I ran off to the Bahamas for a week and all hell broke loose!
… okay, well, not exactly (unless you count SnOMG).
There was some bad news. Iran will move forward with its plans to produce 20 percent Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU), and has already produced its first “consignment” of the material. At the least, this likely means an end to the already-doomed fuel swap and a big push for further sanctions, “smart” or not.
February 11, though, also marked a great disappointment for Iran’s Green Movement, which had designed what they called a “Trojan Horse” strategy in advance. In the culmination of their months of protest, backers of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi planned to attend the official regime-backed rally commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, assemble in front of the cameras of the foreign news media, and denounce the brutality of the Iranian government for the entire world to see.
Rather, President Ahmadinejad stood in Azadi Square and informed the public, once again, that the Islamic Republic had become a “nuclear state.” I’m not sure how many times this official “announcement” can be made with the same bone-chilling affect on the media, but for now it does still seem to be working.
It has certainly sent a chill down the spine of those supporting the Iranian opposition. Foreign Policy reports that Mohammad Sadeghi, who administers Mousavi’s official Facebook page, admits now “that he doesn’t know what comes next” and is “at a loss.”
Since the protest movement had not previously planned its activities beyond February 11, they must now take a step back to re-evaluate, or fade into obscurity.
As Cameron Abadi notes, “Cynicism and despair may be the order of the day among Iranian activists. They would do well, though, to remember that social movements on this scale are not a sprint, but a marathon.”