The most extraordinary sounds and sights have been reaching us from Iran over the last several days, unlike almost anything the outside world has seen since the Iranian revolution, 41 years ago, and unlike anything we thought we ever would see.
Too often we fall in the habit of talking about a country and its regime as a single entity, a monolith. But the thousands of protesters in Iran now are not only bravely bidding defiance to the same regime that slaughtered them for doing less in November, they are saying they do not trust their supreme religious leader, that he has lied to them and does not represent them.
Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti posted on Instagram this week, “We are not citizens. We never were. We are captives.”
Until now, that would have been enough to get her jailed, flogged, even killed, and by Tuesday her post was gone. But young protesters were back in the streets with chants such as, “Our enemy is right here, they are lying that it’s America.”
The kindest thing Americans could do is simply to pay attention.
They have refused to walk on the flags of Israel and the United States, as they had been obligated to do – which is almost mind-boggling.
Our hearts are with them.