Disturbing video of a young Iranian woman shot and dying in the streets of Tehran has surfaced on the internet (extremely graphic, NSFW, requires youtube login). Known only as "Neda" in the video, she has been identified by subsequent reports as a 16-year-old student named Neda Soltani. Supporters of the Iranian opposition are saying that she is the face of the struggle, and that this video galvanizes the opposition movement. As of this writing, the authenticity of the video has not been conclusively determined, and a small but vocal minority on the internet are decrying it as a fake.
As the world watches the conflict in Iran unfold, many commentators have tried to make a connection between the current protests and either the coup of 1953 or the revolution of 1979. But what do we know of the history of that country and how well do we know its leaders? Some of the major political players who have dominated the trajectory of the recent history of Iran include Mohammed Mossadegh, Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and Mir-Hossein Mousavi. All links above are to Wikipedia pages. For more extensive articles and information, check below the fold. [more inside]
Ahmedinejad is declared victor in Iran presidential race. In spite of skepticism on the behalf of (among others) the Obama Administration, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday told all Iranians to respect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory.