Early morning, December 31, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the Revolutionary Guard to move 22,000 heavily armed troops to Tehran. His orders were brutal and concise:
No person shall demonstrate. Arrest or shoot!
The troops were transported to the capital from the nearby city of Karaj. In the afternoon, there were a few skirmishes between the troops and civilians, but apart from that … nothing happened.
Strange. Why did Khamenei give these orders? The opposition had nothing planned for that day — so clearly the supreme leader had been fooled. Around 10:00 p.m., all troops were sent back to their barracks.
This sort of confusion has a political price, especially in these days of ongoing crisis. If Khamenei shows he doesn’t know what’s happening, even his loyal supporters may begin to suspect that he has lost his grip. Fear is the only phenomenon for which the Islamic tyrants are prepared to take off their hats or turbans. The apocalyptic ayatollahs only back off when they are afraid.
As they are today.
Khamenei’s Chinese friends are racing to deliver new weaponry for the suppression of the demonstrators. They consist of large armored vehicles with water cannons, made in China by Dalian Eagle Sky-Co. They were delivered this week in the port of Bandar Abas in southern Iran. The picture below, taken by the opposition, shows these weapons from which water, paint, and chemicals can be sprayed under high pressure:
These weapons go hand in hand with the “China model” of dealing with a domestic uprising. The model calls for hard, brutal, swift, and comprehensive action against civilians. It includes the preparedness of the rulers to execute thousands within a short period. Khamenei doubts the loyalty of his armed units, and therefore he has not yet decided to fully implement this all-out confrontation with the people.