Tens of thousands of Iranians have protested in favour of their government in major cities across the country, following recent opposition protests.Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei are continuing to oppress the Iranian people and calling those who consider the government illegitimate pawns of the West, even though all evidence points to the regime stealing the election from Mirhussein Mousavi.
Government supporters marched in Tehran, Shiraz, Qom and elsewhere, chanting "Death to opponents!"
The rallies - reportedly organised by the government - were a response to the opposition demonstrations on Sunday.
Tehran has accused Western powers of stirring-up the protests which left at least eight people dead.
The regime also broke multiple taboos by engaging in a deadly crackdown during Ashura, which is something that not even the feared Shah of Iran did while still hoping to retain power in 1978-1979. The martyrdom of Ali weighs so heavily on Shia thinking that comparisons to Ali and Yazid are prevalent in the opposition's characterizations of the crackdown. They portray Ahmadinejad and Khamenei as Yazid, who killed Ali on the plain of Karbala in 680AD. As Michael Totten points out:
Ashura is a Shia religious holiday, and it is not joyous. It is a day of lamentation that marks the date when the forces of the Umayyad caliph Yazid killed Hussein, son of Ali and grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, during the Battle of Karbala in the year 680. It’s one of the most infamous episodes in the struggle for power that permanently ruptured the house of Islam into its warring Sunni and Shia halves. The Shia – the partisans of Ali and his lineage – have been at war with the Sunnis – those who took the side of Yazid – for thirteen centuries. That Khamenei’s security people would murder unarmed demonstrators on this day of all days, and that his opponents now denounce him as the Yazid of Iran, may very well set most of the religious conservatives against him for as long as he and his government live.Turnabout is also fair play given that Khamenei once fashioned himself as a modern-day Ali during the Iranian revolution in 1979. Now, he's engaging in the very kinds of activities he once demonstrated against.
Mousavi's nephew has been buried under the watchful eye of the regime's thugs. It's also interesting how easy it has been for the regime to post images of their counter-demonstrations all while clamping down on the release of any information pertaining to the opposition efforts to get their message out. The regime is more prepared today to thwart online communications between the protesters than it was when the protests first erupted in the aftermath of the election debacle.
The Iranian regime is claiming that they didn't kill Mousavi's nephew, but rather some unidentified assassin.