Will Tehran Choose the Tiananmen Solution?

(Times-UK) Amir Taheri - Over the past eight months, the political dispute inside Iran has moved beyond the issue of a stolen election as a fully-fledged pro-democracy movement has emerged that rejects the Khomeinist regime. Even some former regime grandees such as former President Khatami and former Prime Minister Mousavi now publicly admit that the Khomeinist revolution has failed and that theocracy always leads to despotism. Suddenly Ahmadinejad and Khamenei appear to have become irrelevant as millions of people in insurrectional mood are pitted against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, which must decide whether to abandon the regime or drown its opponents in a bloodbath. On Feb. 11, the anniversary of the Khomeinist seizure of power, two rival marches will be held to mark the anniversary and we will learn how much blood the regime is willing to spill on Iran's streets. The more radical elements within the Revolutionary Guard have publicly argued for a "Chinese solution" - a bloodbath modeled on the Tiananmen massacre of students in Beijing in 1989. Yet during the past few weeks, more than a dozen top ayatollahs, including some close to the regime, have publicly broken with it, warning against any bloody repression.

2010-02-09 08:17:01

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