Thousands rally in downtown L.A. for regime change in Iran
By Marjorie Cohn
12 November 2012
Thousands of supporters and opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned to downtown Los Angeles on Monday night to protest the ongoing state of repression against protesters in Iran.
A rally hosted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (LACFL) and the Iranian American Citizens Council (IACC) began just before 8 p.m.
The Iranian regime’s official media made public Monday evening the names of four young men arrested for allegedly posting a poem on Twitter last week in which a woman and a child are portrayed as sexually assaulted by a black man.
The men were arrested Friday and charged Monday with “defaming the president’s image” through social media. They face up to three years in prison and up to $8,000 in fines. Their names were not made public.
This arrest was made possible by the same combination of state surveillance, the US and British support for the repression, and the support of a “coalition of social-conservative groups” with the “aim” of keeping Ahmadinejad in power.
At the same time, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had just visited the White House in Washington on Tuesday, stated that she had taken a “robust” conversation with the “Supreme Leader” (Hassan Rouhani) last week.
She reportedly did not address specific issues in the meeting, and merely said that she was “extremely concerned” about “the situation in Iran.”
This statement was followed by the announcement by Clinton of a new strategy—a “new policy” based on “an entirely new approach—an approach where Iran is recognized for the terrible human rights violations it commits, but where the international community’s focus is [on] a different set of issues.”
Clinton did not spell out what those new issues are, but they are clearly couched in terms of regime change. The US is seeking to use the “human rights” issue to justify US regime change policies in Iran.
The US-backed demonstrations in Iran on