Many recent developments in Iran, all of them bad for the Iranian regime of Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader, with apologies to Fearless Leader of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Khamenei. Huge demonstrations rocked Iran on Friday with crowd estimates ranging from 100,000 to over a million in Tehran. Repression, brutal as it has been, is simply not stopping the Resistance from taking to the streets once a week.
The Repression is unbelievably brutal if statements of a member of the Basiji militia, the thugs the Iranian regime uses to attempt to control the streets, can be believed. He claims to have “temporarily married” virgin female prisoners, and raped them before their execution. I would like to be able to assert that this is propaganda and that such atrocious crimes do not occur. However, apparently this type of sigheh, or temporary marriage, has a long history in the Islamic Republic of Iran. One can imagine the type of blinding hatred that such atrocities have been building now for decades, and which is finally beginning to be unleashed. Small wonder that some very courageous women can constantly be seen at the forefront of the protests.
The most ominous development last Friday for the Iranian regime was the sermon of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in which he was sharply critical of the Iranian regime’s crack down against the resistance. Excerpts from his sermon are here. This was significant because it demonstrates the cracks within the ruling elites in Iran.
This was followed up on Sunday by another former President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, calling for a referendum on the government of Ahmadinejad.
Associated Press has a good story here, on what these challenges to the regime by two former Presidents of Iran mean.
Rafsanjani and Khatami, two experienced mullah politicians, would never have spoken out unless they were confident that the days of Ahmadinejad and Khamanei are numbered. The inability of the Iranian regime to stop the protests have convinced these two to jump on board the resistance movement. Their example will soon be followed by many more members of the ruling elite who do not want to stand with the Iranian regime when the inevitable day of reckoning comes, and that day may be approaching quite swiftly.