The Khamenei regime in Iran commemorated the taking of US embassy personnel hostage on Wednesday, with thousands of its supporters taking to the streets. But according tot he BBC, dissidents who dispute the legitimacy of last June’s presidential election staged counter-rallies. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards stepped in to disperse these protests, using tear gas. Some reports say that the authorities even fired on the protesters and eyewitnesses report seeing people covered with blood..
I received this message on Facebook re: Nov. 3: “9:20Am Tehran time –huge crowds of people in TEHRAN- SHIRAZ-ISFAHAN ……coming out on the streets —BREAKING NEWS—ANTI ISLAMIC REP. DEMONSTRATION——-martial LAW-rev. guards on streets now”
The reports are that the protests are not limited to Tehran, then, but broke out in other cities– Shiraz, Isfahan, Rasht, etc.
AP is saying that 2,000 students confronted security forces outside Tehran University.
The protesters are being very clever, in tying their rallies to the anti-US hostage-taking of 1980-81. That break with the international world system, led by the US, is the foundation of the Khomeinist republic, which rejects American hegemony. The dissidents are rallying in honor of the same moment, but are resisting neo-authoritarianism, implicitly likening the government of Khamenei to that of the shah. While Khamenei may have bragging rights on his anti-imperial record, his regime is not less internally repressive than that of the shah. The dissidents are cleverly refocusing the debate on the domestic sphere rather than the international, where the regime has more popularity.
The Guardian has an hour-by-hour account of the events, with video and twitter maps.
This is a video of students protesting in the northern city of Rasht
Meanwhile, here are some excerpts from the USG Open Source Center translation of Khamenei’s remarks on the anniversary of the hostage-taking (a move he supported at the time).
Iranian Supreme Leader Speaks on Eve of Anniversary of US Embassy Siege
Address by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i at a meeting with students and pupils ahead of Iran’s Pupil’s Day, marking the anniversary of the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 — recorded
Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio 1
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Document Type: OSC Translated Text
(Khamene’i) In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
I would like to welcome all you young ones, students, pupils and families of martyrs. The day of 13 Aban (4 November) has been officially named as the day to fight Global Arrogance. . .
The first issue to be addressed by your sense of discernment is what is this issue of Global Arrogance that one needs to combat? Global Arrogance means that there is a certain power in the world, or there are powers in this world, which look at themselves and find that they have financial and armed capabilities and propaganda means. In this way, they permit themselves to interfere in a proprietorial way in the domestic affairs of other countries and nations. This is what Arrogance means; the spirit of hegemony.
This, in our country and before the Revolution, manifested itself in quite an obvious way. In other words, in this vast country America had sunk its claws into the body of this nation which has such a rich history and a great past and had done so in a most (Globally) Arrogant fashion. It interfered in the fundamental affairs of the country at that time.
The reason for this was that the rulers of the country were corrupt. They had no popular base and they wanted a base of support, so they looked to America to provide them with that support.
America, of course, does not give anything for free to anyone. Providing support to the rulers carried with it the cost that the Americans would interfere in our affairs.
In the concluding years of the Pahlavi Dynasty things were even uglier than that. It was no longer a question of going to America (to receive instructions); the ambassadors of Great Britain or America used to go to the Shah’s palace. Act in this way (they used to say) on the issue of oil, act in that way in international relations, act in such and such a way with your nation, act in this way with the combatants. This is the way they used to issue commands to the Shah.
And the Shah accepted this. Of course, when the head of a nation is so weak and hopeless and so subservient to the will of others, then you can rest assured what that situation really means. This was the situation of our country and this is what Arrogance means.
America is a Globally Arrogant power in the real sense of the word. this is not something that just concerns us, rather it is something that pertains to the whole world.
It is a matter that relates to the world of Islam. The Americans have an Arrogant approach towards everyone in the world. . .
The Japanese have not been able to dismantle US bases on their soil despite their technological advances. They have military bases there and they tyrannize the people. The newspapers have reported, as have news agencies, that rape and other violations occur there. In South Korea there are still (American) military bases. In Iraq the American objective is to build bases there and to settle there for 50 or 100 years.
In Afghanistan, a country from where if they manage to install their bases, they can have control over countries of South West Asia as well as Russia and China and India and Iran — there they are making concerted efforts to build bases. Such is the meaning of Arrogance.
Through uprooting the puppet regime of Pahlavi, the nation of Iran expelled America from this country. Of course, the Americans could, after the Revolution, have come to their senses and accepted that this nation is such a powerful one. . .
Their embassy became a center of conspiracy. It became a nest of spies. It became a center for suspicious contacts aimed at compromising this person or that in order to bring down the Islamic Republic.
A US [Secretary of Defence] once said what has always been in the heart of the Americans; he said we must eradicate the Iranian nation. Do you see now; eradicating the Iranian nation.
They said they want to eradicate the nation of Iran, not the government of Iran and not the Islamic Republic. It understood quite well that the Islamic Republic means the nation the whole nation of Iran; this was their method. Whatever they could do to advance this policy they did so. . .
Well, the very new US president has said nice thing. He has given us many verbal and written messages, and said: “Let’s turn the page and create a new situation. Let’s cooperate with each other in resolving world problems.” Well, we said that we do not want to prejudge. We said that we will wait and see how they act. They have said that they want to create a change. Let us wait and see this change. On 1 Farvardin (21 March 09) in Mashhad I said that if they extend to us an iron fist covered with a velvet glove, we will not shake it. I gave this warning there.
Eight months have passed since then. During this time, what we have witnessed is completely the opposite of what they have been saying and claiming. On the face of things they say let us negotiate. But alongside this they threaten us and say that if these negotiations do not reach a desirable result, they will do this and that. Do you call this negotiation? This is like the relationship between a wolf and a lamb which as the late Imam (Khomeyni) said we do not want such relations. (They say) Let us discuss around the negotiating table on such and such issue, for example the nuclear issue; however the precondition is that the negotiation should lead to such and such results. For example, the country should stop its nuclear activities. If it does not reach that result then they threaten that they will do such and such.
. . . When they speak Arrogantly to a nation and use threats to force issues — saying, if you do not do such and such a thing, this or will would happen — then this results in our nation responding, and saying we shall resist.
What the Islamic Republic wants is not beyond its logical rights. The Islamic Republic seeks its independence, freedom, national interests and advancement in science and technology. These are the rights of this nation. If anyone assaults these rights, the Iranian nation will confront them wholeheartedly and will bring them to their knees.
(Chants of: “God is great”, “Khamene’i is the leader” and other indistinct slogans)
The day that America abandons its arrogant policies, the day that it stops its irrational interference in the affairs of other nations and behaves like any other government, then it will be a government similar to others. However, as long as the Americans have a covetous approach, intending to get back to Iran, renewing the past, changing history and turning the time back in order to dominate our country, they will not be able to force our nation to retreat. Let them know this.
They should not pin their hopes on agitation and what happened after the (12-June presidential) election. The Islamic Republic is more powerful and much more deep-rooted than those (incidents).
The Islamic Republic has seen much more difficult incidents and has managed to overcome them all. . .
(Description of Source: Tehran Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio 1 in Persian — state-run radio)
End/ (Not Continued)