Last Thursday (February 11), the anniversary of 1979’s Islamic Revolution, the Khamenei/Ahmadinejad regime succeeded in keeping control of central Tehran, thwarting the hopes of the Green Movement to turn the day into another display of public protest.
The authorities relied on three tactics. First, they mobilized hundreds of thousands of their own people, busing them in from around the country, to fill the city center. These included members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij militia, and other security personnel. In addition, thousands of civilian marchers took part in the official commemoration. There is no way to know how many of these marchers were genuine regime-supporters and how many were government employees or individuals otherwise beholden to the authorities, participating under duress. But they occupied the strategic terrain.