A Persian Amsterdammer Blogs.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Why Iran isn't Egypt or Tunesia

While it certainly is educational to compare the situation of Iran with Egypt and Tunesia (and yes, there are parallels to be found), it's not a simple why can the Arabs, and not the Iranians facilitate change in their countries? In Egypt and Tunesia, the deposed ruler was the head of a corrupt institution, hated by anyone who's ambitions in life was thwarted, whether it was because of poverty or the human rights abuses. In Iran, there is actual support for this regime with a significant part of the population. This support can be because they have personally benefited from this regime or they see the regime as the guardians of their culture and belief (ie. abandoning this regime is opening the doors for all kind of moral corruption). Understanding this reality helps to understand the insistence of opposition leaders Mousavi and Karroubi to not to discredit the whole system of the Islamic Republic, but only the reality of it under Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. It is to keep a door of understanding open to the devout target audience that might see in their struggle a true moral compass to follow, rather than the current leaders who behave so barbarically.

Whether this is a sound tactic (or even a moral one) is up for debate. But one cannot wholeheartedly support or dismiss it without studying all factors in the field. Here are some important contributions to the discussion:

Pedestrian of the Sidewalk Lyrics blog chimes in on what it means to be a non-violent demonstrator in a country where journalists have been expelled and the state can do with you as it pleases: http://www.sidewalklyrics.com/?p=7984

Tehran Bureau brings the following article on the labor force that the Green movement so far has been unable to connect with: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/02/irans-labor-flash-point.html

I hope that the flash news articles about events in Iran have come and gone, serious debate will take hold about how this movement should develop. Especially since the founding fathers will be more and more closed off from the rest of the movement, and rather will turn into symbols for the movement to use (check out news on how they are treated at the Zamaneh news site: http://www.radiozamaneh.com/english/ )

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