Free Markets, Free People

More Violent Protests In Iran

Protests have again flared in Iran on the anniversary of the take over of the US Embassy in the ’70s:

Security forces have used batons and tear gas to disperse opposition supporters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, witnesses and state media say.

Unconfirmed reports said the authorities had also opened fire.

Video posted on a reformist website showed hundreds of opposition supporters marching in central Tehran chanting “death to dictators”.

It came as an officially backed demonstration was held to mark 30 years since the seizure of the US embassy.

Thousands turned out for the anti-American rally, about 1.5km (1 mile) from where opposition supporters gathered in Haft-e Tir square.

Many of the opposition demonstrators wore green scarves or bands, which have been used in repeated protests since Iran’s disputed presidential elections in June.

I’ll remind you that this pattern in Iran – continuing protests across the country at every turn – is exactly the pattern that eventually brought the current regime to power after it overthrew the Shah.

The US’s response – well not much. They’ve been very vocal about Honduras, which is no threat at all to us, while mostly silent about the protests in Iran. And, as we know, Iran is indeed a threat to us and the Middle East. Their Qods forces are active in both Iraq and Afghanistan trying to kill American soldiers and thwart our efforts there.

And what do we do or say? Not much. About the best we get is this:

On Wednesday’s anniversary of the seizure of the US embassy, US President Barack Obama released a statement in which he urged Iran to move beyond the “suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation” that had prevailed between Iran and the US since then.

“Iran must choose,” the statement said. “We have heard for 30 years what the Iranian government is against; the question now is what kind of future it is for.”

My guess is the pro-democracy protesters in Iran would like to hear the same sort of thing from the US.



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5 Responses to More Violent Protests In Iran

  • The difference between now and then was that the Shah was a sick old man and he blinked. He didn’t have the fire to fight it anymore.  The current bunch will not hesitate to call out the revolutionary gaurd and squash the people. I don’t think there is much chance that they can overthrow the mullahs.

  • Exactly correct, Kyle.  The current regime knows that and remembers that the Shah was too weak, not too strong.  They will not hesitate to slaughter 1 million of their own people in the streets if that’s what it takes to remain in power.

    And if they ever *do* truly fear falling from power, they will start a nuclear war both to distract everyone from their problems and to eliminate some of that annoying civilian population which is giving them so much trouble.

  • Protesters chanting “Obama are you with us or with them?” ?
    Duh!  With THEM of course, well, with no one really, see, that would require us to make a decision, and we’re voting “present” on Iran, unless there’s a golf course that fiercely needs playing and then we’re voting for a nice round of golf.

  • Why are we not helping the protesters and anti-regime groups?

    That was a rhetorical question; I know the answer.  Something to do with birds of a feather…

  • That video does not work for me. Did they really chant “Obama are you with us or with them?”
    Some Dems need to explain that “are you with us or against us” is a terrible, terrible policy, quite gauche.
    Devil’s Advocate: While some small portion of Iranians might be comforted by US moral help, some other portion would become anti-reform in an anti-US reflex. Having an “open hand, not a clenched fist” gives the Iranian government no cover or excuses. Also, we are probably in the last hurrah of nuke negotiations before its too late – which could be more valuable than a roll of the dice on street protests toppling the regime.
    In conclusion, I am glad to be a commenter and not in charge of this stuff in real life…