The Iranian leaders who cheered the popular overthrow of an Egyptian strongman last week have promised to crush an opposition march planned for Monday in solidarity with the Egyptian people.How will the West respond to what happens today?
“These elements are fully aware of the illegal nature of the request,” Mehdi Alikhani Sadr, an Interior Ministry official, said of the permit request for the march in comments published Sunday by the semiofficial Fars news agency. “They know they will not be granted permission for riots.”
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was blunt.
“The conspirators are nothing but corpses,” Hossein Hamadani, a top commander of the corps, said Wednesday in comments published by the official IRNA news agency. “Any incitement will be dealt with severely.”
Unlike Egypt, there is very little desire to support the ruling regime by most governments. But also unlike Egypt, it is not easy to find media that can get into Iran to cover the protests live, and that - more than Twitter - is what galvanized world opinion.
Moreover, while one must accept that Al Jazeera had a lot to do with Egypt's and Tunisia's revolutions, their Qatar sponsors are more ambivalent towards Iran, worrying about poking the thousand pound gorilla across the Gulf.
At the moment it looks like Iran is doing everything they can to stop any rally from occurring, including placing all opposition leaders under virtual house arrest and blocking metro stations.
Will the West criticize Iran as they did Mubarak?