Security forces have surrounded areas of Tehran and leaders of opposition and reform movements are under house arrest. Cell phone service has been restored in Tehran, but text messaging is still unavailable. The Iranian government has told some journalists to leave and has blocked publishing of reformist newspapers in Iran. Mohammad Ali Abtahi told media that more than 100 reformists were arrested last night, Guardian. Government officials have shut down the Tehran bureau of Al-Arabiya for at least a week, Al Bawaba.
Mousavi, the leading reformist candidate, issued a formal appeal to the Guardian Council according to his website, Al Jazeera. Mousavi’s letter to the people urges peaceful dissent. Al Jeezera also has a helpful outline of the political system in Iran, which is headed by a supreme leader who is the political and spiritual leader of Iran. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has held this position since 1989.
Allegations of fraud are widespread. The New York Times reports that “One employee of the Interior Ministry, which carried out the vote count, said the government had been preparing its fraud for weeks, purging anyone of doubtful loyalty and importing pliable staff members from around the country.”
President Ahmadinejad held a rally in Tehran today to celebrate his election victory. BBC News has thee video.
In other news, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netayahu will give a speech today in response to President Obama’s recent speech in Cairo on Mid-East relations. Netanyahu is expected to address two concerns: creation of a Palestinian state and the settlement of Israelis in disputed lands, Voice of America.
The leader of an anti-illegal immigrant “minuteman” splinter groups has been charged in a double homicide in Arizona. Shawna Forde, leader of Minuteman American Defense, and Jason Eugene Bush, operations director of the group, planned, along with another man, to rob the home of a suspected drug dealer in order to fund the organization. The group killed a man and his daughter and wounded his wife as she returned gunfire on the attackers. All three are in police custody and have each been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, Associated Press.
President Obama declared today, Flag Day, the start of National Flag week and urged all Americans to fly the flag, Fox News. Today also marks the birthday of our editor, Katy. Happy Birthday Katy!