Iranian Revolutionary Fires Still Burn

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On December 7 of every year, Student Day is held in Iran to honor three student protestors who were killed in 1953 while demonstrating against the U.S. Now, Student Day has become a day of demonstration against the Iranian regime. This year’s protests were only a fraction of last year’s, but the students still stood strong in the face of tremendous security measures.

The activism for freedom last week has been described as “some of the worst civil unrest this year.” It is impossible to know how many students were arrested because the regime ordered a news blackout on all protests and arrests, but information coming out of Iran indicates it is in the dozens. The regime also slowed the speed of the Internet two days before the holiday to inhibit the transmission of news and especially pictures and videos.

The week before Student Day reminded the regime that it had to prepare. On December 1, students at Gilan University in Rasht disrupted a speech by the former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Sabzevar Rezai. There were strikes by factory workers, truck drivers and construction workers demanding they receive their wages that were 19 months overdue. Shortly before December 7, student activists at Kerman University released a statement that read in part, “Students’ Day is a day that students found their identity as patriots in Iran; the day that they learned that a responsible student should not stay silent and should act out and cry out constantly in the face of insults and inequality and force. We cry out in the name of jailed students that ‘we will fight, we will die, and we will take back Iran.’”

Known activists in Tehran reported receiving text messages that read, “Thanks for the calls regarding the assassination of professors. You can call 113 and the people should know that news and intelligence on any kind of movement will be given to the Ministry of Intelligence.” Of course, no one talked about killing professors. This was just a way of frightening students away from associating with other opponents of the regime and an excuse to send out a threatening text message warning that protestors will be watched. Security personnel also showed up at scenes of protests with video cameras as a means of intimidation and to identify protestors for later reprisals.

The Open University of Arak was closed for the day without any prior announcement and there are reports of some student activists being arrested at their homes before they even participated in any activities. Three journalists and a financial manager for a top reformist newspaper were arrested on December 7 after they put out a special issue in honor of Student Day.

On December 7, security forces encircled Tehran University, the hotspot of political protests. Reports from Iran estimate that 400 security personnel out of uniform invaded the school and set up obstructions inside and outside. Hordes of vehicles were parked on the street where millions gathered to protest Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent re-election and agents were dispatched to scrub off anti-regime slogans written on walls.

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    Although I do support and believe that assisting the dissident movement in Iran is in our interests and would be beneficial to the West, I don’t suffer from any illusions that if the dissident movement was somehow successful in overturning the present Mullahocracy it would all of a sudden mean that Iran would become secular and democratic, as once Islam reaches critical mass in any country, it is impossible for it to ever be cast off. Look at what is happening in Turkey today even with Kemalism.

    In addition, Iran’s nuclear weapons program nevertheless will ultimately have to be destroyed one way or another, as the nuclear genie must not ever be let out of the bottle.

    • Houman Mohareb

      Umm, IRAN is not a Damn Islamic Country, 80% OF THE POPULATION don't even beleive in Koran, It's the government who forces islam IN THE MEDIA AND NEWSPAPERS , so YOU THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINK IRAN I S MUSLIM COUNTRY…


  • USMCSniper

    Iran, once it has opeational nuclear weapons, will start a Shiite-Sunni and Arab-Persian war in the Middle East. This war will be by far the most bloodiest landmark in the history of War. This will be a war that will tear the Islamic world into two irreconcilable halves. A war that will not be a formal or declared one like a conventional war, but will be marked by increasingly bold and destructive terrorists attacks on Shiite targets across the Islamic world. The best we can do is protect Israel and let them all kill eah other.

  • Wesley69

    Any US support for the dissidents may come in two years if the Republicans recapture the Presidency. Until then, the Mullah's rule continues as does the theocracy's uses of terror and execution. Only when the repression affects all levels of Iranian society, will the Iranians overthrow their religious dictators. Meantime, the nuclear clock continues to tick down as the world gets closer to what could evolve into WWIII and no one seems interested in stopping it.

    Unfortunately, due to the stupidity of our leaders, the US will be dragged into the conflict because we never pursued a policy of Energy Independence. We knew this day would come. We were warned about it in the 1970's.

  • Jim

    If there were a way to communicate with the democracy students it should be done. I(f words of support are all you have then tell them you support them as most Americans do. Tell them that our so called democratic rulers are greatly distrusted by a huge number of common people here. If our govrnment supports the Mullahas they do not do so in the name of the American people. We support your democratic efforts and if we ever get a domocracy government we will press them to aid you