, apparently caused by debris that had been set ablaze nearby. The location is near the intersection of Vali Asr Avenue and Noufle Chateau, named for where Khomeini lived when he was in exile in Paris, France.

With international journalists restricted from covering events in the capital, Iranians were using cell phones and social networking sites to get news out. CNN was told that many protesters removed the SIM card, or memory chip, from their cell phones to prevent the government from tracing their calls.

Witnesses reported that cell phone service was cut off in the area after 5:30 p.m.

Saturday’s protests began later than had been predicted. Rallies that were to have begun about 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET) did not materialize.

Many who said they planned to attend the rallies wrote early Saturday to one another on the social networking site Twitter. Some wondered whether there would be violence at the protests.

“Let the Qu’ran shield you. It’s a mortal sin to kill anyone holding the Qu’ran. BRING your Qu’ran to protest!!!” one person wrote on Twitter.

“We will try 2 keep this rally peaceful/silent as usual at every cost. Cant give them excuse 2 use force. Hope they wont,” another said.

CNN is not publishing the posters’ names for safety reasons. Both said they were in Iran, but CNN could not verify that.

Reliable information was hard to come by.The Ministry of Culture on Saturday banned international media from reporting on the demonstrations unless they receive permission from Iranian authorities. A freelance journalist said it was “very dangerous” to take pictures.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government said Saturday it is ready to randomly recount up to 10 percent of “ballot boxes.” The government agency that oversees elections, the Guardian Council, said it had received more than 600 complaints of irregularities from the three candidates.

6 Replies to “At least 19 dead in Iran unrest, hospital sources say”

  1. VT – Atlas Shrugs is reporting more than 200 dead, excluding any casualties of June 20. There have been protests in all major cities. Bandar Abbas, Mah’had and others.
    BTW, it does not matter who is in power there. Both the sides are equally corrupt. Right now, it all looks “romantic” but if Mosauvi had won, do you think there would have been a change ? Think again.

  2. Shep Smith just said that the AP was saying 1 dead but that he had personally watched 8 people die on fresh YouTube videos just this evening.

  3. canadian. We at Vlad are under no illusion that any Islamic run country will share the same values and freedoms of the west. Not to say that any culture is perfect but some are better than others. Iran is run by clerics who use the religion of Islam as a club against any and all who would appose or seek to usurp their power. Until that changes, you are right, nothing will change.

  4. i am really tired of the media .Iran it is proving the they don’t even care about their own people screwed them. enough publicity.

  5. Richard J. Evans has just finished his trilogy on the Nazi Reich from inception (vol. 1) consolidation of power (vol. 2) and finally the outbreak of war (vol. 3).

    What is amazing is the eerie similarity of the Nazi brown shirts, nurtured and recruited purely as street thugs to enforce a reign of terror against their political opponents, to their Iranian counterparts, subsidized and organized within hundreds of local mosques in Tehran and other cities, where they have their special ‘clubhouse’, stocked with weapons. The mosques are directly analogous to the beer halls and political meeting halls the S.A. ‘brownshirts’ used in Berlin and other major German cities, since the Moslem religion has become a defacto political party worldwide.

    Hitler was no fool when it came to direct and bloody action against his political rivals. He was never shy about calling out his brown shirt toughs (the S. A.) to kick, beat and often kill the socialist and communist opponents who fielded their own, less organized and rarely uniformed street gangs. We should expect a similar vicious and unrelenting attack by the police and these mosque gangs against the fairly peaceful yet angry crowds filling the streets.

    Khameni has shown his merciless, evil side now. He is either crazily certain the vote fraud cannot have been perpetuated by the political minions of those in power and so utterly naive he has taken the current and ‘re-elected’ president’s word on the matter, sacrificing his own higher power to trump the president and the entire political system — Or, he is, like Hitler in his same period when he was accumulating ultimate power, willing to sacrifice the sanctity of his office, his morality and his integrity to retain his post.

    Hitler was incredulous when other political leaders actually accepted his lies and promises. Soon the people of Iran will feel the same betrayal the British did after the Sudetenland agreement was breached by Hitler, as they shake off the falsities and lies of their Ultimate leader and the power mad president under him.

    Khameni, the religious head of Iran, who leads a now faithless regime ready to trade mere power for religious faith and truth, has lost. His final ‘ace’ of the Quran and the power of his Islamic title as Ultimate leader now means nothing, in fact it has become a stain on his very soul, a modern mark of Cain, fresh with the blood of his people slaughtered in the streets.

    It’s previous unshakable power has disappeared and has proven unable to trump the anger of a populace who won’t swallow the ‘big lie’ anymore. Unfortunately, because the Iranians mixed religion and politics so perfectly, they must necessarily reject their religion or declare their highest religious leader a sham, liar, and heretic. So much for a direct lineage to Mohamed (as denoted by Khameni’s black turban).

    The people returned to the streets, waving their Qurans to protect themselves. Soon they will drop the books and take up weapons as potent as their adversaries and perhaps never believe as much in the Quran again.

    This is the dirty, bloody, random and senseless process of revolution, pure and simple and will eventually shift from the crude takeover politics of late Wiemar Germany to the oscillating madness and death throes of the French Revolution. The current regime in power within Iran is dead set on staying in place and they will force their own citizens to ratchet up their own counter measures to meet the police and soon the armies of Muslim toughs that will flood out of the mosques to do their now godless Iman’s commands.

    This is also the death knell of a kind of innocent belief in the principles and basic morality of the Moslem religion, in Iran and worldwide. Torn apart and used by madmen whose love of senseless killing has utterly defiled the scriptures they also love to quote, this final crack has appeared as the ultimate religious leader lies to his own flock to keep his post intact, preferring to sacrifice them instead merely to prolong what will be a very short second term for the declared Presidential winner.

    What will the Iranian people have after they’ve purged their corrupt, power drunk leaders and their vicious followers? I think they’ll look inside themselves and outside, to the United States and Europe, where many of them were educated and would like to emigrate. A huge diaspora of emigration might occur, but few can make this expensive, involved shift. Most will seek help from other nations, other people, ones they know from the internet and the world press as well as ex-pats who are watching this agonizing debacle like the rest of us. It behooves us to consider now what we will offer them, both in statements and deeds.

    That is what we need to wait for, patiently, the reaction, the burned out, bloody victors in this slugging match only the masses will win, an almost Marxist power shift, without the confusing, bullshit dialectical theory muddling up the waters.

    Should be interesting, seeing a similar birth to our own nation’s occurring as we watch on CNN and youtube. Stay tuned…. maybe China will be next.

    I hope this comment isn’t too long…

  6. Our False Prophet appears to have no idea what a golden opportunity he’s passing up… overthrow this evil regime without firing a single shot… get their Armageddon-inspired nuke program off the world stage… and free 30 million people all at one time.

    But the boy wonder is too stupid to see it… or somehow just doesn’t care?

    And isn’t this what George W Bush told you was going to happen in the Middle East in the wake of Iraq’s liberation?
    Maybe that’s why Barack Obama has so little apparent interest in finishing the job in Iran… no matter how much it benefits the US and free world.

    That, and the fact that he’s already piled all his chips on legitimizing this vile regime- a democratic revolution at this point would be embarrassing.

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