Iran’s firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been unusually active this week in the run-up to the February 11th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 revolution. On Sunday he proclaimed that Iran will deliver a harsh blow to “Global Arrogance” (the United States) on the anniversary, a remark that has spurred speculation as to what he intends to do then.

In Ahmadinejad’s twisted mind, Iran is a world power that leads a global alliance against a United States that seeks to dominate the world. Any action that signifies Iranian independence and progress on the political, military, nuclear, technological or economic fronts therefore is a blow against the United States. Ahmadinejad already has lauded the launch of an Iranian research rocket on Wednesday as a “big event” and more ballistic missile tests may follow. Or perhaps an announcement on the nuclear front.

But the most likely explanation is that the annual regime-supported demonstrations in support of Iran’s Islamic revolution, with their customary chants of “death to America”, will not be the harsh blow that Ahmadinejad has in mind. By whipping up anti-American fervor the buffoonish Iranian leader hopes to drown out the voices of Iran’s opposition Green Movement, which seeks to drive him out of office.

But Iran’s opposition leaders yesterday urged their followers to defy the government and “march with their green colors” in protest rallies on February 11. Despite the arrests of roughly 4,000 protesters, the killings of at least 37 people, the staging of show trials, and the executions of at least two opposition members, Iran’s Green Movement appears determined to push for long-overdue reforms for Iran’s repressive government.

If large numbers of Iranians demonstrate on February 11 in support of the Green Movement, that will be a harsh blow to Ahmadinejad and his thuggish regime.