RealClearWorld on Iran’s Big Day


revolutionary guard.jpgKevin Sullivan’s Real Clear World is aggregating some thoughtful commentary on Iran on 22 Bahman, the anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Washington Note also started the day with a great essay by Shane M., the anonymous student who reported on Iran’s electoral turmoil from Tehran though he is now back in the United States.
Real Clear World starts with an exchange with Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran. Majd recently spoke at a forum at the New America Foundation titled “What Does the Iranian Public Really Think?“.
The entire piece is here, but this is a snapshot:

“To some Ahmadinejad represents a break from the corruption of the past. He has also not been particularly vocal – as the Revolutionary Guards and some hard-line clerics have been – in denouncing protesters. He often says he is unhappy people are in jail and that “we are all Iranians,” which plays well amongst his supporters who may not be supportive of the brutality of the crackdown.
There is no doubt, of course, that the middle and upper-class youth who are protesting and getting arrested, beaten or killed are heroes to their peers and to Iranians outside Iran, but I’m not sure that Iranians in general, inside Iran, are viewing the issue in those terms. Society has become more polarized, and within families even there are those who support the Green Movement and those who support Ahmadinejad.”

RCW‘s next profiled commentary is from RAND Corporation’s Alireza Nader on the Iranian Green Movement, sanctions and the future of the Islamic Republic.
Here is a clip:

“The Islamic Republic has historically functioned as a system that represents various factional viewpoints; Khamenei’s support for Ahmadinejad and the rise of the fringe right, especially within the Revolutionary Guards, have disturbed this system of factional politics. The vitality of the Green Movement has also led to discord within the conservative and “principlist” political groups that have traditionally supported Khamenei. Many of these elite may now view Khamenei and Ahmadinejad as having endangered the Islamic Republic.”

— Steve Clemons


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