The death of Montazeri has paved the way for Ashura to be quite a day:

The Green Movement appears to be emboldened and gaining momentum, and this is a week of great opportunity. The sacred month of Muharram culminates on Sunday in the emotionally charged holiday of Ashura, when Shia Muslims mourn the 7th century martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and the talk is of sacrifice.

The opposition is planning nationwide protests that day, and the fact that Ashura coincides with the seventh day since Montazeri’s death, an important date in the Shia mourning ritual, will give them greater impetus.

“Montazeri’s death could not have come at a worse time for the regime and it will rachet up the tensions considerably,” Dr Ansari said. “This has made an extremely fragile situation even worse for the Government and it will be scrambling to find a way to deal with it.”

Know hope.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.