Iran Update

Michel Ledeen updates:

Here are the key points from Iran over the last 3-4 days: First, in line with my basic sermon these many years, if you study the videos you will see many many women in the front ranks. They have every reason to be there, as the Islamic Republic (like so many Islamic regimes) is built on the sludge of misogyny.

Second, many of the evil Basij goons wore masks. This is new, and it indicates fear that they will be identified and hunted down. The conflict is ever more violent: On several occasions, crowds attacked security forces, even dragging them out of cars — and then, cursing them, letting them run away.

Third, in another ominous development for the regime, people from the southern (lower-class) neighborhoods of Tehran joined in. The revolt is now very broad based. But it is not yet powerful enough for the Bazaaris to join: Today the Tehran Bazaar was open for business.

Fourth, the regime has been stripped of religious legitimacy by its own panic-driven brutality. By invading mosques and hosseiniyas, by assaulting family members of leading clerics (Grand Ayatollah Sanei is under house arrest), and by ordering murder on Ashura, the supreme leader has violated a whole series of previously sacrosanct rules. I will be surprised if we do not soon hear from Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani.

Finally, there is still no national strike of the sort that paralyzed the shah’s regime 31 years ago. But this may come: There were Twitter reports yesterday saying that Mousavi was calling for a strike on January 7.

Our prayers for the people of Iran – but I don’t see quite enough rebellion to actually bring down the regime. Right now, unless the army actively starts supporting the rebels, I believe the regime will regain control, even if only for a while. If there’s anything we can do to help (ie, provide communications, throw wrenches in the Iranian government machinery, etc), then we should do it, now. The more pressure on the regime, the more likely it is to topple.