Iran's Supreme Guide Ali Khameni has thrown down the gauntlet in his much anticipated speech today. Mousavi did not show up. Calling for an end to protest marches, Khameini defended the vote, claiming there was no fraud and that Ahmedinjad is the winner. There seems little doubt that he intends to use force against the protestors at some point in the near future.
Khameini is not an electric speaker. His speech was broadcast live on CNN. His main points:
1. There was no fraud in the election.
2. How could there be fraud when Ahemedinejad won by an 11 million vote margin.
3. If anyone has proof of fraud, you can come forward with it. Protests need to stop. Only use legal means to complain of fraud.
4. He has no intention of allowing a revote. If the Guardian Council wants to allow some limited vote recount, they can.
5. He warned Mousavi, without naming him, that he will be held responsible if he continues to ask his supporters to protest.
6. He also warned "Rioting after the election is not a good way. It questions the election. If they continue [the consequences] will be their responsibility."
7. He blamed terrorists hiding among the protestors for attacking basij members.
8. People among the protestors have looted shops. There are "ill wishers, mercaniries, and operatives of the west and zionism" among the protestors.
9. Khameini said there is some corruption in Iran, but nothing compared to Britian. Heh.
More on the speech at the NYT and CNN. The Washinton Post is running an AP story on the speech.
For an analysis of the current situation in Iran and recomendations as to what the Obama administration should be doing in response to the Khameini speech, please see the post above, Countdown To High Noon
18 June 2009: Iran Update
16 June 2009: Iran 6/16: The Fire Still Burning, An Incendiary Letter From Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, State Dept. Intercedes With Twitter & Obama Talks Softly
16 June 2009: Breaking News: Vote Recount In Iran, Too Little, Too Late
16 June 2009: The Fog Of War - & Twitter
15 June 2009: Iran Buys Time, Obama Votes Present, Iraq's Status Is Recognized
15 June 2009: The Fog Of War - & TwitterChants Of Deat To Khameini
15 June 2009: Heating Up In Iran
14 June 2009: Heating Up In IranTehran Is Burning; What Will The Iranian Army Do? (Updated)
13 June 2009: The Mad Mullah's Man Wins Again - For Now
April 18, 2008: The Next Moves In An Existential Chess Match (Background On Iran's Theocracy)