In what may be a major development, it is being alleged that Iranian opposition leader Mir Hosain Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard are calling for a general strike next week. Such a strike would be harder for the regime to forestall than crowds coming into the streets, and whether it has a big effect or not would be a way of measuring the support for the reformists in the country.
Predictably, hard liners in the Iranian parliament are calling for Mousavi to be arrested. As it is, seven members of what the regime calls “anti-government groups” from Tehran and Qazvin were arrested yesterday.
Not satisfied with having held an Egyptian-style election, some Iranian politicians apparently want to adopt the Burmese model. How do you say “Myanmar” in Persian?
Meanwhile, one price the regime will pay for phonying up the election results and violently repressing peaceful demonstrations is even greater diplomatic isolation. Although this LA Times piece questions whether sanctions will be tightened, I think that is also a possible outcome. Many Iranians are fearful that what was done to Iraq, in reducing it to a fourth-world country, will ultimately be done to Iran by the US/UNSC if things go on like this.
The 27-member European Union is intervening with Iran over the holding of British embassy personnel. This is a powerful intervention. One third of all Iran’s trade is with the EU and it is Iran’s number one trading partner. The EU imported 11.3 bn. Euros in goods from Iran in 2008 and exported 14 bn. Euros to Iran– maninly “machinery and transport equipment (54.6%), manufactured goods (16.9%) and chemicals (12.1%). “
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