Monday, July 13, 2009

Slow Burn in Tehran

Previously, I said that I would not turn back to this subject until the "revolution" was over. I think it is, but now a new dynamic - one that will be played out over the long-term - seems to have taken hold.

Last week, the opposition called for more demonstrations. They were small, apparently in 1000s, but nevertheless were beaten back with teargas and clubs. Text messaging was cut off on last Thursday (the anniversary of the 1999 student protests that were crushed violently) to prevent communication. The government appears to be creating a permanent underground movement.

The continuing low-grade fever of opposition to the current government will gradually drain Iran of regional legitimacy to the extent of its ability to effectively interfere in regional issues. Everyone should simply let this happen rather than indulging in ill-advised bellicosity or, worse a military strike against nuclear facilities.

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