UPDATE: Police car running people over in Iran
UPDATE: Iran on Fire hat tip Van
Protests against the regime in Tehran and its heavy-handed treatment of dissidents are growing. One of two things is going to happen. The regime is going to collapse or the mullahs are going to clamp down even harder and the government in Tehran is going to become more extremist and more dangerous. The problem is that the White House is not well-prepared for either outcome.
We are already living inside the margin of error of when Iran might produce a bomb. The administration’s charm offensive has done nothing other than give Iran more time build a nuclear weapon and a missile to put it on.
TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian security forces made a wave of new arrests Tuesday, including Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's sister and a relative of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, pressing forward with a broadening crackdown on the reformist movement in the wake of deadly protests this week.
The government accused Western countries of fomenting the violence, threatening to "slap" Britain in the face as it summoned London's ambassador to an urgent meeting.
The new arrests, along with tough criticism of the U.S. and Britain, added to rising tensions with the West, which is threatening to impose tough new sanctions over Iran's suspect nuclear program and has criticized the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in Tehran.
Iran has said as many as eight people were killed in Sunday's clashes, the bloodiest violence since the aftermath of June's disputed presidential election. There was no serious violence reported Tuesday, but opposition Web sites reported some 10 new arrests, including Dr. Noushin Ebadi.
Shirin Ebadi, who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her human-rights efforts in Iran, told the The Associated Press in a phone interview from London that she called her sister Monday, and that she was being punished because of the conversation.
"She was warned not to contact me," she said. "She is detained for the sake of me. She was neither politically active nor had a role in any rally."
Noushin Ebadi, a medical professor in Tehran, was arrested at her home by four intelligence agents late Monday and sent to prison, according to a statement issued by the Nobel laureate.
"It's necessary to point out that in the past two months she had been summoned several times to the Intelligence Ministry, who told her to persuade me to give up my human rights activities," the statement said. "She has been arrested solely because of my activities in human rights. ... Our country at the moment needs more than anything peace and quiet in the shadow of respect for law and any kind of behavior that goes above the law will have negative repercussions."
The opposition Web site Greenroad reported a series of additional arrests, among them Mousavi's brother-in-law, Shapour Kazemi, and Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, a journalist who frequently criticizes the government. Others included the son of a prominent ayatollah, a reporter for the semi-official ILNA news agency, and several activists. Mousavi's nephew was among those killed this week (more here)
>Alireza Beheshti arrested
Mashallah Shamsolvaezin arrested