Friday, October 16, 2009

Iran Update

These events have been reported to World Threats.

The Khamenei Regime has taken extreme repressive measures against the nation’s universities. As of October 10, the government has imposed a nationwide curfew. This is especially true in Tehran.

Universities are being touted as the best places for dissidents to gather. It is more difficult for the security forces to operate on the university campuses. there are already large groups of people there who have a good reason to be there. It is easy for groups to form in protest and then disperse before the security forces can act.

As a counter to the ability of the student to protest on short notice, the university administrations are engaging in such tactics as changing the time of exams, creating problems in the dormitories, closing dormitories sooner than normal, cutting water and power, stationing Basiji students every few rooms to control the others, eliminating transportation services and increasing the prices of food and other necessities.

These tactics are in use nationwide.

On October 14, a violent confrontation occurred at Tehran’s Azad University. At approximately noon, the government deployed Basiji who are also students to suppress the students. The Basiji started chanting “death to hypocrites”. In response the students chanted anti-Basiji slogans and “death to the dictator”.

This was the largest protest gathering since the beginning of the new academic year and numbered more than 3000 students. Basiji forces used pepper spray and tear gas against the students as well as severely beating several.

The latest reports include a litany of incidents of severe human rights violations too numerous to post.

Analysis. Whether or not these increasingly violent suppressive measures relate to the rumors of the death of Ali Khamenei are unknown. The protests have been going on for three months ever since the election of Ahmadinejad.

So far the regime has been unable to control the protests or reduce the intensity by removing the leadership of the opposition. There are always people who will step in and replace the fallen. That is a sign of a true popular revolution.

Should Khamenei have died, it is doubtful that the regime would announce it until they had chosen a replacement. By the Iranian Constitution as I understand it, that requires a meeting of the Assembly of Experts and the election of a new Supreme Leader. This might be very difficult task in the presence of a relatively peaceful revolution (so far) by a majority of the populace.

Whether or not Khamenei appears for Friday Prayers could be an indication of his health.

Source: World Threats

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