Still Having The Power To Project


Scott Lucas takes stock of yesterday's protests in Iran and concludes:

So 25 Bahman was a victory, the biggest for the opposition since those December 2009 demonstrations on the religious day of Ashura. Still, it is only one day in the 20 months of post-election conflict. Today the regime will strike back with more declaration of foreign-supported sedition, more arrests, more references to the need to support the Supreme Leader. Opposition political parties, activists, students, and the person on the street will again be blanketed by warnings offset --- despite the contradiction --- by assurances that all is well.

Juan Cole reminds us how much more dire the situation is for Iranian protesters than it was for Egyptians:

Unlike in Egypt, where except for a day or two the Mubarak regime avoided direct physical confrontation of the demonstrators, in Iran the Basij, or volunteers for the Islamic Republic, attacked protesters on motorcycle and repressed them. Eyewitnesses said that dozens were jailed.

Meanwhile clerics in parliament called for the death penalty for demonstrators arrested at the scene.

(Photo: An Iranian protester throws a stone at riot police during an anti-government demonstration, under the pretext of rallies supporting Arab uprisings, in Tehran on February 14, 2011. By AFP/Getty Images. EDS NOTE: FOLLOWING AN OFFICIAL BAN ON FOREIGN MEDIA OUTLETS COVERING DEMONSTRATIONS IN IRAN, AFP IS USING PICTURES FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES)