[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/08/20/annoying.facebook.updaters/art.facebook.user.gi.jpg caption="Social media sites are abuzz with pictures, cartoons and slogans calling for massive anti-government demonstrations."]
Octavia Nasr | BIO
CNN Senior Editor, Mideast Affairs
Social media sites are abuzz with pictures, cartoons and slogans, calling for massive anti-government demonstrations on Thursday, Feb. 11. The day is also commonly known as "22 of Bahman" in the Iranian calendar.
The choice of avatars on Twitter is not a coincidence. The color green represents what has become known as the Green Movement, a symbol of Iran's opposition. The people who make up the movement took to the streets last year in protest of election results. They have staged many demonstrations since.
For Iranians around the world, this time of year is a commemoration of historic events etched in their memories.
Thirty-one years ago, the Shah was ousted and within weeks, Ayatollah Khomeni returned from exile, the Islamic Revolution took hold and the Islamic Republic of Iran was established.
For certain Iranians, this is a time to celebrate the Revolution and its achievements. But others consider it to be an unfortunate anniversary of when Iran changed into a religiously policed and controlled nation.
This year is like no other since the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
Following the 2009 presidential elections, the opposition cried foul, claiming votes weren't counted and accusing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of "stealing the elections" from reformist candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi.
Since then the mood has shifted constantly and the rhetoric on both sides has reached new levels.
The Green Movement appears to be organizing and growing in size and determination. Its members and supporters are now calling for massive demonstrations on the actual anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
and judging by their activity on line in social media forums, they seem determined to take to the streets no matter what the price or consequences.
Opposition supporters are now going after religion and its guardian, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Khamenei.
Slogans have started to attack him personally such as "Death to Khamenei" alongside "Death to the dictator."
According to media reports, Iranian authorities are responding by warning demonstrators that they will be "crushed."
For example, Police General Ismail Ahmad Moghaddam has reportedly said, "The era of tolerance is over. Anyone attending such rallies will be crushed."
Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani of the Revolutionary Guards issued this warning, "If there is any voice or color other than those of the Islamic Revolution it will be pushed aside and if a minority makes this attempt, it will be firmly confronted."
To understand the severity of these threats one must look at how Iran has been arresting and putting on trial those accused of having participated in recent demonstrations. The fate of many remains unknown.
While the opposition is united in voicing their disapproval of President Ahmadinejad and the support he continues to get from Ayatollah Khamenei, a group within the opposition seems to be hoping that the so-called “sons of the Revolution” could perhaps turn against the Islamic Republic and, in turn, against the Revolution itself.
A situation almost identical to how the Islamic Revolution took hold exactly 31 years ago this week.
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