I think the anger and protestation is legitimate amongst the repressed Iranian people, but it's possible the ruling elite are stoking internal unrest for ulterior strategic motives that remain to be seen.
Here's a FORUM, BLOG and TWEETER GRID providing coverage of the unfolding crisis (also see the NIAC blog, the NY Times Lede blog, real time pics and Breaking News Twitter). My ongoing analysis of the situation can be followed at TheTreeOfLiberty forum.
Here's some videos that have leaked through Iranian censorship:
U.S. naval forces in the region have been given a heads up from Washington regarding the Iranian unrest:
U.S. military commanders in the Middle East were sent a message reminding American forces to maintain discipline and prudence if they encounter any Iranian military forces during potential unrest surrounding Iran's presidential election, CNN has learned.
This so far is the only acknowledged U.S. military reaction to the unfolding situation in Iran.
Two U.S. defense officials with direct knowledge of the highly classified message confirmed the details to CNN but said the issue is so sensitive that they could not divulge whose signature was on the message. It was distributed via secure communications in recent days. The officials talked with CNN on condition they not be identified.
Both underscored that the message is not an indication U.S. forces are at any higher state of alert. However, the U.S. military is extremely concerned, they said, that given unrest in Iran, any encounter between U.S. and Iranian units could inadvertently escalate.
The message is mainly directed at U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf that regularly encounter Iranian naval forces in those waters.
"We are watching, and ensuring disciplined restraint on the part of our naval forces," one official told CNN. The U.S. military's concern is that Iranian naval forces could engage in some activity in the Gulf waters that could be a "triggering event," that U.S. forces might been compelled to react to. (CNN)
Of course, it's a tad suspicious that just as the Korean Peninsula seems ready to ignite suddenly there's a crisis in Iran that could result in military confrontation and war in the Middle East.
As I wrote recently at TheTreeOfLiberty.com, "North Korea and Iran are knights serving their strategic purposes (for Russia and China) in the global chess game of Real Politik IMHO. The problem is, the West hardly has its mind in the game and we think our own checkmate is impossible out of incredibly arrogant stupidity".
Notably, it was clear that the original election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 was a rigged sham. Here's an excerpt from my article, "Is Iran Trying To Start World War Three?":
Consider the following. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted with "no doubt" his June election victory, months in advance, at a time when polls gave him barely 1 percent support. After the June 17th, 2005 presidential election in Iran, as the votes were still being tallied, Ahmadinejad, who had hovered at the back of the field of candidates in pre-election opinion surveys, announced hours before the Interior Ministry issued its own results that he would be in the runoff. How is it Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was so certain that he would be elected Iran's new president when all the polls indicated he was not even in the running? An obvious explanation is that the election was rigged and the "certifiably insane" candidate knew the ultimate outcome ahead of time. Indeed, even moderates in Iran who usually don't speak out declared that the election was rigged. Iran's Guardian Council, a panel controlled by hard-line clerics that has the ultimate say over all government actions, was behind the vote counting that resulted in Ahmadinejad's win. As Russian dictator Stalin so aptly put it: “The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”
As for Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the 'reformist' candidate supposedly questioning the election results this time around and calling for protests, I think one can safely assume he's a friend, not a foe, of the ruling clerics:
Mir-Hossein Mousavi was a student studying architecture during the Shah's regime at Tehran University. Two years after the revolution (1981), he was nominated as the Prime Minister by Khomeini. He was responsible, as head of the Council of Cultural Revolution, for shutting down the entire university system for four years. Starting in 1988, on the orders of Khomeini, a council was formed, with Mousavi as a member, to revise the regime's constitution to drastically increase the powers of the supreme leader.
Mousavi's socialist ideology became very apparent during the 1980s when he initiated Islamic Socialist policies such as subsidized food coupons, oil coupons and converting private enterprises into government controlled entities. Mr. Mousavi ordered the mass-executions of 1980-81, as well as the summer 1988 executions of over 30,000 political prisoners, who were then buried in mass graves. (emphases added) (Wikipedia)
Notably, Mir-Hossein Mousavi had become a candidate in the Iranian presidential election only two months before the vote. He had been politically inactive for some twenty years prior and then suddenly showed up on the scene. [Although, according to Asia Times: "Much has been made about Mousavi's 20-year absence from the scene, but strictly speaking this is not true. Mousavi has been engaged in Iranian politics for the past 20 years, albeit from a distance. For much of the 1990s he was a consultant on political and constitutional matters to supreme leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei... (Asia Times)]
So why did Mousavi choose to join the presidential race?
What may be telling is who Mousavi was Prime Minister for from 1981 to 1988, when he was last politically active: then president of Iran, Ali Khamenei....now Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic (Japan Times). Notably, Mousavi was born in Khameneh, in northwestern Iran — the hometown of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and, according to a relative, he is the grandson of Khamenei's paternal aunt (Time).
The profound truth is that, according to sources inside Iran, "Khamenei had encouraged Mousavi to run". (PajamasMedia)
As the contest for the presidency became more heated and threatening to the clerical regime's hold on power, it is clear that:
....Khamenei could have put a stop to it at the very outset of the campaign, but did not. Why? Does he secretly support a serious challenge to the Islamic Republic? (PajamasMedia)
That the political unrest in Iran has been instigated by the ruling regime seems further buttressed by warnings from the Iranian Revolutianary Guard days BEFORE the election that Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his supporters were planning a "velvet revolution", thereby foreshadowing the unrest. Yet the Guard failed to take basic preventative measures to obstruct mass protests and rallies upon announcement of Ahmadinejad's 'reelection' when the social consequences were anticipated.
Is Iranian 'opposition' candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi acting at the behest of his blood relative and long-time political partner, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei?
Is the unrest in Iran being instigated on behalf of the ruling mullahs?
If so, why?
Some challenging answers might soon become clear.