Iran: Fire BeneathThe Ashes
It's all but over. To virtually no one's surprise, the Iran Government's pervasive brutality has effectively silenced the demonstrations and the opposition against Iran's stolen election. Iran has begun to move off the front pages. And it appears that the government's violence has forced the democracy movement off the streets and into a pained and fearful silence. The media reports are a cause not for surprise but for sadness.
The New York Times sifts the ashes of the Iranian resistance:
The direct confrontation over Iran’s presidential election was effectively silenced Friday when the main opposition leader said he would seek permits for any future protests, an influential cleric suggested that leaders of the demonstrations could be executed, and the council responsible for validating the election repeated its declaration that there were no major irregularities.According to CNN, the the Iranian Government's violence and threats of execution have stifled the demonstrations. And the Government persists in its groundless claims that outsiders caused the demonstrations, and that demonstrators were responsible for the death of Neda Agha-Soltan:
Two weeks into turmoil, Iran's leaders turned up the heat Friday as a high-ranking cleric warned protesters that they would be punished "firmly" and shown no mercy. Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami says rioters in Iran will be "firmly" dealt with if they continue to protest.Khatami's assertions will go unchallenged for now. Meanwhile, dozens of journalists who were trying to report the story and between 20 and 25 employees of a Mousavi organized newspaper remain in detention. Amnesty International noted that these were "at risk of torture in detention." Put simply, the democracy movement will now recede. The demonstrations will cease.
Is there still fire beneath these ashes? The BBC reported on Friday:
In the centre of Tehran there are many fewer security forces on the streets. A stadium where Basij militia - an arm of the Revolutionary Guard - were based is now being used for sport again.