Monday, January 29, 2018

Will the Iranian Protests Unseat the Islamist Regime?

By Paweł Piotr Styrna  January 23, 2018

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley helped spread the message of the Iranian protesters by reading out many of the slogans/chants translated into English. Unfortunately, but predictably, both the Russians and the Western Europeans distanced themselves from the American stance, preferring to depict the protests as a purely domestic Iranian affair. For the Kremlin, the Moscow-Tehran axis (similar to its alliances with other anti-American regimes throughout the world) is a way to neutralize U.S. influence and sabotage American foreign policy goals........

It is noteworthy that while the protests originated in the northeastern city of Mashhad – the site of the Imam Reza shrine and a bastion of the regime’s hardliners – their mood and tone was decisively and unequivocally anti-regime. It is clear that the demonstrators were equally angry at both of the factions that supposedly make up the Islamist regime: the so-called moderates/reformists and the conservatives/hardliners. Chants heard throughout Iran included “death to Khamenei” and “death to Rohani.” This is one of the major and most important differences between the 2017-2018 rising and the suppressed 2009 “Green Revolution.”............Acting rapidly and decisively may help bring Iran to the tipping point. As one analyst argues, “Iran today resembles the USSR in its final days.” Thus, even if the regime manages to ultimately crush this round of demonstrations, economic problems and popular discontent will remain. The regime has few solutions left to offer, except for violence and propaganda, and it is evident that the question is not if it will be ousted but rather when............To Read More

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