Did you know that the protests in Iran are the fault of the Jews, the media, and the West? It’s true! And here we were thinking it was Iranians tired of being oppressed by their government. But then again, we’ve been getting all our news from Twitter, so.
• During a 100-minute-long sermon at Friday prayers at Tehran University, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, demanded that protests cease, endorsed the legitimacy of the election results, and blamed the media, Zionists, Britain, and, of course, the United States, for sowing dissent in Iran. “The margin between the candidates is 11 million votes,” he said. “If it is 500,000 maybe fraud could be of influence. But for 11 million, how can you do that?” Khamenei warned that continued street demonstrations could lead to bloodshed, which would be the fault of the opposition. (Check out a video clip here.) In other words, he’s not backing down.
• On the heels of a massive rally yesterday, which saw turnout in the hundreds of thousands, Mir Hossein Mousavi had called for a large-scale demonstration on Saturday. He has yet to respond to Khamenei’s speech this morning.
• Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who hadn’t been seen in public since Monday until he showed up at prayers today, sounded more conciliatory toward the opposition yesterday, whom he had previously referred to as “dirt.” “I only addressed those who made riot, set fires, and attacked people,” a statement said. “Every single Iranian is valuable. The government is at everyone’s service. We like everyone.”
• Google has launched its English/Persian translation tool ahead of schedule in recognition of the role it can play in facilitating communication to and from Iran. “Like YouTube and other services, Google Translate is one more tool that Persian speakers can use to communicate directly to the world, and vice versa — increasing everyone’s access to information,” an entry on the official Google blog read. Facebook also made their website available in Persian “so Persian speakers inside of Iran and around the world can begin using it in their native language.”