Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pray for the people of Iran

The Wall Street Journal reports that Iranian officials are mobilizing forces in advance of Thursday's anniversary of the Islamic Republic in an attempt to quash antigovernment protests:
On Wednesday, semi-official news services and opposition Web sites reported last-minute attempts by police and plain-clothes militia to suppress antigovernment demonstrations.

Basij militia took over a large bus and taxi station in western Tehran, shutting it down and draping a banner over the terminal stating the area will serve as headquarters for security forces.

Iranian Web sites said the bus terminal would also be used by security forces coming in from the provinces to help suppress protests in the capital.

The government typically buses in large numbers of government supporters from outlying regions to Tehran to participate in rallies.

Meanwhile, human-rights groups in Iran reported late Wednesday that 19 mothers whose children were killed in previous post-election unrest, had been detained by authorities.

Iranians have reported widespread service disruptions to Internet and text messaging services, though mobile phones appeared to be operating normally Wednesday.

Iran's telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.'s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out. It wasn't clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Google's email services in Iran.
Today the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Iran, freezing the assets of an individual and four companies affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.  The affected individual is Islamic Revolutionary Guard General Rostam Qasemi.  The affected companies are: Fater Engineering Instituten Imensazen Consultant Engineers Institute, Makin Institute and Rahab Institute.

Iran's embassies in Paris and Copenhagen have been the object of green paint attacks, an apparent protest of the Iranian regime. Taiwan News explains:
Green is a symbol for the reform movement in Iran and for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. His backers claim he was the rightful winner in June presidential elections, not victorious incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday called for "crippling sanctions" against Iran:
"Iran is racing forward to produce nuclear weapons," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of European diplomats yesterday, calling for tough and immediate action by the international community as Iran moved ahead with plans to enrich uranium to the 20-per-cent level.

"This means not moderate sanctions, or watered-down sanctions," Mr. Netanyahu said. "This means crippling sanctions and these sanctions must be applied right now.
Ahmadinejad has promised a "telling blow to global arrogance" tomorrow.

A perfect storm is brewing.  Say a prayer for the people of Iran.

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