DoctorZin Note: Thought you should see what the Mullahs are saying about July 9th...
Iran regime claims victory as unrest anniversary passes quietly
TEHRAN, July 9 (AFP) - Iran's Islamic regime on Friday claimed a victory against "counter-revolutionaries", after the fear of tough reprisals and deepening political apathy dissuaded pro-democracy activists from marking the anniversary of student unrest five years ago.
"Despite an extensive campaign over the past few days in the counter-revolutionary media, it was not a demanding day and night for Tehran's police," the force's commander, General Morteza Talaie, told the official IRNA news agency.
He boasted that Thursday was "totally normal", and praised the "wise and alert cooperation between police and students" during what had been a tense moment for the 25-year-old clerical regime.
"In the past few years, certain lawless elements have been trying to exploit the students, but this year... they did not dare to do anything," Talaie said.
"The bitter memories can be forgotten."On July 9, 1999, student-led protestors clashed with police in Tehran and other cities in unrest sparked by a heavy-handed police and vigilante raid on a small and peaceful campus protest over the closure of a newspaper.
It was arguably the largest show of dissent against the regime since the 1979 revolution.Officially, one student was killed and hundreds of wounded in the violence, which prompted a major crackdown on dissent in universities -- a major driving force behind the Iranian reform movement.
This year the anniversary fell on Thursday, July 8, due to the difference in the Gregorian and Persian calendars. AFP correspondents saw no sign of any gatherings across Tehran.
There were also no credible reports of gatherings in other major cities, even though foreign-based media opposed to the regime -- notably pro-monarchist satellite channels based in the United States -- had been playing up the anniversary.
Each year since 1999, the regime has sought to prevent any gatherings from taking place and this week Iranian authorities signalled they would not tolerate any commemorations.
In recent months, thousands of police and special forces units have been out in force in the capital, officially to help crack down on bad driving.
Observers said the fear of arrest, together with a deepening political apathy following the sidelining of reformists in February's parliamentary elections, had dissuaded students and their sympathisers from taking to the streets.
"Staging a demonstration against the regime nowadays is seen as being both too dangerous and totally pointless," a senior editor at a pro-reform Iranian newspaper told AFP.
"Conservatives in the regime are clearly in control of things. People who supported Khatami have been badly let down, so why should anyone stick their neck out?" said the journalist, who asked not to be named.
Iran's reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, has been left isolated and powerless by the February polls, in which conservatives romped to victory following the disqualification of many of their reformist rivals.
And even though the mild-mannered president -- once a symbol of change in Iran -- said he supported the right to protest when fresh demonstrations erupted in June 2003, he did nothing to stop a subsequent crackdown that saw thousands arrested.
The president also failed to speak out against the running of February's elections, even though many of his supporters dismissed them as "rigged".
Khatami's second and final term in office ends in June 2005.The anniversary was, however, marked by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who challenged the regime over what they said were widespread incidences of torture committed in the wake of the 1999 unrest.
Email i received from Iran.
Translation from Persian:
Thanks alot European and US media. We've demonstrated for 5 years- and you have paid virtually no attention. In the 70's the BBC ran daily spotlight demonstrations on their frontpage of Khomeini's radical fundamentalism from France, unfortunately at the time he spoke of freedom and democracy and the BBC followed him every second of the way, when the Shah protested the BBC replied that we "must back democracy wherever it prevails"... 25 years later, we the students have demonstrated on a more consistent and basis, but your representative in Iran, Jim Muir has spoken proudly of the Islamic Republic, sometimes even denouncing our and our plight. When tens of thousands came out into the streets, you not only didn't report it, but you lamested us as a ridiculous group of foreign induced monarchists out on the streets... Thanks alot!
"The bitter memories can be forgotten."
NO. They WON'T Be.