What about Iran?

News coming out of Iran or about Iran has been strangely quiet (or I’m missing it in all furor about Libya and the other countries with toppling governments or heated protests). I know there are protests going on there, but does anyone have a feel for what’s happening? The only article I’ve seen on this lately was this one, where Ahmadinejad was urging ME and NA leaders to listen to the voices of their populations (yes…irony is still alive an well).

They don’t get into a lot of detail here on what, if anything is going on. Just a few things:

So…anyone have any idea of what’s going on in Iran these days? How likely are we to see the Iranian government fall, or at least reform? How large is the protest movement in Iran, how wide spread is it, how much traction does or might it have? What might the Iranians do to keep this protest movement down, in light of what they did the last time…and in light of what’s happening in Libya?

And what effect would Iran going up in flames have on things like the currently skyrocketing oil commodities market? On the stability of the region?


All I hope is that they see that if the Libyans can get rid of someone who was second to Saddam in terms of brutality, they sure as hell can overthrow the Ayatollah.

L.A. Times: “Ahmadinejad slams repression in Libya as Iranian authorities confiscate satellite dishes.”

FTR, there have been protests going in on Iran. But always overshadowed by the police presence – the Iranian authorities were prepared for all this, ever since 2009.

See this thread.

Iran sent 2 ships to Syria for war games so it appears they want to use anti-Israeli sentiment to keep the home fires burning.

It’s a bit harder in Iran as the country is really ruled by Islamic clerics.

It’s a lot easier to take your frustration out on a single person. It’s Mubarak’s fault, it’s Gaddafi’s fault or it’s Ben Ali’s fault. If you speak out against the clerics, since they represent Islam it’s all to easy to be seen as speaking out against Islam itself

As Arab World Shakes, Iran’s Influence Grows.

I’ve been wondering about this too, and didn’t know if the protests were anything like the 2009 protests or not. News has been scarce and I don’t know why.

It’s really hard to gauge how bad the protest in Iran are these days, and I too am unsure of exactly why that is. Even if Iran has thrown up a lot of barriers to communications, something must be coming out. I realize that right now everyone is really following what’s going on in Libya (hell, I’m checking constantly to see what’s going to happen next, and really curious about this provisional government and what’s going to happen with that), but what is happening in Iran should be newsworthy too…especially with articles like BG’s positing that Iran is going to gain influence when the smoke clears (that just doesn’t seem likely to me if they are having their own internal struggles, unless they are a lot less than those in 2009, or they are more successful in keeping a lid on the news).


It’s not quieting down.

Weekly rallies? Think you can keep that up?

It sounds like the Iranian government learned a valuable lesson from what’s happening in other places…stomp on the protesters hard and don’t let the thing spin out of control. I don’t think Iran is going to become another Libya. I hope that not too many people die there. :frowning:


I think we missed an opportunity in engaging Iran when Khatami was president. Any Iranian leader is going to be a hard-core nationalist, but I think he would have been willing to make concessions and lessened their support for anti-Israeli groups and make a realistic deal over nuclear power. They are too big a nation not to be a member of the international community.

I don’t see him cracking down as hard as Ahmadinejad is. That idiot is a nationalist, but also is establishing himself as a de facto dictator, controlling the flow of information to the clerics and taking control of all the reigns of power there.

Unfortunately at this point, all we can really do is wait and see. But I think it will get far worse before it improves, and I don’t see any improvement as long as Ahmadinejad is in power.

Where is FinnAgain’s assassination squad? It would have to be a false flag op though. I am thinking solid green would be a good color to use.

We need to keep in mind that while the Iranian government may not like us, it’s not a dictatorship in the sense that most middle eastern countries are. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected into office in 2005 and stood for re-election in 2009 (and opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi got a third of the votes).

Iran’s far from a perfect democracy. The un-elected religious council holds a lot of power and there’s a lot of voting fraud. But the average Iranian probably doesn’t feel like he needs to throw a revolution to change the government.

What, you think there’s another way?

If that was the case then there wouldn’t of been the huge protests like we saw in 2009.

And no real reason for the government to have been so brutal in putting it down in 2009 and for all we know being equally brutal now. I mean, if the average Iranian feels they can really change their government without revolution why these increasingly violent protests?


Iran is a democracy. Not equivalent to Western-style govs, but more so than their neighbors. Khatami did peacefully relinquish power, as did previous presidents. The big question is whether Ahmadinejad will do the same in 2013, and the 2009 election was more of a case of Bush v. Gore, than a free and fair election.

I read a lot during the 2009 protests how Ahmadinejad had been consolidating his power. Traditionally, the Supreme Leader was the puppet master, and the president the puppet. President A. has been trying to reverse that. And I have a hard time seeing him just step aside in two years. Arresting opposition candidates and refusing access by the press does not bode well.

Regarding the Supreme Leader and the Council of Guardians, I see it as them equivalent of the Chief Justice and Supreme Court, except that the Chief Justice would have to ability to approve all presidential appointees in addition to the Senate, and the Supreme Court would replace the Federal Election Commission on who would be allowed to run for office, and pre-emptively vet all legislation for their constitutionality rather than wait for a challenge. And they would use the Bible in addition to the Constitution for that vetting process.

Scary, and not the way I would set up a government, but there is a logic to it.

As for the 2009 protests, imagine if the Supreme Court had issued Bush V Gore on November 12th, not December 12th. I think we would have had the same reaction. I don’t think most would have been willing to wait four years for a do over.

And what would be the American analogue of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution?

The Supreme Court Police. A bit of disparity in the size of the forces. :wink:

Though technically, the Armed Forces could be seen as Guardians of the American Revolution. At least until we passed the Posse Comitatus Act, then we started relying other forces and prefer to have a multitude of agencies, rather than an all-encompassing Ministry of Internal Security. And we were just smart enough to make the President commander-in-chief and not the Chief Justice.

It makes law enforcement messy, but I would rather have that than the above ministry. One reason why the Department of Homeland Security was a step backwards. Fortunately it is not the only law enforcement agency, unlike many other countries.

There have been large protests against the United States government. People are often going to be unhappy with the outcome of any election. And I’m not claiming that Iranian elections are 100% above board.

But Iran is a long way away from being a dictatorship like Libya or Egypt or Tunisia. People in Iran probably feel they still have a voice in their government.