Protests in Iran Continue Despite Government Crackdown
On Ashura, one of the most sacred religious holidays in Iran, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the Iranian regime. Even with the risk of death, torture, rape, and beatings, people poured into the streets to protest the Iranian government.
In yet another wave of violent suppression from the government, at least 4 people have been killed so far, including the nephew of opposition presidential candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi. The people fought back and defended themselves against the police, clashing at some points and capturing cars which they set on fire.
On Saturday, while former President Khatemi was giving a speech in support of the opposition, Basiji stormed the hall.
Even though foreign reporters have been denied access to Iran, in an effort by the Iranian regime to keep the news of the protests to a minimum, Al Jazeera has reported on the protest with their own inside sources.
The White House thus far has kept relatively mum on the protests in Iran. Some advisors maintain that keeping a distance from the human rights abuses in Iran is prudent in order to further negotiate, futilely, on the nuclear issue. The unrelenting opposition of the Iranian people to their government and desire for freedom and democracy has sent a clear message in Iran and abroad that these protests and sustained opposition were not an anomaly of this summer and will continue no matter what the costs until real change happens. The prudent, wise, and measures approach by the United States would be to support the people of Iran rather than continue to legitimize and support the Iranian regime by continuing to negotiate with them.