Anniversary of Islamic Revolution May Bring New Clashes in Iran

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Next week’s anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution is shaping up to be a key indicator of the opposition’s resilience. The regime, in a continuing clampdown, last week executed two of 11 protestors who recently were sentenced to death.

On Saturday another 16 Iranians went on trial. They were arrested during the last round of protests, in late December, when hundreds of people were arrested and at least eight killed.

The semi-official Press TV news channel said that the 16 were working in the interests of the United States and other countries “seeking regime change.” The ISNA news service said five of the accused face charges of “mohareb,” a capital offense translated as “enmity with Allah.”...

The executed men were accused of plotting to topple the Islamic regime. Iran’s judiciary chief, Ayatollah Sadiq Amoli Larijani, said on Sunday they were “moharebs” and had been fairly judged on the basis of shari’a.

Tehran is responding to the challenge both by stepping up intimidatory warnings and, evidently, by trying to divert attention away by planning a major announcement on the anniversary....

Pro-government lawmakers also weighed in Sunday, urging “prominent figures” –opposition leaders – to use the anniversary as an opportunity to renew their allegiance to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“We advise the prominent figures who fanned the flames of dispute to make good on their mistakes and remain committed to rule of law,” and to take a stand against the conspiracies of the “enemies,” said a statement signed by more than 200 of the 290 members of parliament.

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