Monday, June 15, 2009

Basiji Responsible for Violence?

According to one of Sully's readers:

I finally got through and spoke with my family in Tehran. My cousin, who studies at the University, had the following report:

"Life has come to a halt. There were at least 2-3M in the streets today. I've never seen such anger. We are not going let this go. They've closed all the universities (during final exams) and have started a purge. Many of our professors are missing and student organizers are moving constantly to avoid detainment. The police is just watching and the army has declared neutrality. The violence is 100% caused by the BASIJ and thugs who are roaming the streets. They seem to be targeting girls, swinging with clubs and chains. Its disgusting but we are protected by numbers. Get the word out-- the more of us stand together, the safer each individual will be. The reports of the university attacks yesterday are true. We don't know how many were hurt or killed."
This suggests both that the Revolutionary Guard are behind this (the Basij would never act without their go-ahead) and that the other organs of the state are ambivalent at best.

If the army and policy are demonstrating their ambivalence, though, Ahmadinejad and Khamenei could be in bigger trouble than I thought. Especially that "targetting girls" thing. That's going to inflame anger, especially if those disturbing pictures going around Twitter start featuring young Iranian women.

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