I haven’t written anything on Iran recently, but that doesn’t mean that the opposition movement has left the scene. While there are far fewer public demonstrations in Iran these days–thanks to the brutal government crackdown that prevents such demonstrations from taking place–the political situation in Iran remains in a state of upheaval.
There is little that the regime can do to prevent uprisings amongst the populace, which take place nowadays on regime-approved holidays and during regime-approved demonstrations. A regime-approved holiday and demonstration is coming up with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the taking of American hostages, which is to occur this Wednesday, November 4th. The opposition is preparing to hijack the demonstrations, as the New York Times reports.
Obviously, there will be a crackdown once the anti-government demonstrations begin. But there is little that the government can do to prevent those demonstrations from actually taking place. The anti-government activists need only mingle amongst those who come out to commemorate the anniversary of the hostage-taking, and then, they will commence their own demonstrations at the appointed time. And chances are that their demonstrations will make more news than will the events designed to celebrate the start of the hostage crisis.
As I have written in the past, the Iranian people deserve better than the current leadership with which they are stuck. The former are brave, persistent, dedicated, and genuinely patriotic. The latter use patriotism as a bludgeon against a populace seeking freedom, and are as cowardly as the people they purport to lead are brave. The regime will continue to try to hold back the tide of reform, but it cannot do so forever. Eventually, it will have to give way to the Iranian people, and their demands for change.
Once it does, perhaps we will see an Iran that no longer needs to celebrate hostage-taking in order to validate its own importance. Perhaps we will see an Iran where citizens can demonstrate openly and freely, without being kept down by an oppressive government. The Iranian people deserve no less than the realization of that very vision.