“The regime used all her propaganda tools to try to belittle and dismiss the . . . protests. Both days were painted as a small disturbance by a group of foreign-funded seditionists, by the state run media and regime pundits,” according to Sabety. The regime was wrong. The opposition has only gained strength, while the regime has tried to use restraint to avoid creating more martyrs.
Even though the regime tightened its physical controls of former top officials Mousavi and Karroubi, who now lead the “reformist” faction of the Green Movement, it couldn’t stop them from communicating with their supporters, Sabety notes.
“Leading up to 1st Esfand the regime increased its choke on Mousavi and Karoubi cutting off all visits, access to telephone, computers, and contact with the outside world. On Friday, the prayer leader, senior hard-line cleric, Ayatollah Jannati declared Mousavi and Karoubi as already dead. He accused them of treason and sedition but he said that the best way to deal with them was to lock them up inside their homes and forget them. The regime, so well-versed in the politicization of the Shiite cult of martyrs, is careful not to do anything that would turn the opposition leaders into instant heroes.
“By Sunday an Iron wall was erected at the entrance of the Mousavis residence, their personal guards were replaced with security forces loyal to the regime suggesting that this was going to be a long detention. With that wall the regime displayed its determination to clamp down on the opposition, oblivious to the historic symbolism of another ‘iron curtain’ that not too long ago fell.”