Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Case of the Paranoid Ayatollah

If you're going to take militaristic action and fire on those that oppose you the least you could do is allow the families of the dead to take away the corpse for burial. Not however in Iran, and not if you've just killed the nephew of the man who only 6 months before came close to bringing the change that the demonstrators wanted.

It is often a sign that the regime in charge has lost the plot when they know that they have created a martyr and don't want the funeral to become another outpouring of opposition against their actions. The fact that Seyed Ali Mousavi's corpse was ceased from the hospital by the authorities and even close trading Russia are urging restraint shows that the Iranians are on a loose footing.

The news that Mr Mousavi, whose uncle Mir Hossein Mousavi stood aside from the rerun of the June Presidential election, was shot in the chest suggests his shooting wasn't merely for crowd dispersal but an assassination. However, on Sunday forces ring fenced the hospital where Mr Mousavi and four others who were killed were taken before whisking the corpses of for an 'autopsy'. They used tear gas to disperse the crowds that gathered and are also alleging that foreign agents were responsible for the murders to bring discredit to the regime. However, as Mr Mousavi had in recent weeks received death threats, which have now been realised the finger most surely point to Iranian sources.

It is a scene of paranoia the likes of which we maybe haven't seen unfold like this since the last days of the Ceauşescu regime in Romania. We all know how that attempt to kept the people in place ended just over 20 years ago. The fact the the people of Iran after months of thinking about the previous slaughter are prepared once more to take to the streets knowing what fate may befall them is a sign that no amount of Government intervention is going to silence them until their goal is reached.

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