Thursday, February 11, 2010

Freedom for Iran: 22 Bahman

22 Bahman, or February 11th, is the anniversary of the 1979 Khomeinist Revolution in Iran. Officially, it is an unparalleled national holiday.

Unofficially, today is confrontation day.

Yesterday, Iran set the tone by shutting down most text message and low-bandwidth internet feeds, and then announced a permanent ban on Google's GMail service, all trying to cut the cable on news getting out about today's events.

Just to show they are still in the game, the U.S. Department of the Treasury set a new round of sanctions on Pasdaran (IRGC) entities and one IRGC official under E.O.13382, the authorization to sanction Proliferators of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The Iranian Government announced further uranium enrichment activities, taking LEU (3~5% fissionable) stock up to 20%... not quite bomb grade, but so close as to be within trivial reach. For a simple enough explanation of how nearly trivial, I'd recommend ArmsControlWonk's presentation on the matter.

The usual ranting and raving by the Ahmadinejad regime has also been on full display, and huge numbers of regime supporters (well, rent-a-mobs, but government paid) have turned out for the show at pro-government rallies. Here's a review of the situation from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

In one bright note, however, the "Green Movement" anti-regime protesters are out in strength. The cost is pretty high, though. You can follow one of the better sources on the protests at The Guardian (UK) live 'blog of the day. RFE/RL's Transmission 'blog is also being updated in near real-time.

There well may be more coming of all this...

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