Among Iranian authorities, the fun and games triggered a different reaction. Police raided the park, engaging in a four-hour cat-and-mouse game with the youth, who turned their squirt guns on the cops and threw plastic bags full of water on the policemen's heads, according to participants and media reports.I draw hope from the pictures of Iranian youth having fun. It shows the limits of indoctrination and the power of freedom. Maybe the mullahs are right to be afraid, but they should heed Leia's advice to Tarkin.
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Although the water wars and the government response have a comically absurd quality, the recent tension shows how fearful the regime is of its young.
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Earlier this month, police arrested the administrators of the Facebook page for Shiraz Water Wars, and 17 young men and women who were playing in a water park in the southern coastal city of Bandar Abbas were detained, according to media reports. Authorities also paraded young people on television, forcing them to confess—a move typically reserved for political detainees.
"Police will deal forcefully with park violators who are threatening the security and peace of our society," Tehran police chief Hussein Sajedina said.