Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Dangerous Profession?

News reports this morning are of 70 university professors in Iran being arrested, whereabouts unknown, after meeting with former prime minister and opposition leader Mousavi.

Events in Iran could be some of the more significant in the Middle East since the Iraq War, maybe even more so.

It is striking to see these kind of crackdowns in 2009. Imagine what would be the case in any Western country if text messaging and cell phones were cut off, the internet restricted, and professors were arrested for meeting someone.

Can the current leaders of Iran pull this off? Can a government in this day and age be so intolerant, restrictive and oppressive and get away with it? The bulk of evidence leans toward "no" but China/Tiananmen Square shows it can happen.

My guess is that the current regime will get through the current crisis but that the genie is indeed out of the bottle and things will not be the same. How significant will be the changes and how long they will take are the questions.

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