Aren’t they getting tired of the 60 year old war on the Jews yet? What about assisting Sudan which has a bad track record for ethnic cleansing?
My understanding was that the Iranian public is suprisingly liberal, and not much like their leaders. So how do many of them feel about what is currently going on with the current president always trying to provoke the world or stir up ethnic hatred or with the leaders trying to obtain nuclear weapons?
From what I’ve read, young urban Teheranites are sick to the back teeth of the theocracy, and until recently were behaving just like westerners - in private. Women were starting to redefine traditional Islamic dress, allowing hair and blue jeans to be visible in public, and so on. Women were getting higher up in the civil service, and the “democratic” government was gaining more control.
Then comes the backlash, 9/11, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the perceived west vs. Muslim schism, and Ahmadinejad was voted in.
However, there’s nothing like a common enemy to unite the people behind their leader, however much they may dislike him/her domestically. And Ahmadinejad knows this.
This is such a big question it could take forever to answer it.
I’ll just make a few points.
Apathy is really the big thing now. Most Iranians are young. They put their hopes in Khatami and his “moderates.” Khatami turned out not to be a reformer at all. In fact, things got worse in many ways during his presidency. Student protests were brutally suppressed, the media was corralled firmly under the thumb of the state and funding for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah went up. I hear more and more that Iranians have given up on the political system (which bans most candidates anyway) and have just resigned themselves to their fate of living under the clerics.
Ahmadinadjad has not really changed anything in Iran. He as said a number of outrageous things, but I can’t think of any significant change in Iranian policy that has resulted from his presidency so far. Remember, it is the Supreme Leader who holds the real power in Iran, not the President. Khatami was actually a better president at advancing the cause of the conservatives because he was able to put a cuddly public image on the Islamic state which helped in it’s relations with Europe. If I were an Iranian Jew, however, I would be really worried about the obsessive anti-semetic vitriol coming out of the Iranian government lately.
Despite all of Iran’s oil wealth, the economy is in the tank. Unemployment is way high and inflation is awful. The more the government can divert people’s attention to international affairs, the better off they are. Ahmadinadjad plans to fix the economy with command economics. Yeah, that will work well. It is quite a turnabout that a nation that executed countless thousands of people on the charge of being “communist” now has a hard-line president who wants to impose a centrally planned economy on Iran.