James Forsyth

Iran, the next phase

Iran, the next phase
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Reading about Khamenei’s speech at Friday prayers, it is clear that the situation in Iran has now reached a critical phase. The Supreme Leader has put his authority on the line with his demand that the protests now cease. As he put it, “street challenge is not acceptable”.

If they continue tomorrow and the crowd is of the same size as Monday’s, then we are into a new phase where the protests are much more of an explicit challenge to the regime.

The fact that Mousavi did not attend the speech, despite reported pressure to do so, suggests that he is not minded to back down. However, one senses that the phrase “street challenge is not acceptable” implies that a far-harder line will be taken with the protesters. That, of course, could trigger a reaction.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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