July 9 jitters
: The Guardian reports that the mullahs are nervously trying to stop the July 9 democracy demonstrations in Iran:
The Iranian government is taking action to pre-empt possible unrest tonight on the eve of the anniversary of a crackdown on student protests by banning rallies and jamming satellite broadcasts from exiles in the US.
The interior ministry said it had refused all requests for rallies this week, when university students had hoped to commemorate the violent suppression of protests on July 9 1999.
Caught off guard by a wave of chaotic demonstrations three weeks ago, the authorities are taking no chances and trying to discourage young people from taking to the streets to denounce the theocracy.
The state prosecutor, who blamed the previous round of protests on “hooligans” and meddling foreign powers, said 4,000 people had been detained in recent weeks. Most student leaders have been detained without trial or formal indictment, reformist MPs say.
The authorities have closed some university halls of residence, postponed exams until the autumn, and renewed their efforts to seize satellite dishes and jam broadcasts by exiles in Los Angeles.
You can shut off the satellites but you can’t silence the people.