Civil Unrest in Iran

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For the past several weeks, the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has cracked down on signs of cultural openness and dissent in Iran. Because of his increased efforts to enrich nuclear materials, the US and some of its allies have been threatening international sanctions. Last month, Ahmadinejad raised gasoline prices by 25 percent and last week, without advance notice, he instituted gasoline rationing. Demonstrators set fire to at least a dozen gas stations in Tehran and chanted slogans against Ahmadinejad.  Banks, supermarkets and fire engines were attacked, and there are reports of trouble in other big cities, too. Will such civil unrest provide an opportunity for the West to get tough or to ask Iranian moderates for help in Iraq and Afghanistan?




Warren Olney