Sunday, July 26, 2009

Still On Life Support

The protests in Iran can't seem to gain enough traction to spread across the country, but the protesters--bolstered by protests abroad--have been surprisingly (and admirabley) stubborn in refusing to give up:

Groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International backed a global day of action, with protests planned in more than 80 cities, including several in the United States.

The protesters want Iranian authorities to release what they say are hundreds, or even thousands, of people detained during protests that followed the presidential election last month that returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power.

Inside Iran, as well, Iranian police and pro-government militia attacked and scattered hundreds of protesters who had gathered in Tehran in response to the global demonstrations of solidarity, witnesses said.

Demonstrators in Vanak and Mirdamad districts chanted "death to the dictator" and "we want our vote back" before they were attacked and beaten by police Saturday. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

The Iranian regime is not threatened by the current protests, but still faces danger as long as the protests continue. Since a large number of Iranians are unhappy with the the regime, there is always a chance that some incident will trigger enough people to rally to the current protesters. That event could shake the regime--especially if factions within the regime attempt to leverage a mass protest across Iran to their advantage.