Eyes on Iran

Cross posted at Interest of the State.

Iran, although not an Arab nation, is not immune to the waves of anti-government protests sweeping the Middle East. Scores of Iranians took to the streets today in an act of defiance against the Islamic Republic’s theocratic government. However, government thugs were out in full force as well. Writes Farnaz Fassihi:

[A]s demonstrators’ ranks swelled, police and antiriot forces lined the streets, ordered shops to shut down and responded at times with force, according to witnesses and opposition websites, in a repeat of the official crackdown that helped snuff out months of spirited opposition rallies a year ago.

This comes only days after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the American-backed Mubarak regime for cracking down on protesters. Ahmadinejad called the protesters heroes — and rightfully so. However, he only considered them so because he saw them as part of an “Islamic Awakening.” Unfortunately for him, the Iranian protests are fiercely secular as the Iranian people have seen the real consequences of living under a theocratic regime. Don’t tell him that.

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