mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Understanding Iran
How Stable Is Iran?
Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Pete

    Some reality: With a concerted effort, if it wanted to, the West could fracture Iran from within.

    • Dale Fayda

      The West is incapable of any concerted effort right now or in the foreseeable future. Its moral bankruptcy, combined with stultifying political correctness, military impotence, economic despondence and gutlessness of its “leaders” preclude the West from acting with any kind of resolve in the Middle East, in my opinion.

  • http://geocurrents.info Martin W. Lewis

    In 2006, the Iranian Azeri community was infuriated over a cartoon cockroach (see http://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/iranian-azerbaijan-and-the-cartoon-cockroach-controversy). As noted in this post:

    “In 2006, neither fear nor repression prevented massive ethnic protests from engulfing the Azeri region of Iran. Unrest was sparked by the printing of a comic sketch in a national magazine that was deemed insulting to the Azeri people and their language: in the cartoon, aimed at children, a boy says several words meaning “cockroach” in Persian, and the cockroach sitting across the table responds by asking “what?” in Azeri (with all words spelled in Roman letters).

    In the resulting Iran newspaper cockroach cartoon controversy, demonstrations turned to riots and Iranian security came down hard. According to official sources, 330 protestors were arrested and four were killed.

    Despite the uproar, the cartoon itself did not appear to be designed to insult the Azeri people. The cartoonist, an Azeri himself, was apparently poking fun cleverly at the “dialogue between civilizations” campaign of the former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami.”

    It is important to note that the Azeris are not in general marginalized in the Iranian economy and government — far from it. But it is also true that many of them look longingly at their ethnic relations across the border in Azerbaijan.

  • Fat_Man

    One of these days, soon if God is good, the Ayatollah is going to die. The death of a dictator can be a moment when civil war breaks out and the regime collapses. If the Ayatollah dies while Obama is still in office, he will do his bet to ensure that there is a peaceful succession, and that the new Ayatollah hates Israel and America and will attack them with nuclear weapons as soon as they can.

  • Attila_the_hun

    Iran’s collapse will come just about after Turkey’s disintegration. Watch Syrian wildfire spread into Turkey. Then into Iran

  • gabrielsyme

    Let’s remember that the Iranian theocracy nearly became a far more just and moderate state: if Khomeini had died a few months earlier in 1989, Montazeri would have become the Supreme Leader, and it is difficult to locate a more admirable figure in the Middle East. As in most systems, the people matter more than the form, and Iran has had terrible people in leadership, but it was very nearly otherwise.

    • Dale Fayda

      That’s what was said about Khrushchev after Stalin, Brezhnev after Khrushchev, Andropov after Brezhnev and so on. It was always a difference of degree, not kind. Same with Iran – a slightly less tyrannical despot is still a despot, contriving to gain and keep power through the same means and within the same political system as his predecessor.

      • gabrielsyme

        Are you kidding me? Do you know anything about Montazeri? What he stood for, how he criticised Iranian policies, how he supported the Green Revolution?

        • Dale Fayda

          “Criticized Iranian policies…”? That makes him a saint? Khrushchev roundly criticized Stalin’s policies, effectively ending most of them, Brezhnev deposed Khrushchev and criticized his policies, Andropov criticized Brezhnev’s policies (albeit mildly) and Gorbachev made a career out of criticizing Brezhnev’s “Era of Stagnation”. So what? They were all corrupt Communist Party bosses interested in essentially the same thing – strengthening of the Soviet power inside the country and exporting Communism across the world.

          In fact, the apogee of Soviet expansion coincided not with the reigns of deranged Stalin or the clownish, unstable Khrushchev, but with the rule of the seemingly reasonable Brezhnev. From 1975 to 1980, the following countries became Communist – South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua. Communist guerillas were threatening the governments of Peru, Colombia, El Salvador and Bolivia. Red Brigades were wreaking havoc in Italy. In South Africa and Rhodesia, Communist ANC was waging a guerilla campaign as well. Don’t forget Communist POLISARIO in Western Sahara. ALL were supported by the Soviet Union.

          In the same time period, the Soviets invaded and occupied Afghanistan. And don’t forget the imposition of martial law in Poland. I’m sure I’ve omitted a few, but you get the point.

          A pretty impressive (6) year span for someone known his policy of “detante”, wouldn’t you say? So what were you saying about Montazeri?

          • gabrielsyme

            Clearly you know nothing about the subject. Kruschchev and Brezhnev never criticised their predecessors before they seized power. Your argument is that Montazeri=Brezhnev, and that’s ridiculous.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The “bet” is that Iran will have moderated in ten years.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service