from the past two days

News update from June 22nd and 23rd. There's a mention of the strikes, but I think this was not well organized and not a full-on general strike. We'll see when we get more confirmation.

23rd of June

- Today is a day of national strike. The massive security forces presence makes it much harder for protesters to join up each others, as the security forces beat up people and force them to separate everywhere in Tehran, including in metro stations.

- The Guardian Council has declared that they will not nullify the results of the Election, and that Ahmadinejad is still the winner. Ahmadinejad will be sworned in as President between July 26 and August 19.

- On the International Front, the Government is getting angry with the international reaction. The Iranian Government issued a formal condemnation of the Secretary General of the UN for involving himself. They also declared that the French riots a couple of years ago were much more violent, yet they were never referred to as a crisis. Finally, they have expulsed two British diplomats from Iran and decided to recall their ambassador from Britain, while Britain has ordered the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats in return.

- The UN has declared it is dismayed by the post-election violence. Journalists are still being rounded up, now the focus seems to be on Iranian journalist who serve as correspondents for foreign newspapers.

- The split now seems to reach ever higher in the Conservative movement as Ali Larijani, speaker of the Majlis, is attacked by Ahmadinejad's supporters for staying neutral and even unofficially supporting the protesters. He is the one yesterday who called for a revision of the Iran-UK ties in light of recent events.

Sickening story of the day: Parents forced to pay a $3,000 fee for the bullet that killed their son

At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"-a fee for the bullet used by security forces-before taking the body back, relatives said.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn't amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour's body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.

Worrying report: Iran is now considering setting up courts in order to streamline the prosecution of all those arrested while protesting.

22nd of June.

- Mousavi announced today that there would be a day of mourning for the martyrs killed since the protests began this Thursday, in sync with the demands of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. He also called on everyone around the world to show support for the plight of the Iranian people. Tomorrow, a national strike will take place. Karroubi for himself released a statement calling on the Iranian government to provide care to those injured during the violence, release journalists and other political prisoners and return the bodies of those killed to their families.

- Members of the Parliament have commented that they are getting ready to hold Mousavi legally responsible for the protests and ensuing riots. They have also called for a possible ending of relationship with the United Kingdom. In response to Mousavi's calls for a general strike, they have also declared that anyone not going to work tomorrow will be fired. An Interior Ministry official followed-up the declaration that the votes were tampered with in 50 cities, saying the results of each box will be published in the near future.

- The Guardian Council has further clarified its claims about voting irregularities, and declared that there were in fact 3 million extra votes cast total. Qom is still an epicenter of rumours, where discussions about Ayatollah Rafsanjani's behind-the-scene indicate that he possibly has the support of the Army and plans to topple the government. This is still rumours, but a rumour that has been persistent since the beginning of these protests and has now been picked up as real by Al Arabiya.

- Protesters have tried to protest peacefully and hold vigils, but were attacked by security and basij forces the second they were more than a couple of people together. Thousands of them have been roaming Tehran in order to block any protests from happening. IRIB is claiming that the government has quelled the protests and they are now things of the past.

- There are reports that one of the highest commanders of the IRG has been arrested for refusing to follow Khamenei's orders to start a heavy crackdown on protesters. Basij and security forces have stormed one of the biggest newspapers in Iran, arresting members of the Staff. The British Embassy has evacuated all non-essential personal, fearing that the increasingly anti-British rhetoric will lead to another hostage situation at an embassy.


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