AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
It was what the West had long dreamed of seeing in Iran. The largest rally in Tehran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 was not demanding death to America but respect for the democratic process. Those who have long claimed that the Iranian people are the greatest threat to the theocrats of Tehran appeared to have been proved right as hundreds of thousands marched against the status quo. The much-talked-about liberalism of Iran's youthful urban population was making itself shown.
The regime clearly realised that it was in trouble once it saw the sheer numbers that the opposition had mobilised. There was, tellingly, no attempt to seek a full-on confrontation with the demonstrators. Although the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei hailed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's suspiciously large victory over Mir Hossein Mousavi as 'blessed' at the weekend (perhaps divine assistance explains how tens of millions of ballots could be counted in minutes), the regime was forced by the protests into launching an inquiry into the election on Monday and then a partial recount on Tuesday. The opposition, however, is still holding out for a fresh vote.
Even a week ago, few would have dared predict that opposition to an Ahmadinejad victory would bring so many people onto the streets, or that the regime would reveal through its actions how weak it considers itself to be. The last few days have shown that history is on the side …