In the wake of a solid week of anti-government protests in Iran, the government announced a day off for all public employees and urged them to attend massive pro-government rallies that were backed by the regime.
Protesters shouted “death to Mousavi,” a mirror to the pro-Mousavi protests over the weekend at which ralliers were shouting for the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Though the rallies were obviously bolstered by calls for government employees to attend, the large turnouts and vigorous chanting suggest that Iranian society is becoming all the more polarized between the backers of the existing government and the supporters of the reformist bloc.
Iran’s police chief declared the era of showing mercy to the anti-government rallies was over, and that any future protests against the government would be crushed. Officials have claimed the opposition protests are being backed by Israel and the United States.
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