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The Summer of Discontent Looming in Iran

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 8:16 am    Post subject: The Summer of Discontent Looming in Iran Reply with quote

The Summer of Discontent Looming in Iran
May 13, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran (USADI)

With summer fast approaching, Iranís security forces are gearing up to crackdown on anti-government demonstrations which usually escalate in the months of June and July.

There have been many protests in Iranís major cities already. In March, violent anti-government protests erupted in Fereydoun Kenar, Marivan, Boukan, and Isfahan.

And earlier this month, teachers in Tehran and elsewhere staged demonstrations that led to the closure of many schools across the country. Moreover, more than 20,000 people took part in a protest by tea growers in northern Iran last week. The state-run media reported the arrest of 18 tea growers.

To stem the rising momentum of popular protests, Iranís theocratic rulers are undertaking pre-emptive measures by deploying the security forces in Tehran and other major cities. Special units of the Revolutionary Guards Corps regularly take position in many of the capitalís major intersections and streets. Roaming around in groups of four or five, they harass particularly the students and young people, making their presence felt.

In an editorial entitled, ďThe Guards must keep their guard up,Ē the state-controlled daily, Ressalat, expressed concern over the spread of popular uprisings. ďCertainly, the psychological atmosphere of June and July requires the vigilance of the Hezbollah as never before,Ē it wrote last week.

The mullahsí security forces have also executed searches at many internet service centers. Another sate-controlled daily Sharq wrote over the weekend that 20 such centers had been searched and that at least 12 shut down.

The number of executions including public hangings has been on the rise in recent weeks. Agence France Presse reported today that three people were hanged in Tehran and in the northeastern city of Mashhad. The clerical regime hanged four prisoners in city of Khorramabad (western Iran), and city of Ahwaz (southwest), Tehran and Karaj last week. Two women and six men in Arak and Karaj have also received death sentences.

Clearly, the mullahs, anticipating a long and hot summer of discontent, are banking on the international communityís ambivalence as they implement their pre-emptive measures to keep the democracy movement at bay. Without doubt, the United Nations Human Rights Commissionís indifference toward the deteriorating state of human rights in Iran, reflected in the European Unionís failure to table a censure resolution against Iran in the Commissionís April session in Geneva, emboldened Iranís ruling tyrants.

Iranís democracy movement offers the only chance for real change in Iran through peaceful means. The United Statesí security concerns could only be alleviated if and when the rule of law and democracy prevail in Iran. We should, therefore, give priority to efforts aimed at ensuring respect for the human rights of Iranís citizens and Iranian dissidents striving to establish secular and representative governance in that country.

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