The Shape of Punk to Come I’m reflecting on the renewed protests in Iran this afternoon, developments that could and should inform US foreign policy in the Middle East in months and years to come. From “Death Toll Rises to 10 as Clashes in Iran Intensify,” the tension between the futility of suppression and undeniable grassroots political will is evocative: “… few protesters could have expected the bloodshed that broke out on Sunday. The memory of Hussein is so potent among Shiites that killing for any reason is strictly forbidden on Ashura, and Iranian rulers have always tried to avoid violence or even state executions during the holiday. ‘Ashura is a very symbolic day in our culture and it revives the notion that the innocents were killed by a villain,’ said Fatemah Haghighhatjoo, a former member of the Iranian Parliament who is a visiting scholar at the University of Massachussetts in Boston. ‘Killing people on Ashura shows how far Khamenei is willing to go to suppress the protests.’ The Tehran police released an official statement late Sunday saying four people had been killed in the day’s clashes, but only one was shot. Two were run over by cars, and one was thrown from a bridge, the police said. But a doctor working at Tehran’s Najmieh Hospital said Sunday night that the hospital had performed 17 operations on people with gunshot wounds. They were treating 60 people with serious head injuries, including three who were in critical condition, said the doctor, who declined to identify herself for fear of repercussions.” - Robert F. Worth and Nazila Fathi reporting for the New York Times. Photo credit: Reuters

The Shape of Punk to Come

I’m reflecting on the renewed protests in Iran this afternoon, developments that could and should inform US foreign policy in the Middle East in months and years to come.

From “Death Toll Rises to 10 as Clashes in Iran Intensify,” the tension between the futility of suppression and undeniable grassroots political will is evocative:

“… few protesters could have expected the bloodshed that broke out on Sunday. The memory of Hussein is so potent among Shiites that killing for any reason is strictly forbidden on Ashura, and Iranian rulers have always tried to avoid violence or even state executions during the holiday.

‘Ashura is a very symbolic day in our culture and it revives the notion that the innocents were killed by a villain,’ said Fatemah Haghighhatjoo, a former member of the Iranian Parliament who is a visiting scholar at the University of Massachussetts in Boston. ‘Killing people on Ashura shows how far Khamenei is willing to go to suppress the protests.’

The Tehran police released an official statement late Sunday saying four people had been killed in the day’s clashes, but only one was shot. Two were run over by cars, and one was thrown from a bridge, the police said.

But a doctor working at Tehran’s Najmieh Hospital said Sunday night that the hospital had performed 17 operations on people with gunshot wounds. They were treating 60 people with serious head injuries, including three who were in critical condition, said the doctor, who declined to identify herself for fear of repercussions.” - Robert F. Worth and Nazila Fathi reporting for the New York Times.

Photo credit: Reuters