In Iran, The Beat Goes On
Literally. The NY Times reports:
The authorities showed little inclination to heed chastisement by outsiders as a senior cleric called for demonstrators to be punished “ruthlessly and savagely.”
At Friday Prayer in Tehran University, the senior cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, referred to the demonstrators as rioters and declared, “I want the judiciary to punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy to teach everyone a lesson.”
Reuters quoted him as saying that demonstrators should be tried for waging war against God. The punishment for such offenses under Islamic law is death, Reuters said.
As for the murder of the woman named Neda, now a symbol of Iranian resistance worldwide, Khatami also dismissed that as propaganda ploy:
Khatami said Neda was shot by government opponents for propaganda purposes. “By watching the film, any wise person can understand that rioters killed her,” he said.
Any hope for a new election, or even a recount were dashed by the Guradian Council:
The 12-man Guardian Council’s statement leaves little scope for more legal challenges to the election result, short of an attack on the position of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has expressed strong support for Ahmadinejad.
“The Guardian Council has almost finished reviewing defeated candidates’ election complaints … the reviews showed that the election was the healthiest since the revolution … There were no major violations in the election,” said Kadkhodai.
And while government thugs have been pretty successful in keeping protesters off the street, other signs of resistance are still evident:
There were other signs of continued resistance. A few conservatives have expressed revulsion at the sight of unarmed protesters being beaten, even shot, by government forces. Only 105 out of the 290 members of Parliament took part in a victory celebration for Mr. Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, newspapers reported Thursday. The absence of so many lawmakers, including the speaker, Ali Larijani, a powerful conservative, was striking.
This is by far the most serious challenge to the present regime since the 1979 revolution which put them in power. And I’ll remind you again that it took a year from the initial protests for enough pressure to build (as other elements of the society joined the original dissidents) to the point that millions took to the streets and overthrew the Shah. And at this point, the mullocracy has nothing on the Shah’s regime in terms of brutality, oppression and totalitarian control.