Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iran: No longer can anyone pretend theocracy and democracy are compatible

Having won re-election amid allegations of fraud, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday tried to show that he also controlled the streets where the Khomeinist regime first seized power in the 1979 revolution.

The show was less than impressive. Despite efforts by the Ansar Hezbollah (Militants of the Party of God) and security services to manufacture a large crowd, the massive Maydan Vali-Asr (Hidden Imam Square) was unfilled. The official news agency put the number at "several hundred thousands" while eyewitnesses reported tens of thousands.

Even then, scuffles broke out on the fringes of the crowd as groups of dissidents tried to force their way in with cries of "Marg bar diktator!" (death to the dictator). That slogan may be on its way to replacing the normal greeting of salaam (peace) in parts of urban Iran. MORE in the WSJ

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