Friday, July 17, 2009

Execution of 13 for terror attacks reveals Iran's next move: intimidation

Guardian, By Ian Black (16/7/2009)

Hanging of Baluch rebels sends stark message to opponents and reasserts regime's crumbling legitimacy, say analysts

Iranian police officers and other officials look on as five convicted criminals are hanged in public Photograph: AP

It's a long way from Tehran to Zahedan, in Iran's remote south-east, but the hanging of 13 convicted terrorists this week sent out a chilling message about the readiness of the Islamic Republic to act ruthlessly to defend its core interests.
On the face of it, there was no link between the mass execution and last month's disputed presidential election, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second term. But these and other recent judicial killings may be designed to intimidate at a time of unprecedented unrest and uncertainty about Iran's future.
The 13 men who mounted the gallows early on Tuesday morning were not supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi...