Thoughts on Iran
Our love affair with the Iranian Tweetolution has worn off. The thugs declared their election valid, told their armed representatives to
Sorry, next tweet: go impose some law or order or something, and it was done.
Well, as it often turns out, there was more to it than fits in 140 characters, and the real story is far more complicated. There’s a good write up from StratFor, “The Real Struggle in Iran and Implications for U.S. Dialogue:”
This is because the real struggle in Iran has not yet been settled, nor was it ever about the liberalization of the regime. Rather, it has been about the role of the clergy — particularly the old-guard clergy — in Iranian life, and the future of particular personalities among this clergy.
The key to understanding the situation in Iran is realizing that the past weeks have seen not an uprising against the regime, but a struggle within the regime. Ahmadinejad is not part of the establishment, but rather has been struggling against it, accusing it of having betrayed the principles of the Islamic Revolution. The post-election unrest in Iran therefore was not a matter of a repressive regime suppressing liberals (as in Prague in 1989), but a struggle between two Islamist factions that are each committed to the regime, but opposed to each other.