Last Thursday was a day when other innocents could have lost their lives as the opposition planned large protests to mark the tenth anniversay of the 1999 student uprising in Tehran. Thankfully nobody was killed, though many were hurt by the tear gas used by the police to disperse the crowd of about a thousand. Such a small turnout compared with the hundreds of thousands who flooded the streets after the disputed election results were announced would seem to indicate that the opposition's energy has burnt out. However with senior leaders within the establishment still voicing their unease, it might well be that there is still fire under the ashes. It is still therefore very important to pray against violence.
With hundreds being arrested during the protests there is intense pressure on the revolutionary courts whose brief is to protect the country's security. The swift release of innocents and a renewed determination to respect the rule of law is a keenly felt need among Iranians.
Meanwhile the issue of Iran and nuclear power still dominates the minds of those repsonsible for foreign policy and defence. While the US has refused to support any Israeli attack on Iran, officials are very aware that Israel couuld still act. They are preparing what they call a new deal to offer the West.
- Any further protests to be peaceful and without bloodshed
- For the judicary led by Hashemi Shahroudi to be just and merciful
- For the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to have wisdom regarding the nucelar issue.