Gone are the regime’s efforts at keeping up pretenses, at casting itself as the authentic but misunderstood regional democracy. The evolutionary clock, which the West briefly believed to have been ticking in Tehran, positively wound down last week. Tehran’s Neanderthals bared themselves to reveal their ancestral constitution, acting precisely according to the dictates of their immutable, reform-defying DNA, and resumed bloodletting. Iranians who remember waking up in late February and March of 1979 to the startling images in their morning papers of bare-chested corpses with unzipped trousers — executed atop the roof of Ayatollah Khomeini’s residence the night before — recognize the biological references of the last few lines.
And what ought the rest of us who reject such savagery do? For the moment, as the families of the dead are denied the right to mourn their loved ones, we must first heed our most primordial intuitions: Say prayers and hold vigils in their memory. Together, we must deny Tehran the luxury of shadows. We must illuminate all dark spaces, the anonymous faces, by remembering. Simply, even austerely, we must relay the names of the five victims — blog, tweet, text, post, scribe, and shout: