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Monday, January 18, 2010

JPost correspondent assaulted in Tehran

The JPost's Sabina Amidi is back in Tehran for the first time since June. Here's a small part of her report.
Among the regime's opponents - activists and those less prominent alike - it is stressed that they are not campaigning for defeated reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi but, rather, against the regime for its ostensible betrayal of Islam.

"The regime's violence against Islamic institutions is an affront, a betrayal of the very essence of our country," said a young soldier stationed in the capital.

"I don't believe in Mousavi because I have heard he is working for America, Israel and the British. My problem is that this country is losing its self-respect and its respect for correct Islamic values."

He added: "The son of [Ayatollah Vaez-Tabasi] the religious leader of the Imam Reza mosque in Mashad," a central site of pilgrimage, "has left Iran for America with his pregnant wife. Even Mr. Ahmadinejad's supporters like Tabasi don't trust our country enough to allow their kids to stay here."


While it is impossible to predict how the widespread bitterness, and the regime's often brutal response to protest will play out, it is hard to imagine that the ongoing use of force to stifle opposition will prove effective in the long term.

I was myself assaulted violently by a plainclothes security officer during this visit, falsely accused of spreading opposition propaganda. To my relief, a police officer intervened. If it was not for him, I don't know where I would be today.

"I can't just stand back and watch the violence," my rescuer said to me afterwards. "At times it is too much."
It doesn't sound like much has changed in Iran at all since last summer, nor like anything will change even if the opposition wins.

You will recall that the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance complained in November about Sabina's presence in the country. Stay safe Sabina.


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