Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

Iran’s post-election landscape: Still a mystery from my armchair

A lot of the footage that’s been leaking out has looked outright revolutionary, e.g.:

(from Iran 101, referred to by Sullivan)

… but it’s still impossible to get a sense as to whether there’s any cohesion to the reaction, anything that could rally in the immediate term to force either a recount or a revote.

I realize I’m echoing Ahmedinejad—which makes me cringe—but we are predisposed to want to see a revolution, and I’m just not sure how much of a possibility that actually is. It’s pretty clear that the vote count was fraudulent, but that’s not anything that regimes in the past haven’t gotten away with. The police seem to be decisively on the side of the Council of Guardians; I’m not sure where the military stands (or if things are going to get so intense that they have or will be called in).

On the other hand, the government has effectively shut down the airwaves and has drastically and arbitrarily restricted the press; the BBC reports that Al Arabiya’s offices were shut down for no specified reason, mobile service has been taken down, and the Internet has been drastically slowed down. This is an effective shortterm way of blocking the opposition from cohering, but it is not something I think they can persist in doing (at least unless they want to actually impose military rule, and completely kill the Iranian economy). They must recognize this.


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