"In an open society it is impossible to kill, jail, or occupy everyone who disagrees with you." (Bill Clinton speaking at the World Affairs Council)
The regime in Iran is a house of cards. Many may talk about their strength. I’ve heard it: money is rolling in because of the high price of oil. Yes. That is a strength. The revolutionary military supports the current president. Many in the Arab world and beyond see Ahmadinejad as a damn against the tide of Western imperialism. Another strength. They are acting boldly. Another strength. The world is paying attention. Yep, yet another.
Why do I say they are weak? A government that stones a man for adultery, sentences a woman to lashings for promoting the rights of women, imprisons professors, blocks social networking sites, and locks up union leaders is weak. W-E-A-K. We know now how weak the revolution was when Iraq attacked in the early 80s thus uniting the population behind the regime. That revolution was so weak that it tortured, killed, and imprisoned nearly all of the political thinkers and activists in the entire country.
Weak regimes respond with violence. Weak regimes keep their populations in a state of fear.
Read about the weaknesses here:
Listen to Halleh Esfandiari
talking to NPR about her imprisonment
Kamangir writes about the sentencing of feminist Delaram Ali
Here is an account of the stoning of the man put together by Hamid Tehrani at Global Voices
Read a report from the OpenNet initiative on Iran