They’ve been jerking him around on nuclear negotiations for six months, with sanctions now practically a fait accompli (or are they?), so there’s no sense left in making nice. Three clips for you here, one of Obama and two more from the uprising in Iran. The first appears to show citizens trying to save men who were being hanged by the regime; the second claims to be audio of protesters trying to intimidate security by screaming “Allahu Akbar” from all corners of Tehran after nightfall. (You’ll remember that from this summer’s protests.) There’s more where this came from, too: The NYT has graphic video of protesters and security beating each other bloody and the Daily Beast has a choice selection of six clips showcasing the street battles over the past few days, one of which purports to show the dead body of Mousavi’s nephew. That killing was a little different from the rest:
Unlike the other protesters reported killed on Sunday, Ali Moussavi appears to have been assassinated in a political gesture aimed at his uncle, according to Mohsen Makhmalbaf, an opposition figure based in Paris with close ties to the Moussavi family.
Mr. Moussavi was first run over by a sport utility vehicle outside his home, Mr. Makhmalbaf wrote on his Web site. Five men then emerged from the car, and one of them shot him. Government officials took the body late Sunday and warned the family not to hold a funeral, Mr. Makhmalbaf wrote.
The body’s since disappeared from the hospital where it was being kept. Mousavi’s top aides are now being rounded up too; the question is how much worse the situation has to get before they decide they have no choice but to come after him directly.
Meir Javedanfar says it’s a full-blown intifada, and it ain’t going away:
Here again Ayatollah Khamenei seems to be aiding the opposition. The brutal attack against the mourners at Montazeri’s funeral meant that more people were motivated to turn up in the streets on Tasua (the day before Ashura), as well as on Ashura, which happened to fall on the 7th day of Montazeri’s passing. In fact, small demonstrations have continued in different places since Montazeri was buried.
Further, on Ashura, his forces killed Seyed Ali Habibi Mousavi Khameneh, the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi. It’s very possible that he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, the Mousavi family might understandably assume that he was targeted for assassination. After all, how is it possible that among thousands upon thousands of demonstrators, he was one of the few shot dead? Was he followed from the beginning by an assassination team? Was he marked for death before he left the house? These are questions that cannot be overlooked.
And now his funeral, as well as the 7th day of his death, will provide other occasions for the opposition to demonstrate. Add to this 15 religious holidays, plus at least five major political ones. Meanwhile, more are expected to be killed or arrested, meaning further mourning congregations and demonstrations. Put all of these dates together and the regime could start facing an unprecedented number of demonstrations.
It’s not just demonstrations either: The Times of London has a nice round-up of various insidious ways dissidents are spreading anti-regime propaganda under the radar. Exit question one: I take it this means Waffles’s trip to Tehran to gladhand Ahmadinejad’s underlings is now off, yes? Exit question two: Is there any scenario here where Iran abandons its nuclear program? Assume the best-case scenario, where Khamenei flees the country and the Revolutionary Guard starts to crumble. Mousavi is elected president of a new secular-ish regime. Wouldn’t he want to keep the nuclear program, if only to show the military and hardline political forces whose support he’ll need that the new leader’s not going to roll over for the west? Long-term, that sort of regime would be vastly, vastly better than the mullahs. Short-term, I’m not sure for our purposes it would be drastically different.