Thursday, February 26, 2004

CIA Director George Tenet touched on the Iranian elections in his testimony before the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Tenet's assessment:

"With the victory of hardliners in elections last weekend, governmental led reform received a serious blow. Greater repression is a likely result.

"When the new Majles convenes in June, the Iranian government will be even more firmly controlled by the forces of authoritarianism....and with the Majles securely behind the hardliners, we expect to see many of the outlets for political dissent shut down by the clerical regime.

"The prospect of internal violence remains. Hardliners may now resort to new heavy-handedness that produces public outrage and protest.

"Even so, the Iranian public does not appear eager to take a challenge to the streets—in Tehran, apathy is the prevailing mood, and regime intimidation has cowed the populace. This mix keeps the regime secure for now."


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