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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.

2 comments on "Thoughts on Iran"

  • beri says:

    Do you think that anyone would have cared about Iran if it was presented as an internal power struggle? And I wonder if people would have marched in the streets if that was the entire story.

  • Camy G. says:

    Interesting info. However, the Iranian-American diaspora gets a great deal of news from many sources beyond twitter, and Facebook. Massive demonstrations have changed to smaller distributed engagements as it was in 1979. Through coordination on internet and the help of the free world a three day strike has started that ends on Thursday this week. For Thursday massive rallies have been called to commemorate the thugs attacking universities and killing and capturing students in 1999.
    This is the internet revolution and revolutions don’t happen overnight. It takes time to wear down the armies until they join the people. The biggest advantage is the rift in the regime’s leadership.
    Thanks for your support.

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