First Chinks in Iran as Agitators ask for jobs and ending Corruption
Iran is in turmoil with agitations against the regime spreading all over the country. In any country, an agitation is an accepted form of protest but in Iran which is a despotic Islamic Shia state, agitations have no sanctity. No wonder the last popular agitation was in 2009. In Iran, agitations are suppressed and dealt with ruthlessly. In such a closed atmosphere tinted with brutality and the gun, the fact that protests have taken place against the government show that there is widespread discontent. The ABC network channel has reported that over 20 Iranian citizens have been killed and there is no sign that the agitation is tapering off.
The agitation is spontaneous and belies the government claim that it is orchestrated by its enemies. The Islamic dictatorship has been ruling with an iron hand, but failure to provide jobs and a floundering economy have fueled mass protests. The regime is also corrupt and has two yardsticks for everything and action is taken as per the "tenets of Islam" which really mean that only the Government has a right to interpret the scriptures.
Iran has also been exporting its own brand to counter Saudi Arabia, but in this, it lost sight that basic necessities like a good economy and jobs are essential.
Iran and the Gun
Iran is dominated by the gun through the Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary organization trained and equipped by the Russians. This force has been used earlier to crush any protest and intimidate anyone wanting to protest. Donald Trump has congratulated the Iranian people for this agitation which shows that there is widespread discontent in Iran. The reason is unemployment and economic woes which the Iranian regime has sought to address by religious propaganda. Unfortunately, such propaganda does not guarantee jobs and livelihood and for once the Iranian people have registered their discontent.
Iran has rarely witnessed any mass scale demonstration against the government. The fact that it has now taken place reveals that all is not well in the Islamic republic. Most likely this movement will be crushed by force but sadly 20 persons have already been killed and there is a good chance that much more will be shot dead.
The agitation has spread to the smaller towns and by all accounts is spontaneous. But the agitators are not armed and it is a matter of time before the authorities crush the agitation with brute force. The fact is that corruption and economic woes along with widespread unemployment show that the experiment ushered in by the Iranian revolution has failed. The sight of the photographs of Irans leader Khomenai being burnt, reveals the extent of the discontent.
The agitation cannot bring about regime change as the rulers have the guns and the revolutionary guard. They have also support from obscurantist elements of the clergy. This is a dangerous concoction and will keep the Iranian people suppressed.
What of the future? This is not a question that can be answered immediately.Time alone will tell but with the support of Russia, the Iranian regime will continue for the present. The chance that it will collapse look remote at the moment. One can say the dictatorial regime is alive but so was the Shah of Iran, who when he ruled was omnipotent. Donald Trump will have to think of out of box solution to tackle Iran. One wonders if at some stage an upheaval like the one against the Shah of Iran can take place. As I have written, time will tell.