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Iran is not on the verge of revolution
May 27, 2004 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Iran expelled me, but its press restrictions play into the hands of the west's fantasies about Islamism: "Contrary to the fantasies of neo-conservatives, Iran is not on the verge of revolutionand, if it was, the US wouldn't be able to orchestrate it. There is no coherent political opposition or leader able to harness public discontent. A significant number of Iranians are profiting from an economic boom and are not ready to risk their livelihood for democracy protests," writes Dan De Luce, the Guardian's reporter in Tehran who has recently been expelled by the Iranian goverment.
posted by hoder (4 comments total)

 
The ideological extremism that accompanied the revolution in 1979 has virtually expired, except among a dwindling minority. While Arab regimes have sought to suppress Islamist political movements, militancy was given free reign in Iran. As a result, it has run its course.

Contrary to the fantasies of neo-conservatives, Iran is not on the verge of revolution and, if it was, the US wouldn't be able to orchestrate it. There is no coherent political opposition or leader able to harness public discontent. A significant number of Iranians are profiting from an economic boom and are not ready to risk their livelihood for democracy protests.


So this guy thinks iran has reached the Thermidor stage? Hmmm. well that is something. The moderate reforms made by Iran, in my view, helped them stave off this phase...for now. Of course the nuclear work they are doing and the possibility of a military adventure into iraq sometime down the road will ensure the thermidor stage.
But perhaps they have reached that stage in part and are coping well with the backlash of 'democracy' slowly seeping into the country. Well, maybe not democracy but western and eastern ideas and technology.
posted by clavdivs at 10:22 AM on May 27, 2004


Thermidor stage? Care to explain your lobster analogy?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:17 PM on May 27, 2004


But perhaps they have reached that stage in part and are coping well with the backlash of 'democracy' slowly seeping into the country. Well, maybe not democracy but western and eastern ideas and technology.

I think that's slightly underestimating the level of intellectual and political sophistication already inside Iranian society. You have a young population with a well-established educational system, and a 'separate but equal' attitude to women's rights which is pretty advanced by comparison with most countries in the region. And the piece's comment on the arbitrariness of authoritarianism accounts for the quiet subversiveness of the thousands of Persian bloggers.

It's frustrating, because I think the lack of openness may actually assist in fomenting reform -- that's to say, it makes the theocrats believe that they're not facing a full-frontal assault from 'outside' threats -- but I'd also like to be able to see it happening.

And I believe the Thermidor analogy, impH, is to the French revolution, not to lobsters. Dear me. But even then, I think it's a little inaccurate: much of the steam of the Islamic Revolution was exhausted by the Iran-Iraq war (indeed, that was a primary motivation for American support of Saddam), and the death of Khomenei.

There's been nothing radical or revolutionary or extreme about the theocrats for about a decade. All the Shi'a radicals are in Iraq these days.
posted by riviera at 12:33 PM on May 27, 2004


CONDITIONS WHICH SEEM TO BE PRESENT AS CAUSES OF MAJOR REVOLUTIONS:

Dick Clarke, the OED genuis mispelled his name, but he refers to the Thermidorian reaction which took place in 1794 after the abuses of Robespierre and company....then it is off to the directory....well, despite Clarkes wrong spelling of the authors name it seems valid for 1996.
oh and inp...whatever.
don't ever F%$# with me.
posted by clavdivs at 12:55 PM on May 27, 2004


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