Saturday, January 11, 2014

Iranians start to stand up

Following Egypt, Iranians protest against their gerrymandered theocratic "democracy", that allows any point of view as long as it supports the status quo.

Good for them.  Iran's theocratic dictatorship brutally suppresses political dissent, it executes more people than any country other than China, including rape victims and children.


OK so I didn't say much then.  However,  Iranians appear to have released their urge for reform by voting for the most reformist candidate they were allowed, who may - at best - ease the absurd economic policies that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had inflicted upon them all.  Hassan Rouhani has proven himself to be at least amenable to diplomacy over confrontation and has reduced internal pressure for major reform.

However, let's not get too excited.  Iran still imprisons political dissidents.  Iran still executes apostates. Iran is still intervening in the Syrian Civil War on the side of the Assad dictatorship (primarily on sectarian grounds) and in Iraq.  However, its imperialism gets nary a peep of criticism from the so-called peace movement.

There is a long way to go, and Hassani wouldn't be President if the regime thought he might seriously undermine this theocracy.

Yet it is also clear that he has been brought in to save the regime from the ineptness of past leadership bankrupting the economy and sabre-rattling.  This does not include abandoning its nuclear programme or the capability to develop a nuclear weapon, but it might mean stalling it or containing it, and drastically curtailing Iran's long standing policy of extending support to the likes of Hizbollah and other Islamists (but not Al Qaeda) in other parts of the world.

The key point being that Iran wants the end to economic sanctions so it can grow, although this wont be enough for the largely cosmopolitan population of Tehran, aching for more personal freedom, it will remove pressure for reform elsewhere.

So at best there is hope that Iran will threaten the outside world less, especially Israel, but it will still imprison and murder its own people for blasphemy against Islam and seeking a government that isn't theocratic.  For all of that, it will and should remain a pariah.

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