Defiant talk- Iran’s opposition refuses to give up

"Mr Mousavi has timed his comments to encourage a new round of
anti-government protests that are expected next week. His defiance is
courageous in the face of months of intense repression by the
government and a particularly intense recent crackdown on opposition
members. Late in January two men were executed after being accused of
trying to topple the government. Another nine people have been
sentenced to death for taking part in pro-opposition demonstrations.


Mr Mousavi’s statement marks a new line of attack. Until now,
despite fiercely criticising Mr Ahmadinejad’s re-election, he has
continued to support the Iranian system of Islamic government. But his
latest comments suggest that he is now willing to challenge the
foundations of the Islamic republic. An aggressive response from the
government seems likely, with more violent crackdowns on demonstrations

The government has already warned against demonstrations to coincide
with the anniversary of the ouster of the shah. Yet some resilient
young men and women, especially in Tehran, the capital, are expected to
risk taking to the streets again. Mr Mousavi is not alone in
encouraging them. Muhammad Khatami, a reformist former president, has
called for peaceful protests next week. A peaceful official response is
most unlikely."


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