Rumble in Iran – by Ryan Mauro


The solution to the crisis with Iran was visible on December 7, Students Day in that country, which marks the anniversary of 1953 anti-American protests when Vice President Nixon visited after the coup that removed Mossadegh from power. The Iranian people continued their strategy of hijacking pro-regime holidays to express their opposition and demand democratic change. On the days when the regime is supposed to appear strongest, it instead appears weakest.

Liberal Middle East expert Juan Cole marveled at how widespread the anti-government demonstrations were. He described them as being larger than the previous November 4 rallies and only being surpassed by the protests following the “re-election” of Ahmadinejad in June. These crowds were able to form despite the deployment of thousands of security forces known for their brutality, the closing of schools, the detaining of opposition leaders, and attempts to shut down the information flow with the outside world by slowing the Internet to a near halt and stopping foreign journalists from covering the events. Over 20 mothers publicly decrying the loss of their children were even arrested.

The Iranian people and their leaders matched the regime’s viciousness with equal bravery. The regime admits that at least 200 were arrested (and the real number is probably far higher) and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, who challenged Ahmadinejad for the presidency in the rigged election, reacted to attacks on his wife and harassment of him by the Basiji with anger. The exact quote of what Mousavi said varies from report to report, but the general line was, “You’re agents. Do whatever you’ve been ordered to do, kill me, beat me, threaten me.” The 30 or so thugs later left and Mousavi was able to travel home from his offices to meet up with his wife who had been pepper-sprayed. The story is spreading like wildfire and will electrify the opposition.

The Associated Press reported that the protestors “showed an increased boldness, openly breaking the biggest taboo in Iran, burning pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chanting slogans against him.” According to Juan Cole, the Kurds in Sanandaj and elsewhere joined in, forcing the government to dispatch armored vehicles. Tear gas, intense blasts of water, gunfire, buses and cars with cages attached to detain protestors, steel clubs, knives, bottles and electric batons were all used in an attempt to oppress the people.

Clashes at universities ensued, some of which caused the security forces to retreat. Reports I received from Iranians said that at Tehran’s Somayeh Street, protestors forced Basiji attackers to run away, leaving behind a car and a few motorcycles. At Najaf Abad University, the resistance to attempts by security personnel to arrest protestors forced them to rely on violence just to disperse them. Also at this school, students chanted, “We don’t want nuclear weapons. We are tired of the Leader.” Basiji forces at Amir Kabir University had to leave after students pelted them with stones.

An estimated 6-7,000 security forces entered Tehran University, ruthlessly beating the students who had staged sit-ins and chained themselves to the building. The agents stormed dorms where “Death to Dictatorship” was heard and the students scrambled to shut the lights so they could not be identified. Protestors also hoisted up an Iranian flag with the religious symbolism cut out at a mosque at the university and were attacked. At Valiasr, also in Tehran, a truck driver dropped a shipment of bricks near Engelab Street so the protestors could defend themselves.

The security forces are becoming weaker. The original founder of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Sazegara, who has since become an opposition leader, says that during the November demonstrations, the volunteer Basiji forces failed to show up.

“They had to hire 3,500 people, paying them $400 per day, in order to crack down on the November demonstrations. We have succeeded in destroying the Basij force as it has been known until now. Today, it is only a name,” he told’s Ken Timmerman.

There are also signs that the loyalty of the most important security forces is faltering. Timmerman reported that on December 5, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander in Tehran had told his soldiers to greet the demonstrators with flowers.

The regime reacted with its usual violence and threats of harsher crackdowns. Ahmadinejad claimed he had proof that the U.S. was trying to stop the appearance of the messianic Hidden Imam from returning in an embarrassing attempt to distract his population. The country’s top prosecutor warned that the government would abandon its previous restraint and hinted at arresting Mousavi.

The Iranian protestors are becoming frustrated with the lack of support from President Obama. A spokesperson for Mousavi’s organization has explicitly asked the U.S. to take the opposition’s side, debunking the argument that doing so is not in the Iranian people’s interest.

The lesson to be learned from the round of nationwide protests that began on December 7 is well-articulated by Iranian dissident Amil Imani:

“Even while continuing to pursue a negotiated resolution of the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, Obama ought to express Americans’ solidarity with the democratic movement in Iran. The students there, playing on the meaning of Obama’s name in Persian (“he’s with us’’), have been chanting to him: Either you are with us or you are with them. The right choice could not be more obvious.”

  • americanfridge

    What I want for Christmas is actually world peace to stop this war.

  • americanfridge

    My wish is Christmas is actually work peace. To end this war.

  • Proxywar

    That's one wish that will leave you disappointed.

    LMAO@ World peace. As if all is fine in the world if we just end THIS WAR.


  • Alex Kovnat

    For understandable reasons, my first concern regarding Iran's possible future nuclear weapons is that Iran might use them against Israel. There is a possibility though, that an important reason the Iranian regime wants nuclear weapons is so they can use them against their own people to suppress attempts to overthrow the Khamenei regime.

  • parviztehrani

    Great Article! The Iranian People need support! The Iranian people with over 95% majority are against this barbaric regime.

    Iran can be America's best ally. Help Iran!

  • muslimpoxbyebye

    evaporate akk muslims is a better wish…. always wish right to the point bro:)

  • drygoldfeld

    I would seem to me that wishful thinking rather than facts raise the false hopes for any changes in the oppressive regimes in any Islamist country , especially a mad messianic dictatorship as Iran.Let us not forget that the Iranian people voted their oppressors into power and keep them there .

  • amir2009

    Iranian opposition did not ask for obama support. and Obama doing the right thing
    to not getting involve because he can do nothing except labeling oppsition as
    tool of US.
    However, that doesnot change the fact that US if following its own interest. otherwise
    instead of threating for more sanction which will only hurt common people and gives govemnent stronger hand and excuse, it could accept iran nuclear technology(which has support of everyone including oppostion) and ask for real democratic election
    in iran.

  • USMCSniper

    According to Jeffery Kuhner:

    President Obama's policy of diplomatic engagement combined with possible sanctions is doomed to fail. It is ineffective, naive and reckless. Direct talks, like those conducted in Geneva on Thursday, only give Iran more time. Mr. Obama is simply providing the mullahs with the cover they need to finish completing their nuclear arsenal.

    Washington now has two choices: Sanction an American or Israeli military attack to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities or allow Tehran to go nuclear. Either option means war.

    A devastating strike would likely trigger a fierce Iranian response, including waves of suicide bombers targeting Israeli civilians and U.S. troops in Iraq. Iranian missiles would pound Israeli and, maybe, European cities. Vital shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf would be disrupted, driving the price of oil to more than $300 a barrel – plunging the West into a possible depression. Hezbollah sleeper cells might be activated within the United States, unleashing deadly atrocities on American soil.

    Yet, allowing a nuclear-armed Iran is likely to lead to an even worse regional war. Once the ruling clerics get their hands on nukes, a military showdown with Israel is inevitable. They will seek to destroy the Jewish state once and for all. Jerusalem will not stand by and commit existential suicide. It will retaliate. The result would be a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East.

    The winds of war are blowing across the Persian Gulf. Following this summer's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, the Iranian regime is weak, desperate and fracturing. Washington should vigorously pursue a policy of internal regime change; otherwise, Tehran will drag the Middle East into a certain conflagration that could lead to the slaughter of millions.

    Instead, Mr. Obama has ruled out “meddling in Iran's internal affairs.” His peace-at-any-cost diplomacy guarantees military conflict. It is no longer a question of if this will happen, but when and on whose terms. Mr. Obama is sleepwalking into disaster. America and the Middle East will pay the price before the end of Ptesident Obama's term in office..

  • Janice

    Forget Obama! The PEOPLE of America are with the with the PEOPLE of Iran. I know in my heart that you will soon be free.

  • sam000

    Thank you Janice, the support of the American people and all the free people of the world is our best fortune.

  • sam000


    How much is the price of an agent of the Minister of the information now?

    Now that Bonyade Alavi is closed by the American Justice, how are you paid?

  • Len Powder

    Presidents Kennedy and Reagan went to Berlin to express solidarity with Berliners in their struggle to be free of the wall which had freedom on one side and tyranny on the other. Where is the President that will express solidarity with the people in Tehran who are struggling to bring down another wall? He is now retired. His name is George Bush. Hussein should change his name to mean “he is against us”. At least then the poor Iranians would not be so confused.

  • laurettelatini

    You mean like they “voted” for Ahmadinajad at the last “election”, where all the trouble started? Twit. People like you kept telling us that the victims of the various European tyrannies all lived happily within the system – until the system crumbled and there was literally nobody to support it.

  • laurettelatini

    I imagine you mean the largest war currently being fought, the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has so far cost at least two million lives. Or maybe the horror in Darfur, which has cost at least 400,000, or the little affair in southern Sudan that looks like starting again after costing millions of lives in a previous incarnation. Or else the mess in Somalia, or the rebellions in Burma? No? You only mean that pathetic police affair in Afghanistan where a few people get killed over months? How disappointing. Evidently if it is black men dying, it doesn't matter to you.

  • BS77

    Definitely read Caroline GLick's Dec. 11th column about Narcissists and Madmen…watch the idiot socialists, UN, and EU robo Gore followers clink champagne glasses in Copehagen while totally ignoring Islamic aggression and terrorism in Pakistan, Afghanistan and across the Middle East and even Europe. The global warming fanatics are lost in pseudo science and Orwelllian social control. Iran's millions of young students and adults who are trying to over turn their horrible mullah controlled dictatorship are left without any discernible support from the libturds of the West. THe priorities of the Copehagen elitists are obvious.

  • BS77

    wars don't end by wishing and hoping for a Christmas present…wars are ended by huge military forces….Nazi Germany was killing millions of Russians, Poles, gypsies, Jews, Ukrainians, Slavs….and wishing didn't stop them….Eisenhower, Patton and the Russian Red Army stopped Hitler and put him in his place….burned up in a shallow grave. THis is the reality.

  • anton

    Iranian opposition are trying to change the regime but they feel the hardship to change it.

  • bushlikesdick12

    Not going to happen. Iran is Iran's problem if we isolate our economic needs from their region. — that is how you establish peace for yourself and our country as a whole.

  • sam000

    Without armed RESISTANCE against this regime, we have to offer many martyrs.

    USA is responsible for this bloodshed,
    The support of the OBAMA administration for the Mullahs of IRAN is an active political and military support.

  • CowboyUp

    Wrong about Iran, both what the mad mullahs say, and what they do contradict you. Like the commies, THEY say it's us or them, and that our very existence is intolerable. It takes two to make peace, and the jihadis ain't interested. You'd just run up the butcher's bill.

    Your premise that if we isolate ourselves we'll be left in peace has been proven wrong as far back as written history goes. Most people learn that fact of life on a personal level before we get to kindergarten. I established peace for myself, as America has since we put down the Barbary pirates (our first regime change), by meeting violence with a disproportionate response. Some will only leave you be if you make the alternative more expensive than they are willing to pay, and some in this world are willing to pay with their lives or make you pay with yours.

  • CowboyUp

    I don't think it's a matter of if Iran would use nukes against Israel or the USA, but when and how. For Israel, I think it will most likely be by proxy delivered by truck or short range missile across the Lebanese border. For the USA, by truck across our Southern border.

    I don't think the mad mullahs would need to use nukes on their own population, unless it was to blame it on us, but they will certainly use a nuclear umbrella for more aggressive expansion in every direction by their proxy (hezz, hamas, etc..) armies.

  • CowboyUp

    They label oposition as a tool of the USA anyway, we might as well help them.