On the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution, the regime drowns out opposition protests.
Slate.com / Jason Rezaian

TEHRAN, Iran—Today was supposed to be the day when the Iranian opposition movement showed the world that it was the nation's future. In the end, protesters were unable to steal the stage from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who used the 31st anniversary of the revolution to announce that Iran is a nuclear state. That speech is likely to be what the day is remembered for.

For the first time in months, several members of the foreign press were allowed to cover a public event in Tehran. We all gathered at the foreign-media office of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance early this morning to receive credentials for the day, neon-colored vests marking us as press, and chocolate milk. We then boarded three buses and made our way to Freedom Square.

I kept my eyes glued to the window waiting to catch signs of protests, but there was nothing. In recent months, Tehran's murals of martyrs and revolutionary figures have been splashed with green paint. On our route, I saw one painting of Ayatollah Khomeini with a swath of green stretching down from his forehead.

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