Were the Greens Defeated?
PBS Frontline / Muhammad Sahimi

February 11, the thirty-first anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, finally arrived. Many people had high hopes that the day would represent another major advance for the Green Movement. A glance at the Persian websites indicated that some people seemed to believe the Islamic Republic itself would be toppled. In their view, the only thing that the people had to do was show up in the streets and demonstrate.

Alas! The envisioned triumph did not happen, and it was clear to some, this author included, that it was never likely. Why? For several reasons:

One was that just as the Green Movement gains experience, so also do the hardliners. They have learned, based on the demonstrations that took place on both November 4, the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover, and December 27, the Day of Ashura, that saturating the streets of Tehran with security and plainclothes intelligence agents, as well as the Basij militia, is effective at preventing the formation of large clusters of Green supporters and undermining their capacity to demonstrate. This tactic was successfully utilized on February 11. Wherever Green supporters did try to gather, they were beaten up badly by the security forces.

It would have deeply embarrassed the hardliners if Green supporters had successfully staged large-scale demonstrations on the anniversary of the day that brought to power the very political system that they always claim is supported by the Iranian masses. It should... >>>

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