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Daring the Youth to Protest, Iran Bans Valentines Day!

Egypt's revolt has been credited to an energized and organized population of it's very young citizens.  With more than half of the country under the age of 30, and 40% of that demographic unemployed, the potential for social unrest should have seemed obvious to intelligence sources. Apparently it wasn't.  Now hop over to Iran where it is estimated that a staggering 70% of all Iranians are under 30 and a "day of rage" is being planned for Monday, Valentines Day AND just last month the government banned the production of anything to do with Valentines Day in Iran, stating;

"Printing and producing any products related to Valentine's Day, including posters, brochures, advertising cards, boxes with the symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned," read the instruction. "Authorities will take legal action against those who ignore the ban."

Coincidence?    I think not.

Saturday's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece from Melik Kaylan boils it down for us;

The Iranian state has pronounced against unauthorized mingling of the sexes, rap music, rock music, Western music, women playing in bands, too-bright nail polish, laughter in hospital corridors, ancient Persian rites-of-spring celebrations (Nowrooz), and even the mention of foreign food recipes in state media. This last may sound comically implausible, but it was officially announced by a state-run website on Feb. 6. So now the true nature of pasta as an instrument of Western subversion has been revealed.

The regime's posture turns the smallest garden-variety gestures into thrilling acts of subversion. Slipping a Valentine card to a girlfriend takes on the significance of samizdat. Every firecracker set off during Nowrooz diminishes the police state's claims to omniscience. The mullahs have appointed themselves the enemy of fun; as a result, wherever fun herniates into view, it is a politicized irruption of defiance.

Pre-Revolution Iran was quite different than the country seen today.  Tehran was teeming with designer boutiques and at night the discos were thumping and packed with beautiful people from all over the globe, dancing the nights away.  Then came the Ayatollah Khomeini and his mullahs, changing the cosmopolitan country into fundamentalist Islamic state. Party over.  At least the "anything Western" party was over.

Well sir, 30 years have passed and much like Egypt, a young population is hungry for change. Following the contested and corrupt elections of 2009, Iran's streets were filled with protests for days until government thugs managed to beat down any resistance.  Today we learned that Iran senses that Monday's planned "Day of Rage" may cause the regime problems, so they have begun shutting down parts of the Internet and monitoring email, and social media.

(CNN) -- Iranian authorities have blocked the word "Bahman" -- the 11th month of the Persian calendar -- from Internet searches within the country, according to an opposition website.

The measure appears to be an effort by Iranian authorities to obstruct access to several websites that are promoting a rally on Monday -- the 25th day of Bahman -- proposed by Iranian opposition leaders in support of the uprising in Egypt, Saham News reported Saturday.

Did anyone else just get an "uh-oh, here we go again" feeling?

One last thing…
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