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Indybay Feature

Death Toll Increases in Iran as Country Collapses into Chaos

by Todd A. Davis
A short article about the political protests in Iran.
What started as a series of protests in Iran by Mousavi supporters, against
what they contend was a fixed election against Ahmdinejad, has now
become a series of chaotic street battles in Tehran, and elsewhere, as of Saturday.
The brutal images of dead and beaten bodies in Tehran on CNN, Facebook,
and Twitter serve as harsh testament to the growing chaos, and bloodshed
in Iran.

The confirmed death toll has already reached about 19, and there are reports
of up to 150 dead in Iran. The police, Basiji, and military in Iran have been using
bullets, tear gas, water canons, and batons in the street battles across Tehran, to
disperse the protesters demanding change in Iran, and the installment of
Mousavi as President.

The Protesters have been chanting “Death to Khamenei”, after the Supreme Leader
of Iran backed the Ahmdinejad regime on Friday. The protesters have also been
chanting “Death to the Dictatorship”, around Freedom Square in Tehran, in reference
to Ahmdinejad.

Much of the protesting, and social unrest goes well beyond electing Mousavi as President. Many of the protesters are under the age of thirty, and they want the kind
of freedom that they see on a daily basis online, in movies, and in print media.

The Iranian economy has also endured years of hardship from international sanctions,
double digit unemployment rates, and inflation rates as high as 30 percent. Many of
younger voters that are part of the protesters see a bleak future for themselves under
the Ahmdinejad regime, so they feel they have nothing to lose by defying the
totalitarian regime.

It is difficult to see an election recount reducing any of the social unrest in Iran. The
underlying political problems relating to democracy, and the underlying socioeconomic
issues have all served to undermine the Ahmdinejad regime.

The violence, and chaos are likely to worsen in Iran, and further government crackdowns
could lead to opposition groups creating an insurgency, which would operate
covertly in similar ways to the insurgency in Iraq. Moreover, Iran could collapse into increasing social chaos, and the possibility of civil war, has become a political reality in Iran.
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