Regimet i Iran fortsetter å satse på jernneven og tror det skal lykkes. Det er ute av stand til å fatte at det har en folkebevegelse mot seg som blir stadig mer radikal. Folk som Mir Hussein Mousavi er symbolske ledere, men mye tyder på at folkets krav går mye lenger enn deres moderate linje.

«Ahmadinejad, Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards still don’t get it,» said one Iranian academic. «The Green Movement is a decentralised popular front run by local cells and local leaderships across the country. The main opposition figures do not control it. They are spiritual leaders, but do not provide any direction in regard to demonstrations or slogans.»

For the most part the demonstrations are spontaneous outpourings of anger. Decapitating the movement will not stop them, nor stop the defacing of banknotes with anti-government slogans, the daubing of anti-government graffiti on walls, the boycott of goods advertised on the state-controlled media or the shouting of «Allahu akbar» from rooftops at night.

Iranians are doing these things not because they are told to, but because they choose to. For a reviled regime that rules by diktat, that has to bus in supporters to fill its rallies, that must be a difficult concept to grasp.

Protests are now common not just in Tehran, but in conservative cities such as Mashad and Qom. The regime’s use of violence during the holy month of Muharram, its lack of respect for Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri after his recent death, and other sacriligious acts have eroded its support among the pious poor.

One activist said: «Do Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and the elite of the Revolutionary Guards really think that I, or anyone else, after being beaten by the police, witnessing the murder of Iranians on the streets, hearing stories of rape and murder in the prisons, and knowing of electoral cheating, will ever remain passive and quiet? None of us will ever accept the rule of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei after what they have done.»

Karroubi: Khamenei verre enn sjahen

The authorities’ use of deadly force on the Ashura holiday drew a fierce rebuke on Monday from the opposition cleric and reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi, who noted that even the shah had honored the holiday’s ban on violence.

«What has happened to this religious system that it orders the killing of innocent people during the holy day of Ashura?» Mr. Karroubi said in a statement, according to the Jaras Web site.

Mr. Karroubi, a fierce critic of the government, was attacked Sunday by plainclothes security officers, and other attackers later smashed the front windshield of his car, the Sahamnews Web site reported.

Revolusjonsgarden sier det er demonstrantene som vanhelligere Ashura og ber om harde straffer. Hvor mange tror eller holder med dem?

Government supporters blamed opposition members for the violence and called for their prosecution. The Revolutionary Guards issued a statement calling violence by the protesters a «horrible insult to Ashura» and called for «firm punishment of those behind this obvious insult,» the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

Iran Lashes Out at West Over Protests

Iranian protest is grassroots and unstoppable, say activists