Monday, December 21, 2009

Iran dissent arising anew

Twitter is aflame again with news from Iran. The death of the leading dissident cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri,, and his funeral have brought many into the street shouting anti-regime slogans.

Twenty years ago China went through many weeks of turmoil centered on a funeral that sparked anti-government protests. In that case the focus was on Hu Yaobang, who had been Communist Party secretary general and called for more reform than the rest of the leadership could tolerate. He died in April 1989 and younger Chinese who had backed his reform drive came out in long protests in Tienanmen Square in Beijing, culminating in the brutal squashing of the protests in June 1989. The turmoil lasted seven weeks.

Could the same thing happen in Iran, with the death of Montazeri? Six months ago it there were many protests about the flawed elections in Iran, and now trouble for the regime is rising again. If you're on Twitter, type Iran or #Iran in the search box and catch the quick links to follow developments.

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