Planned Strikes and Rumors of Harsher Crack Downs

Iran protests for the 5th straight day #iranel...Image by .faramarz via Flickr

The twitter board is aflutter with talk of major strikes tomorrow, Rafsanjani and Moussavi consolidating their political power for a push at the government, and the government shutting down utilities to neighborhoods and of course mass arrests. At this point no one knows what will happen today in Iran, however, there are only a few scenarios that can play out.

Scenario 1: Rafsanjani and Moussavi use their combined political influence and leverage and convince workers in the oil-fields to strike along with other merchants. When this happened in 1979, the Iranian government was forced to purchase it's oil at a ridiculous price from the US, which was key in removing the Shah from power (although the US will not sell to the Iranian government this time, Venezuela more than likely will). This will probably result in violence from the regime, but ultimately victory for the opposition in the end. Depriving the Basij of their payroll will also have a significant impact on how many of them show up to face down protesters. With already waning support inside of his own power apparatus, Khamenei will find himself in an increasingly awkward and vulnerable position, which will only deteriorate further with time.

Scenario 2: Discouraged by violence and intimidation through arrests and suppression, protesters dwindle in numbers Monday (I find this highly improbable, but not outside the realm of possibility). Losing momentum, the government will pounce on the opportunity and will arrest as many protesters as possible as well as anyone who is striking, regardless if the are protesting or not. Now, the government is going to do this anyway, but if they detect a lack of resolve on the side of the resistance they will squeeze that much harder, figuring that their tactic of discouraging dissent is working (right now the government is trying to be somewhat cautious by conducting arrests in the night rather than risk conflagration of the situation through too much open violence in the streets by day). This would be a blow to the revolution as the regime would slowly begin to remove problematic individuals one by one until no one dared stand in opposition for fear of reprisal, effectively marking the end (however temporary) of the attempted revolution.

Over the next week many new factors will be entered into the ever changing equation that is now the People's Revolution in Iran, changing the board and altering possibilities in the future. I simply feel these are the two most likely scenarios to play out on Monday; and, for what it's worth, I am putting my money on scenario 1.
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