What We're Not Seeing

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

Today, while protesters fill the streets, there is a an odd quiet that has fallen over Tehran. Reports coming in from the boards indicate many protesters are simply sitting in the streets, as if waiting for a sign no one else can see. But the calm is deceptive and only skin deep at best. The real story in Iran at the moment is much less conspicuous than Basij shooting protesters, it has been happening for a week and continues to happen today.

Early Sunday, while seemingly quiet, reports were trickling in of even more arrests of media personnel, political opponents and idealists who have opposed the regime. Al Arabiya’s News Tehran bureau has been shut down and even now the regime works to stifle the flow of information that has been seeping out of its borders and into the rest of the world. Such a crackdown indicates that while there is a calm in the storm, there is still a growing tempest in the not so distant future. This is, of course, compounded with the days of mourning for the dead from yesterday, which will more than likely inflame opposition over the next month. If the violence continues and more people die, the opposition will be mirroring the 79 revolution that operated on 40 cycles according to the mourning period. People would come out en mass to mourn and some would die when clashing with police, thus spurring more mournings, more gatherings, and more conflicts; this becomes a self perpetuating cycle that only feeds the resistance and undermines the authority and legitimacy of the ruling regime.

While religious leaders search for a way to quell this rebellion before it gets out of hand, emotions run deep. Even if the clerics of the Islamic Republic are able to come to some kind of agreement on an alternative to a Supreme Leader, it may be to late.
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