Iran: Harsh Words on Both Sides Make Bloody Showdown Likely February 11

Both the government and the opposition are looking to February 11, the 31 year anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, to bring the post-election unrest out of its current stalemate by staging massive shows of force in the streets of Iran’s cities. Traditionally, the anniversary has been a time for pro-government rallies to commemorate the overthrow of the Shah. This year, however, the event is being used as an opportunity for both sides to demonstrate their popular support by mobilizing as many people as possible to participate in their demonstrations either for or against the current government.

The political atmosphere has shifted in the past few days, from one of possible compromise to increasing polarization and radicalization, with the prospect of violence on February 11 ever more likely.

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