Global News Journal

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Iran – a young revolution with plenty of life?

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khatami.jpgIn the late 1990s, not long after pro-reform politician Mohammad Khatami swept to a landslide victory in the Iranian presidential elections, some Western observers started wondering if this was the step that would herald a collapse of the Islamic Republic — rather like the Soviet Union tumbled on Mikhail Gorbachev’s watch a decade earlier.

It was early days for me observing Iran. But an acquaintance of mine offered some analysis. Iran is not communist Europe. It is still a young revolution, he told me (at a time when it was
turning 20). There are still plenty of Iranians willing to die for the cause. Don’t expect it to come crashing down, he said.

It turns out he was right. After Khatami’s two terms, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected to office in 2005. It is hard to think of a man more dedicated to Iran’s revolutionary cause. To be fair, it may have been his extravagant economic promises that played a bigger part in winning him the vote than his ideological credentials. But whatever the reason for swinging the election in his favour, the result is very much with us.

Why does this matter now? Well, there are people apparently working to try and drive the Islamic Republic into oblivion. According to Seymour Hersh writing in the New Yorker, those in the White House are at the top of the list.

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