We see how the regime is increasingly getting isolated from the civilized elements in Iranian society:
Nearly 90 professors at Tehran University have told Iran’s supreme leader that ongoing violence against protesters shows the weakness of the country’s leadership, a pro-reform Web site reported Monday, reflecting a growing willingness to risk careers and studies to challenge the ruling clerics.
The current rumblings from universities highlight the evolution of the opposition movement. What began as raw and angry voter backlash after last June’s disputed presidential election has moved to a possibly deeper and more ingrained fight against Iran’s Islamic leaders.
The letter signed by the 88 instructors was issued as university students around Iran staged acts of defiance — including hunger strikes and exam boycotts — to protest reported arrests and intimidation by hard-line forces, according to witnesses and reformist Web sites.
And, we see how the regime is forced to isolate itself from the rest of the world:
Iran’s international isolation deepened yesterday when the regime banned contact with more than 60 highly regarded Western organisations which it accused of conspiring against the Islamic Republic.
The list includes the BBC, Voice of America and other media organisations that beam Farsi-language programmes into Iran, as well as think-tanks, academic institutions and leading non-governmental organisations from America and Europe. “Having any relation … with those groups involved in the soft war [against Iran] is illegal and prohibited,” the intelligence ministry said. “Citizens should be alert to the traps of our enemies and co-operate … in neutralising the plots of foreigners and conspirators.”
One Iranian analyst, who cannot be named, said it was “a very harsh and important step” that would cut the last remaining back-channels for diplomatic communications with the West.
Others said that the list reflected either the paranoia of a regime convinced that the organisations were an extension of Western intelligence services, or a further attempt to discredit the opposition by portraying it as a puppet of Iran’s foreign enemies.
I have no problem terming this latest move as an expression of paranoia. And I don’t know how a paranoid regime that cuts off avenues of cooperation and dialogue is going to survive for much longer. Of course, if the regime gives off the impression that it is embattled and besieged, that is because it is. And the regime is showing that the pressure is getting to it.