Sunday, December 31, 2017

The World As I See It - Iran

By Rich Kozlovich (Updated @ 4:34 AM, 12/31/17)
 
Yesterday I linked to this article, Western media are ignoring a revolution in Iran, commenting:
"These pensioners are old enough to remember how life was when the Shah of Iran was in charge, and when they were young, impetuous and....well....stupid. Now all a sudden the Reza Shah wasn't so bad after all." "Admittedly, he was a tyrant, but the freedoms under the Shah were far greater than anything going on in Iran right now."  
"They traded a beneficent tyrant for an insane group of clerics who've done nothing but suppress them, murder them, abuse them and rob them for decades, and now - they've discovered they've robbed them blind. And now they're shocked! Imagine that!"
I followed that up with this link: Iranian Women Defy Islamic Dress Code as Anti-Government Protests Sweep Nation, with the author stating:
"Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which established Islamic rule in the once free and prosperous country, women have been historically oppressed. However, brave women are now taking to the streets in defiance of Sharia law. These protests are reminiscent of 1979 when thousands of women publicly condemned the government imposed veiling of women."
We should remember that Iran was very westernized under the Shah, and the transition to an Islamic state had to have been a shock to a great many Iranians - who also dared not say anything for fear of what might happen to they and their families.

Which brings us to the important question: How important are these protests?

First, this isn't an isolated incident. These demonstrations are breaking out all over the country and the numbers are substantial, so substantial security forces have used tear gas and water cannons to break them up.

It's hard to know for sure just how big a deal this will become, but one thing is clear. These people know their leader's obsession with foreign involvement in the affairs of Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and their obsession with their nuclear program, and their obsession to defeat or control these non Shiite Muslim countries has absolutely been of no benefit to the people of Iran, and has impacted their economy adversely.

And the foreign investments the government promised hasn't materialized, and I'm sure Trump's decision not to recertify their nuclear program may have been part of the reason for that. It seems to me investors really understand - there's a new sheriff in town - and Iran may not be the best place to put their money.

Yet their oil production is way ahead of where everyone anticipated it to be, but the price of oil isn't what it once was and the Middle East can't make demands any longer - we now have fracking - the world doesn't need them.

I don't know what happened to the billions of dollars Obama sneaked into Iran, but it didn't go to the people of Iran who suffer from high unemployment, especially among the youths of the nation. A demographic that can explode with little provocation, especially when the entire nation knows governmental corruption is massive.

There are two things that aren't talked about in the news much, or at all, and that's the problem with Iran's geography and demography. Geographical boundaries of a nation don't necessarily create a national identity. Societies are made up of communities, and in this case - tribes. Tribes who may self identify in ways Iran's leaders may not like.

Modern Iran, once known as Persia, is mostly useless desert, but it's also a mountain country. And Iran has no navigable rivers - an important component to capital generation - the ability to move goods quickly and cheaply.

Mountain farming is difficult, but that's the only areas in Iran where they're high enough to get enough moisture to grow crops, but the rains are inconsistent, thus making Iran's agricultural economy a feast or famine cycle.

Being a mountain nation makes it difficult to invade, but it also makes it difficult to control. These mountain populations are populations separated by valleys, and those populations don't necessarily identify with people in the next valley, much less those further on.

In spite of the fact Iran has between a 90 and 95 percent Shiite Muslim population, this is not a demographically homogeneous nation. Not only do these mountains create separate identities, sixteen percent of Iran's population are Azerbaijanis, and they have a large Kurdish population, neither of which are easy to deal with. Over half of the Iranians don't even consider themselves Persian.

What will happen? At some point economic reality will have to set in on this nation. It's too small, too land locked, it has no ability to be a real capital generator outside of its oil, and that value is dropping by the minute, the United States is going to cause them as many problems as they can, and their single port could easily be destroyed by a deep water Navy. They are not in a position to enforce their will against anyone, ergo, they use proxy forces - terrorists - and that will come back to haunt them.

Their options are running low, their credibility is non-existent, they're despised throughout the region, and now they're dealing with a President of the United States who isn't going to be bluffed or intimidated. It would seem to me there's going to be a regime change of major proportions, and the clerics will not be a part of the change, and Islam - as it's being imposed on Iran now - will be in for a shock.

That's the world as I see it. 

Editor's Note: While I posted this article this morning, I wrote it yesterday, but things are happening quickly in Iran.  Below is an update I saw this morning, with videos worth seeing.  There may be a much faster regime change in the offing than I thought, but this seems to confirm what I've said.  One more thing: These protests are breaking out all over Iran and at the same time. Does that mean there's organization behind this?  It seems to me there are bound to be some groups organizing against the current government, but this could also be a potentially spontaneous movement, or a combination of both - Sometimes people have just had enough. Time will tell.

More videos from Iran: 'Death to Khamenei' chanted inIsfahan, Shiraz, Qom, Rasht, By Shahriar Kia - A new clip from the Kermanshah protest shows the suppressive forces beating up protesters.  According to the PMOI/MEK network in Iran, thousands took part in the Kermanshah anti-regime protest Saturday.  Please listen to the young people in Qom, chanting, "No to the Islamic Republic" and "Death to Rouhani," challenging the regime in its entirety.  There have been protests in scores of cities throughout Iran for the second day.  Information has been provided by the network of the PMOI/MEK in Iran.
 
 

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