The opposition movement in Iran has decided to step up the tempo of popular resistance to the Islamic Republic, announcing weekly protests to be held every Tuesday for the next three weeks, with more enduring protests to follow.
Widening political opposition activity will include boycotts, civil disobedience, sit-ins and strikes. The Wall Street Journal has the story.
The Iranian democratic opposition has taken courage from the outpouring of anti-regime sentiment in Arab countries, especially in Tunisia and Egypt, where the autocrats were overthrown, and in Libya where the people have risen up against dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
The immediate goal of the protests is to free political prisoners and secure the release of Green Movement leaders who have been under house arrest since February 14. The long-term goal is more amorphous, with former regime leaders like Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi seeking a reform of the existing system, but a larger number of protesters demanding regime change.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a member of the opposition committee and a prominent film director, said in a February 24 video message to his countrymen, that he wants to see the Iranian government go the way of its counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt, adding, “Protesting every week will challenge the regime and in the future these weekly protests will turn into daily events.”
Confederation of Iranian Students leader Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a former political prisoner now coordinating young people inside Iran from his posts abroad, is has been calling for out-and-out regime change and the creation of a secular, democratic and pro-western government. (See illustration for a poster of a historic conference he recently led in Washington.)