Iran Unrest Could Boil Over Jan. 16
CBS News / Iason Athanasiadis

As simmering unrest continues to sweep Iran, the country’s opposition is casting about for possible endgames to the ongoing crisis. Frustrated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi proposed a five-point reconciliation plan last week but the government appears unyielding.

In the struggle currently gripping the streets of the Islamic Republic, an upcoming anniversary could prove significant.

Jan. 16 marks 31 years since the Shah of Iran fled his country, effectively handing victory to the revolution led by Ayatollah Roohollah Khomeini. Green movement activists are hoping the date could once again be the tipping point, this time for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

And as the anniversary approaches, Tehran isn't the only city to watch. Historical precedent suggests that revolutions can start in provincial cities not thought to be hotbeds rebellious activity.

On Dec. 15, 1989, a disturbance in a small Romanian team led to a massacre that became the long-awaited catalyst for the overthrow of the Ceausescu dynasty, the last Communist regime in Eastern Europe.

The protest in the town of Timisoara escalated into the shooting dead of nearly 100 demonstrators by Romanian government troops. Nicolai Ceausescu hurried back from a foreign trip - ironically enough to the Islamic Republic of Iran - just in time to be captured by revolutionary forces, put on trial and summarily executed. This may prove relevant to the current situation in Iran because... >>>

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