Friday, June 19, 2009

Ayatollah Defiant: Crackdown Looms in Iran

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran made a highly anticipated speech today and there was no attempt at reconciliation.

There were threats:

"Rioting after the election is not a good way. It questions the election. If they continue [the consequences] will be their responsibility. ... If they continue they will be receiving other consequences, behind the scenes. I'm asking my friends and brothers to follow the laws. Let God give us blessing to follow those ways."

There was denial:

"The election showed that people with belief, hopes and joys are living in this country. Our enemies are using it. If the young did not feel free they would not have participated in the election. This trust is the biggest asset of the Islamic republic. "There were claims of fraud before the election. Don't listen to those allegations.

There was the old bag of tricks in the blame game:

"The competition for the election was very clear. Enemies and dirty Zionists tried to show the election as a contest between the regime and against it. That is not true, all four candidates support the regime." [He lists the government positions of the opposition candidates]. All of the candidates are part of this system and regime. Zionists and the bad British radio said it was a challenge to the regime.
The question of course, is whether this uprising is too big for a crackdown. It's much larger than the one at Tiananmen, and cuts across age and class in Iranian society. They are going to have to kill a lot of people. Let's hope they don't.

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