Beyond Tehran

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Josh Shahryar takes stock:

Protests in Mashhad can be confirmed now. Protesters gathered outside Grand Ayatollah Sane’i’s house and at Imam Reza’s Shrine. At least 17 people were arrested – most of them students. Many people were injured in clashes as well. Protests in Babol can be confirmed too now. Many protesters – including a young girl – were beaten badly by security forces here. [...] So far, the protests could be confirmed in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Babol, Ardabil, Qom and Najafabad.

And the death toll mounts:

Reports coming in of continued clashes in Tabriz, where 4 people have been killed, according to Rouydad News. This brings the rough tally of people reported killed at 12 so far (if the hospital reports of 8 deaths are from Tehran only).

This has to be seen now as a crippling blow to the coup regime. This vivid demonstration that they simply cannot command the assent of the Iranian people except by brutal, raw, thuggish violence, and that resistance to the regime is clearly stronger, more impassioned and angrier than ever before is their death knell. They have lost any shred of legitimacy - and the Green Revolution is outlasting them in conviction and energy and might.

The significance of this day, Ashura, the day Khomeini regarded as the turning point against the Shah, cannot be under-estimated. Its symbolic power in Shia Islam, its themes of resistance to tyranny to the last drop of blood, its fusion of religious mourning and political revolt: this makes it lethal to the fascist thugs who dropped any pretense of ruling by even tacit consent last June.

We cannot know yet, but this might be it: the pivot on which our collective future hangs.

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