And so it continues to the next stage: first violent protest, now paranoid prosecution.
Never has so unlikely a gaggle of innocuous workers been heralded as the epitome of espionage and conspiracy: lawmakers, journalists, British and French embassy workers and the French teacher Clotilde Reiss.
As the frenzy for prosecuting foreign workers – and indeed Iranian workers at European embassies – gains momentum the Iranian authorities have resorted to batch trials in which 100 or so defendants are tried weekly before being escorted through the (in)appropriate exits.
A significant concern – and impetus behind the mass arrests – is of an impending Velvet Revolution; that those being prosecuted were in the vicinity of the protests, and also workers at the much maligned organizations against which Ahmadinejad regularly spews vitriol, is somewhat unsurprising.
Ahmadinejad may have re-grasped power, but as an equally restless leader once quipped: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
He may have the presidency, but Ahmadinejad does not have the people’s support nor love entirely – and that seed of doubt will only continue to stir distrust and wild actions like those unfolding in the Tehran courts this week.