January 12, 2018

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

What the Iran Protests Were Not  (VALI NASR  JAN 10, 2018, The Atlantic)

The important factor in the recent protests, and why they did not resemble the fight against tyranny Trump tried to portray in his tweets, is the dog that did not bark. The urban dissident voices did not join the populist call for economic justice. Why? First, urbanites, as note by the economist Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, have been the main beneficiaries of President Hassan Rouhani's economic liberalization policies, like his talk of moderation, and have been the main backers of his pursuit of a nuclear deal. They had expected that the deal would end Iran's international isolation, yield economic benefits, and also improve the political climate at home.

They saw in Rouhani an orderly path to change. Many among these urbanites actually feared that the protests could lead to chaos, or tilt Iranian politics in favor of their nemesis, the populist demagogue and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Without Tehran joining the protests, they never really posed an existential threat to the Islamic Republic.

This is the time to accelerate the economic reintegration of Iran into the world economy, in exchange they could insist on elections in Alawistan.

Posted by at January 12, 2018 5:45 AM

  

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