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An Update On What's Happening in Iran

By Olivia Ma

YouTube News & Politics

It has been one week since Iran's contested presidential election, and YouTube has been flooded with footage from the streets of Tehran and other cities, documenting the civil unrest that is unfolding there. In the past few days, many Iranians have participated in violent demonstrations, held silent rallies to protest the elections, and grieved for those killed as a result of deadly clashes with the Basij, Iran's auxiliary police force. In the past 36 hours, the foreign media has all but been expelled from the country, making the role of Iranian citizens even more critical in shedding light on what is happening there.

Yesterday, opposing candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi called for a day of mourning to honor eight of his supporters who have died since the protests began. As you can see in this clip, a massive number of protesters gathered (some reports are in the hundreds of thousands), dressed in black, to peacefully pay their respects to the fallen and demonstrate their perseverance in seeking justice. A candlelight vigil was held on Thursday night, and Mousavi himself addressed the crowd and urged his supporters to stand up against corruption. Yet due to the Iranian government's crackdowns on foreign media, this speech received no airtime, inside or outside of Iran. The only clip we've seen of it on YouTube lasts just 20 seconds, but it illustrates the incredible power and energy of the crowd amassed.

In stark contrast to Mousavi's speech, Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the Iranian people today, insisting that they accept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory. Khamenei told Iranians, "If there is any bloodshed, leaders of the protests will be held directly responsible." The speech was broadcast on national television, and footage is available here:

Continue to stay tuned for more... and don't forget to check out the Citizentube blog for regular updates.