I was lucky enough to travel round Iran last year and these sporadic examples of civil unrest don’t surprise me. It has a very young, educated, westernised population that want opportunities to succeed. A lot of graduates simply aren’t finding work. It’s becoming increasingly expensive to live - the price of fuel really surprised us considering they’re one of the world’s biggest oil producers. And all the proxy wars they’re financing - Yeman, Syria, against Israel through Hezbollah - is to the detriment of domestic spending. I don’t think these instances of civil unrest will amount to much though. It’s a very oppressed society - moral police everywhere - and I just don’t think anything of any great substance will happen. Rouhani, who is relatively liberal and has opened up Iranian society - Café culture especially, will I think grant more social relaxations to appease the young, restless population.
Definitely. Martyrdom plays a huge role in Iranian culture. The Iran/Iraq war was their equivalent of the first world war on British and French society. It affected every family. Still, it’s a bit strange driving down the highways seeing picture after picture of martyrs. And yeah, those murals…we were in a town on the way to Gorgan and there was a mural that covered the entire side of a 10 storey apartment block of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s face with thousands of his followers marching beside him, waving flags etc. It was strangely awe inspiring. Propaganda is everywhere.
No, I’m not. I’m part jewish and have lived in Israel and have travelled round the middle east - Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Egypt, West Bank etc You get to know a lot about people and their lives by living in and visiting places.
My middle-eastern politics is a bit sketchy to say the least, but i was under the impression that on the sliding scale of countries in the area Rouhani and Iran were nearer to the GBOL end than the opposite? Is this not the case?
It was a bit of fun cos Iran are viewed as these cartoonishly evil bad guys and there’s a long running joke (I now realise, not on DiS) about MI5 and CIA lurking online and posing as…forget it, it wasn’t that funny.
Anyway, Iran fund Hezbollah and much of the Palestinian resistance. In that regard they are GBOL but it’s really murky and there is lots of nuance we don’t have space for here. It’s quite similar to Europe pre WW1, all these complex alliances and rivalries that blag head.
So SA, America and Israel in particular are watching these protests very closely, definitely looking for a route in, still nursing resentment over Syria, Lebanon and MBS failed weird sort of kidnapping of their leader, Hezbollah, and lots and lots of other shit. They want Iran as we know it gone and the territory opened up.
I guess Iran are closer to GBOL than most, but everything in that region is very relative and they are still a fairly oppressive regime that only tolerates dissent maybe a bit more than Saudi. At this point it’s impossible for them to get a fair hearing cos the West has briefed against the country for going on 40 years and we’re conditioned to think Iranians are either quaking victims or evil clerics.