The NY times reports that Iran’s national police chief, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, issued a warning that the “mercy” phase was over: Iranian authorities would soon begin cracking down even more severely on opposition activities.
The police chief warned that this crackdown would not be limited to protesters but anyone who used technology, such as cellphones, twitter alerts, and e-mails to publicize the street protests.
This proclamation does not come lightly; since the June 12 disputed presidential elections opposition groups have relied heavily upon such technology to help organize their movement. The government has repeatedly tried to block websites and shut down opposition newspapers, and the battle over access to information is a daily struggle.

“After all the evidence we saw on Ashura, our tolerance has come to an end, and both the police force and the judiciary will be confronting them with full force,” Mr. Ahmadi Moghaddam said, according to Iran’s semiofficial news service ILNA.

The December 27th Ashura protests was one of the most violent outbreaks since the initial summer protests, as hundreds of dissidents were arrested and at least 8 were killed. More opposition protests are expected next month during the celebration of the founding of the Islamic Republic.

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