SF sends a strong message to Iran

June 23, 2009 5:56:44 PM PDT
This has been a day of protesting, posturing and position taking not only in Iran, but by President Barack Obama in Washington and also at City Hall in San Francisco.

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in support of Iranian protestors 11-0. In Tehran, demonstrators say they have not lost their resolve, even if fewer of them are on the streets.

In Tehran, demonstrators returned to the streets again on Tuesday. But there were not nearly as many as last week, not after 17 died from stiffening government resistance.

But they said they are not done. Not since the government has denied demands for a new election, despite a recount showing a difference of three million votes.

"In the last presidential election we have witnessed no major fraud of breach and therefore there is no possibility of an annulment taking place," said the Spokesman for Guardian Council Abbas Ali Kakkhodei.

But as this government denies, others become more critical. At a press conference on Tuesday morning, President Obama weighed in and amped up his rhetoric.

"The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and the imprisonments of the past few days," said President Obama.

And they have become outraged by the video of a 27-year-old woman, called 'Neda,' who died from a bullet to the chest in Saturday's demonstrations. She has become a worldwide symbol and the government has described the video as a fraud, blaming the protests on foreign powers.

On the steps of San Francisco City Hall, Iranian Americans joined Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, before he asked the board to vote 'yes' for a resolution of solidarity with protestors in Iran.

"It calls for an investigation into the election into the election and election irregularities," said Mirkarimi.

Back in Iran, the protestors say they may change tactics. Rather than the large gatherings we have seen, they called for a general strike.

And then, there is Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has remained fairly quiet and out of site. His supporters are bewildered by what they call mixed messages from him.

In one, he urged his backers to keep fighting the election results. In another, he declared full respect for Iran's Islamic system, and described the pro-regime militias as 'our brothers.'

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