Six days ago, Seyed Ali Mousavi, nephew of Iranian opposition leader and figurehead of the Green Movement Mir Hossein Mousavi [wikipedia | facebook] was shot dead during the latest round of protests in Tehran; Seyed Ali had apparently been threatened by the police, and had recently lost his position at the Iran Academy of Arts and Sciences. After burying his nephew amidst government-sponsored protests on Wednesday, Mir Hossein Mousavi showed renewed resolve in a statement on his website which read in part: "I’m not afraid to be one of the people’s martyrs in their struggle for their just demands... My blood is no redder than theirs," and quoted the words of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the republic: "Kill us; we will only become stronger." [New York Times | Times Onlines (UK) | Al-Jazeera | Payvan Iran | Iran Focus News | Reuters | BBC] [more inside]
Meanwhile, fair and open elections in Iran lead to reformist win. Khatami seems to be headed for a 75% win in an election where voter turnout was the highest in years. I'll let others ponder the significance of that in comparison to, say, the hideously low turnout in American elections over the past two decades, or the win by Britain's Labour party, which also saw record low voter turnout. I'm sure someone smarter than me will figure out something to say about the idea that Iranians seem to care more about the political process than the big Western Republics do.