Iran on the brink…..
Quietly, over the Christmas period, Iran has been convulsed by new protests and seems poised on the brink of what would be called, certainly in left-wing circles, a revolutionary situation. Western silence over this reflects a certain nervousness; were the revolution to become a conflagration certain friendly regimes would be in peril. Saudi Arabia, Dubai and all the all Gulfstream despotisms would suddenly become very nervous indeed; so,let’s be under no illusions that the West will unequivocally support the Iranian people; it won’t.
Furthermore, if the Iranian people succeed then initially their victory will be formally welcomed however, if a subsequent government doesn’t dismantle the nuclear program as it will be demanded too (but will not necessarily comply) then Israel will launch a strategic military strike. However, that is skipping a few steps ahead of ourselves.
‘Iran115’ is keeping the Twitterverse updated and is sounding militant and well-organised too but its unclear how far that organisation extends on the ground and how far the students are going to be able to draw in and organise big battalions behind them.
The inexperience of the movements leaders is highlighted in this comment;
“It’s young people themselves who are organising these protests… It’s just word of mouth and a feeling of anger that gets people out on the streets.”
This makes the current strategy of the regime to decapitate the movement by rounding up and arresting its leaders potentially effective. It may not stop the protests but it may drain the confidence of the protestors who will continue to protest but not be in a position to overturn the regime.
In terms of practical solidarity the best thing that people in the West can do is restrain their own governments (and in turn insist they restrain Israel) because it is quite clear that a military strike against Iran now would be a deathblow to this movement. Clearly enough support exists for the regime for it to be able to build from that in the event of an attack and cohere the majority of the nation around it.
If the Iranian people succeed then it will do more to change the region than two failed wars of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should learn from those mistakes and not strike the fatal blow against this movement on behalf of the regime.