The reality is that any credit the british government gets from this bizarre attack by an obvious rambling loony, comes courtesy of the BBC, which is the real target for relaying the information provided by the Iranian people - via Twitter and the other internet tools which are still obviously beyond the comprehension of the mullahs - not being mentioned in today's address from the Supreme Leader's Fortress of Righteous Justice. Either he knows enough not to mention a battle which he lost when trying to rally his troops, or he simply does not understand that the real war is also also all but lost. That access to global communications changed everything as radically as did the discovery of agriculture or the printing press or algebra, and that by threatening a bloodbath, he is only delaying the inevitable as horribly as possible.
So Gordon Brown and David Milliband take the blame for the BBC acting as delivery boy for the Iranian people. Whoever said politics was fair?
Khameini's used this opportunity to declare that the government is approved by god, and that therefore those who have no faith in the government have no religious faith. They therefore must 'take the consequences', meaning brutal repression, especially at the hands of government loyalist vigilantes, who were directly put on alert by this speech.
The gloves are definitely off, and the bravery of the opposition is exceptional. But given the attitide of the Twitter posts leaving Iran, it seems violence is now far more likely after today's address from the holy men than before, which is historically typical.
Live To Fight Another WayFor the opposition to hold their demonstration tomorrow and openly defy Khameini is to risk a bloodbath. The comparisons with Tianmen Square are obvious. But in this game of image and face, the streets are not the real battleground. It would deliver a far more powerful message if the expected confrontation were not to happen, just as the silent march a few days ago was more impressive than than occupying the streets and burning a few cars. It would represent a far more sophisticated display of concerted action if the crowd were merely to stay home and hang a green flag from their windows, thereby overcoming international reporting restrictions at a stroke. The means of organising it would also represent the new politics of communication, rubbing the noses of the government in its greatest blindspot. Mobbing is surely a much more effective form of action than the mass bloodshed which could well follow a confrontation tomorrow.
Turning on all the electrical appliances on full for an hour would play havoc with Iran's national grid, possibly. Mass journeys at the 'wrong' times of day, causing congestion and leaderless chaos. The ways in which concerted mass actions can be used to disrupt the state without bloodshed, or leaders to be put on trial, are only limited by the imagination of the people.
More Images From Yesterday's Protests