Utne Blogs > Politics

The Next Turning Point for Iran?

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Politics, Iran, protests, Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, Times, Azadeh Moaveni,

News from Iran is quickly receding from the 24-hour news cycle, but the situation in Iran has not gone back to normal. In fact, this coming weekend may be a turning point in the protests. Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, the murdered student who has become a martyr to many in the protests, was killed on June 20. Speaking from London, Iranian journalist and writer Azadeh Moaveni pointed out that Shi'ism traditionally commemorates a person on the seventh day and the fortieth day after a death. “In politics in Iran,” said Moaveni, “these are very important events, because people will turn out for these commemorations, and then they turn into protests.” 

This weekend marks the seventh day after Soltan’s death, and the Iranian government has tried to tamp down on remembrances. The British Times reported, “The authorities had already banned a public funeral or wake and have prevented gatherings in her name while the state-controlled media has not mentioned Miss Soltan's death.”

The question, according to Moaveni, is “Will [the protests] flare up again in response to the emotional outpouring for Neda?”  

Source: Azadeh Moaveni, The Times