Because of the recent developments in Iran, and the region, I have decided to open a new set of Windows on Iran. Let me first say a word of thank you to all of you who wrote to me individually and inquired about these windows.
As you know, on Monday February 14, the Green Movement (the movement against the military and oppressive state which is ruling in Iran) entered a new phase. After a year and a half of systematic attacks on the its supporters, and after the regime had celebrated the so called death of the movement many times, street protests made it clear that the opposition is alive and well.
What is Happening in Iran?
With the absence of foreign reporters in Iran, and the classification of the act of local reporting on the uprisings as “treason,” any picture we get from Iran is bound to be incomplete. To construct a general view of the events of the past few days, I published the following piece yesterday in Counterpunch.
In a series of bizarre moves, which seem to be a result of confusion, and are likely to be counterproductive, the Iranian regime seems to be testing the waters for arrest, even execution, of the leaders of the green movement, Mr. Mousavi and Karrubi.
- the first of these was the angry chanting of “death to Mousavi and Karrubi” by the lawmakers in the parliament a day after the February 14 protests.
- building an iron fence to block the way into the small street where Mousavi’s home is located is another curious move. Since Mousavi was already under house arrest and his contact with the outside world completely cut off, it is not clear what function the fence can serve except underlining the regime’s fear of his popularity. This video was taken secretly:
- Mr. Karrubi has been under an even stranger house arrest in the sense that while his house is surrounded by security forces, these forces have not prevented the thugs from harassing him and his family by breaking the windows, shouting insults at him, and throwing sound grenades to intimidate the family here. Today, the harassment was taken a step further by arresting his son.
Shiraz in Recent Uprisings
- The historic city of Shiraz in southwest Iran has been at the center of the revived uprisings in Iran. On Sunday, February 20, at least two people died as clashes broke out between protesters and the security forces. The death of one of the two victims, a fourth year biology student called at Shiraz University called Hamed Nour-Mohammadi, is leading to further protests. The Iranian official news agency Fars News reported Hamed’s death to be a result of a car accident. This has infuriated Hamed’s friends who say eye witnesses saw Hamed’s injured body thrown over a bridge here.
Sorry to end the blog, on such a sad note. There are indications that the Iranian government has not realized that a year and a half of brutal crackdown has not wiped out the opposition nor ended the discontent.
I’ll keep you updated on the later development.