Opposition needs to flex their power

Freedom New Mexico

The regime in Tehran celebrated the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution last week with large-scale demonstrations in support of the theocratic state.

Ordinarily such demonstrations, featuring people given the day off work, bused to demonstration sites and sometimes paid, simply celebrate the regime.

Since the disputed (almost certainly rigged) election last June that returned the flamboyant and rhetorically dangerous Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency, a powerful opposition movement has emerged that is almost exclusively non-violent but increasingly determined and numerous. This Green Movement or Green Revolution has the regime on edge.

Every time since June that there has been an appropriate event, the Green Movement has challenged the legitimacy of the regime. This has happened in the face of brutal repression including arrests, torture, killings on the street, and the arrest over the last few weeks of at least 1,000 people suspected of harboring unacceptable thoughts.

Cries of “death to America” have been replaced by cries of “death to the dictator.”

The situation is especially delicate in light of the fact that the regime has announced it will begin enriching uranium to a strength of 20 percent U-235. This is not enough to make a bomb, which requires 90 percent enrichment, but it is a big step down that road. The Islamic regime has also announced a mysterious “punch” designed to get the world’s attention.

The Obama administration says it is designing tougher new economic sanctions targeting the entire Revolutionary Guards organization, which owns hundreds of companies.

Will Russia and China be on board? Will sanctions (which seldom work as planned anyway) be effective if they are not? Will the Green Movement once again show its power?

If the regime is too brutal today, it could tip Russia and China our way. But most of Europe, which has dragged its feet in the past, is there already.

Watch and pray. And know hope.