Posted by: oatmealbear | December 30, 2009

Death to the Great Satan

What do you do when your citizens are protesting everything you hold true and dear?  Why protest their protest of course! (And call for their immediate public execution). There’s nothing quite like a government-organized protest to warm your day.  It’s cheap, to the point, and great fun for the whole family.  I’ll let the LA Times article say the rest:

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut – Thousands of Iranian government supporters at a central Tehran rally today called for the death of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi and the hanging of anti-government protesters, state television reported.

Clad in black and holding portraits of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, they chanted slogans in support of the Islamic Republic and against its opponents.

“Death to Mousavi!” they chanted. “Death to opponents of velayet faqih,” a reference to Iran’s theocratic political system.

The rally came in response to a weekend of large-scale anti-government unrest coinciding with the religious holiday of Ashura. Iranian officials condemned the earlier protest as part of a foreign-backed plot to weaken the Islamic Republic.

“I advise Mr. Obama and some European leaders to learn a lesson from the fate of their predecessors and do not think that by creating scenes and kicking up ballyhoos they can disturb the united ranks of the Iranian nation,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said to reporters along the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting, according to the pro-government Fars News Agency.

Iran’s minister of intelligence claimed that Marxists and exiled opposition groups were behind the weekend’s unrest and that some already had been captured.

“We are convinced that the unrest that took place on Ashura was planned by anti-revolutionaries, and these agents used the opportunity to reveal their true identity,” said Heydar Moslehi during the Cabinet meeting, according to the news website Tabnak. “Key individuals have been arrested.”

Iran’s leaders have long been able to conjure crowds for political demonstrations. Amid an ongoing crackdown on opposition supporters and dissidents, Iranian authorities encouraged employees of government offices and state-owned businesses to attend the 3 p.m. rally.

Public schools were told to dispatch pupils to the event. The manager of the Tehran Cement Factory flatly ordered staff to attend, according to one employee. Authorities established free shuttle buses and waived subway entrance fees to draw crowds.

After promoting the protest for days on television and radio, they broadcast the large demonstration in Tehran’s Enghelab Square live on state television, which also reported official rallies in other cities.

Conservative Iranian groups protested what they called the “defiling of Ashura” by anti-government protesters.

A speaker addressing the crowd said “the great Satan,” America, was behind the unrest in the country, and the crowd chanted slogans of “Death to America,” “Death to Israel” and “Death to Britain.”

Meanwhile, Mousavi attended the funeral of his 43-year-old nephew, Ali Habibi-Mousavi, who was shot Sunday during the protests in a case that remained unresolved.

Opposition websites said Habibi-Mousavi was buried amid heavy security in Tehran’s main cemetery. His body had been taken from the morgue and returned to the family on condition that the funeral would be held out of the public eye, opposition news sources said.

Western officials have decried the violence in Iran, which is already under international pressure regarding its nuclear program. Iran’s office at the United Nations denied a widely circulated Associated Press report that Iran was trying to illegally import refined uranium from Kazakhstan.

“Such fabrications of news are parts of psychological warfare to serve the political interests of hegemonic powers,” said a statement issued by the Iranians, according to a report today in Tabnak.

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