An Iranian supporter of the country’s opposition movement has warned that continued anti-government street protests could lead to civil war.

The woman, a 34-year-old jewelry designer who lives in Tehran, issued the warning in a series of emailed answers to questions put to her by CNN.
he woman doesn’t want her real name revealed due to fear of retribution so has asked that we call her Nastaran.

Does Iran’s opposition movement want regime change or just more freedom from this regime?
Nastaran: Secularism. [The] separation of religion from politics. As long as religious leaders don’t interfere with politics, I don’t see a regime change as necessary. However, I doubt that the religious leaders would be willing to accept this.

What kind of real change does the opposition movement hope to accomplish with street protests?
Nastaran: I completely disagree with the continuation of street protests. We are walking towards a civil war by asking people to pour into the streets and fight with empty hands. The regime will not step back and will kill as many people as it deems necessary to stay in power.

Civil war is not the way. We need a change in strategy. I think by not changing the strategy and constantly asking people to get into the streets (especially in the same location) we are empowering Sepah (Iran’s Revolutionary Guard) and the Basij (Pro-government militia). It is evident when you go on the streets during the protests that they have learned how to organize and mobilize better. Further, we are helping them to expand their army.

How afraid are you of Iran’s security forces and their threats?
Nastaran: Extremely scared!! They are merciless and will do anything in the name of religion. The legal framework of Iran is also being ignored so they can accuse you of anything and perhaps kill you.