Hard-liners in Iran are facing increasing pressure. I’m just afraid that the reform movement will eventually face a Tiananmen Square style crackdown. You know the government/religious leaders will not go down without a fight. They will go down though. It may take the presence of a liberated and democratic Iraq (coming soon) to create even more pressure but it will happen – eventually.

The vast majority of Iranians don’t appreciate or deserve the government they have. It’s up to them to demonstrate that to the world though. More than a few will have to die to make that point. Freedom has a price.

If any of you know of a way for those of us outside of Iran to help the reform movement there please contact me. I’m sure countless Americans would support the cause.

Here’s the scoop on today’s events:

“Hundreds of Iranian hard-liners clashed with pro-reform students at a demonstration on Monday, the first serious outbreak of violence in 10 days of university protests against a dissident’s death sentence.

The student rallies and strikes in support of history lecturer Hashem Aghajari, condemned to hang for blasphemy, have raised political tension at a crucial stage in the power struggle between Iran’s reformists and hard-liners.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday ordered a review of Aghajari’s case in an apparent effort to defuse the row. Analysts said Khamenei’s intervention revealed how concerned the leadership had been about the student protests.

Some student leaders responded to Khamenei’s move by ordering an end to the protests. But others upped their demands to include an apology from Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi.

“We will continue to protest till Shahroudi officially apologizes and there is a guarantee no one will be jailed because of what they say,” student leader Saeed Razavi Faqih told Reuters.

It was not clear which call the student rank-and-file would heed, but at least one more rally was scheduled for Tuesday.

Witnesses said fighting broke out when a group of around 300 Islamic vigilantes entered a hall at a Tehran university, the center of a demonstration by some 3,000 reformist students.

Earlier, riot police sealed the area and parked buses around the campus to obscure the view from outside.

Students later emerged, some with blood on their faces, triumphantly punching the air and chanting “referendum, referendum” in a call for a national vote on the political future of the Islamic Republic.”

Read more.

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