Regime announces tough action

In Iran the conflict between the regime and the demonstrators comes to a head. There is a growing willingness on both sides to resort to violence. On Friday, the army said it would "oppose the enemy's conspiracies" to ensure the "safety of the people." The strongest warning to date to the demonstrators also said that the protests were "desperate acts" aimed at weakening the Islamic Republic.

The Ministry of Intelligence had previously warned against participating in rallies. Such illegal acts would be pursued with all available legal means, said the responsible Minister Esmail Khatib. The warning was also apparently sent to many social media users. The Ministry of Intelligence has also been involved in cracking down on political protests in the past.

Justice chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Edschei had already called for a crackdown on Thursday. The judiciary and the police should not compromise when dealing with the "professional noisemakers", he said, according to the Irna news agency. He accused the protesters of collaborating with "foreign espionage services".

The regime is also demonstrating

The protests continued to escalate on Friday night and on Friday itself. For the first time since the 1979 revolution, demonstrators took to the streets in the rich north of Tehran and in the poor south of the capital at the same time. Iranian exile broadcasters, such as Iran International, broadcast videos of protests, sometimes with large crowds. The protest has long since spread to most of the provinces. Apparently more violence was committed against public buildings and police forces than in the previous nights. Exiled broadcasters continued to read the names of activists who had been arrested. Apparently several hundred people are arrested every day. The protests still have no recognizable head, but appear to be organized in a decentralized and spontaneous manner.

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