How is popular resistence to the Islamic Republic regime developing?

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"Boroujerd struggles to maintain order in university"

INA | Oct. 15, 2009

"Boroujerd's Azad University students have taken down pictures of the founders of the Islamic Revolution in all classrooms."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/select...
Sounds like, from the things I've been reading on the link, there is resistance, but it as yet rather small-scale and "underhanded". This is, in part, because of the Iranian governmetn's massive retaliation against many of those who protested against the elections last summer, but it's also something of a continuation. I think we'll all need to stay tuned, because I don't think these small-scale demonstrations of defiance are going to go away, and may, eventually lead to something bigger. The important thing is, it's internal, and the Iranian people themselves are instigating it, despite governmental protestations to the contrary.
Agreed on all counts, Anne.

There is in the resistence camp disappointment (see recent comments on our "Foreign Policy" thread) about the lack of support from President Obama. But what exactly outsiders might do, and if and how it might turn counterproductive, is very uncertain.

Opinion in the West would seem to be mixed, at best. We don't seem to be short on apologists for the Islamic Republic regime, e.g. see Roger Cohen in the NYTimes.
A resistence quite different from the post-election peaceful demonstrations in Iranian cities has been evident in Iranian Baluchistan over the past five years and more. The Jundallah "Soldiers of God" Sunni group, led by Baluchi Abdolmalek Rigi, of the Rigi tribe of the northern Sarhad region, has repeatedly attacked Iranian security services. Two days ago, on 18 October 2009, the Jundallah insurgency struck with a suicide bomber at a meeting of Iranian security officials and tribal leaders. Six senior revolutionary Guard commanders, including the Deputy Head of Revolutionary Guard Ground Forces, and the RG Commander for Sistan & Baluchistan Province, were killed. The Jundallah has claimed responsibility.

As the National Post (20 October 09: A9) puts it, "Tehran said Abdolmalek Rigi, a Sunni rebel leader, had claimed responsibility for the attack at a gymnasium in Pisheen. His Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group has been waging war against the Shiite rule of Iran for years. ...

"The Baluchis, who are mostly Sunni, are one of many ethnic and religious minorities who have complained of discrimination in Iran, a predominantly Shiite and ethnically Persian nation."

Iran of course blames the U.S., Britain, and Pakistan for supporting this insurgency. There is no evidence of reflection about the Shia Islamic Republic treatment of the Sunni minority.

I have information direct from Baluchistan, but second-hand, that the Sunni Baluch are extremely irritated with the Shia chauvinism that is constantly flaunted by the government and its agents and institutions, and by the disadvantages imposed on Baluch because they are Sunni, and thus deemed inherently disloyal to the Shia I. R.
"The Faltering Islamic Leviathan"

by SOHRAB AHMARI
22 Oct 2009

"The faltering Islamic leviathan and the rebirth of the private cult in Iran."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/the-fa...
"Who supports Jundallah?"

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles
22 Oct 2009

Argues that the Iranian Baluch are Sunni fanatics, and, yes, Jundallah is supported by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia (what, not Israel?) Suggests the Jundallah are just like al Qaeda. Implies the Supreme Ruler and Ahmadi-nejad are correct that internal resistence must have its origins in external plots.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/jundal...

My comment: Everything in this article could be true, but how would we ever know? Aside from a few quotes, it is very thin on evidence.

The interpretation is a bit over the top: 'Hersh quoted Robert Baer, a former CIA clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East. "The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda. These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers -- in this case, it's Shiite Iranians."'

Well, it has been some time since I was in Iranian Baluchistan, and even then Islamic intensification was in process, but I would have to hear more to believe that the Baluch have become "fundamentalists" and "Salafi." Recent reports that I have indicate that the Baluch deeply resent the imposition of Shia norms and practices, as well as the discrimination they suffer for not being Shia. But their complaint is against the heavy handed, Shia Islamic Republic government, not "unbelievers."

The Jundallah are al Qaeda? What nonsense. Their focus is Baluchistan, not beyond. Furthermore, remorseless guerrillas they might be, but their attacks are almost exclusively on I. R. security services. They have not targeted the civilian population. We might not agree with Jundallah activities, but let's try and be clear about what is actually going on.


Philip Carl SALZMAN said:
A resistence quite different from the post-election peaceful demonstrations in Iranian cities has been evident in Iranian Baluchistan over the past five years and more. The Jundallah "Soldiers of God" Sunni group, led by Baluchi Abdolmalek Rigi, of the Rigi tribe of the northern Sarhad region, has repeatedly attacked Iranian security services. Two days ago, on 18 October 2009, the Jundallah insurgency struck with a suicide bomber at a meeting of Iranian security officials and tribal leaders. Six senior revolutionary Guard commanders, including the Deputy Head of Revolutionary Guard Ground Forces, and the RG Commander for Sistan & Baluchistan Province, were killed. The Jundallah has claimed responsibility.

As the National Post (20 October 09: A9) puts it, "Tehran said Abdolmalek Rigi, a Sunni rebel leader, had claimed responsibility for the attack at a gymnasium in Pisheen. His Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group has been waging war against the Shiite rule of Iran for years. ...

"The Baluchis, who are mostly Sunni, are one of many ethnic and religious minorities who have complained of discrimination in Iran, a predominantly Shiite and ethnically Persian nation."

Iran of course blames the U.S., Britain, and Pakistan for supporting this insurgency. There is no evidence of reflection about the Shia Islamic Republic treatment of the Sunni minority.

I have information direct from Baluchistan, but second-hand, that the Sunni Baluch are extremely irritated with the Shia chauvinism that is constantly flaunted by the government and its agents and institutions, and by the disadvantages imposed on Baluch because they are Sunni, and thus deemed inherently disloyal to the Shia I. R.
"Iranian Greens are not Revolutionaries"
by AHMAD SADRI
25 Oct 2009

Iranians know better than to attempt another revolution, for they know from experience that revolutions tend to turn on their own, and end up negating their own ideals.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/greens...
"Overview: University Unrest"

by GOLAB P.
28 Oct 2009

"Happy Student Day to you the student who is:

a hooligan!
naive!
an agent of a foreign adversary!
a threat to public safety!
a spy!
a fake intellectual!
a traitor!"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/univer...
"13 Aban"
by TARA MAHTAFAR in Washington, D.C.

02 Nov 2009

"By targeting dates of historic significance to the regime, opposition supporters aim to 'subvert' ideological symbols touted for 30 years by the Islamic Republic and thereby re-brand that date as an ideology-free 'green' day, the trademark color of the country's burgeoning pro-democracy movement."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/11/13-aba...
"We met online, after the election"

by AUSTIN HEAP in San Francisco
01 Nov 2009

"Outraged at seeing a movement and a generation muzzled, a group of us got together and started developing anti-censorship tools."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/11/we-met...
Video: university students protest visit of government official

More student protests

Mowj | Nov. 2, 2009

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance was unable to deliver a speech at Khajeh Nasir Tousi University after student's started chanting slogans in support of the opposition.

"Upon arrival in the amphitheater where the speech was to take place, Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi was overwhelmed with cries of "culture killer," "our culture minister, our shame," and "death to the dictator.""

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/11/select...
"Hostages, Hatred And Iran"

'The democratic tide has swept away years of propaganda that used foreign enemies to excuse suppression of the Iranian people's movement'

Payam Akhavan, National Post
Published: Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Payam Akhavan is professor of international law at McGill University and a director of the International Centre for Rights and Democracy in Montreal. He is co-founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre and a former UN war crimes prosecutor at The Hague.

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=2182758

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