Mousavi Agrees to Seek Rally Permits; 9 am Bazaar Gatherings called in Iran

AP is reporting that opposition leader Mir-Hosein Mousavi has agreed to the Interior Ministry’s demand that he apply for a permit one week in advance for any demonstrations, and will cease calling for unlicensed rallies. This is an about-face on Saturday from his stance just 24 hours earlier, when he said that the election theft attempt would be crushed. Mousavi did complain that rallies for his rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are allowed without all this rigamarole, implying that the Interior Ministry is treating him and his followers unfairly. D’oh.

The Iranian authorities are now alleging that they have examined a series of ballot boxes and found no evidence of fraud. The problem with this approach, which is being echoed by some Western observers, is that you have to explain the wholly implausible outcome first. Ballots can always be phonied up in various ways. When has there ever been a whistleblower in Egypt who explained how exactly the ruling National Democratic Party always wins parliamentary elections? And yet we know they are fixed. It isn’t interesting how– the *outcomes* tell us that they are.

Meanwhile grassroots protesters are still calling on Iranians to gather in the traditional markets at 9 am in Tehran and other cities, as an attempt to reinvent mass gatherings. This is a way for them to achieve a shop strike indirectly, hurting the economy and putting pressure on the regime.

The announcement says, ‘If [the authorities] try to prevent us from doing this, they will inevitably close down the bazaar. If they don’t prevent it, we will gather in such numbers that anyway the bazaar will be closed.” They say people should just go, initially pretending to be ordinary shoppers, shouting no slogans and wearing no green. But once the pedestrians swell to large numbers in the bazaar, they should simply mill around and decline to buy anything, which will have the effect of making it impossible for real customers to buy anything, either. They portray this method as likely to avoid any bloodshed. (Bazaars are admittedly labyrinthine, and getting a bead on someone inside one may not be easy; and, the bazaaris or shopkeepers and artisans would rather mind gunplay around their merchandise, and they are a backbone for any regime in Iran that wants to survive very long.)

The organizers also say that they hope to see this message spread around the blogosphere, maintaining that the more Iranians who know about it, the better it will work.

This is the announcement in Persian:

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