“Clearly there is an unprecedented uprising in Iran, but the regime is far from falling“, many fear chaos or “a military dictatorship of the Revolutionary Guards”. Three months after the death of Mahsa Amini on 16 Septemberafter the arrest of the Iranian morality police for the badly worn veil, the point of the protest with Adnkronos is Meir Litvak, professor of Middle East history and Iran expert at Tel Aviv University.
“The veil – he explains – was only the trigger, but unlike the other faces, those who protest are asking for a regime change, not reforms. It is a combination of economic, social and political grievances. Young people do not see a future, a fact that has led to a massive brain drain, even according to the spokesmen of the regime”.
“The problem” of the demonstrators, Litvak points out, “is that they lack organization, leadership and a clear programme. I admire their courage, but they have failed to win the support of the poorer classes (formerly the basis of the regime), neither the middle class nor the workers. We have had strikes, but they are far from the massive strikes that happened in Iran in 1978, which led to the fall of the Shah. Clearly many Iranians are unhappy with the regime, but fear chaos as in Libya or Yemen, or civil war as in Syria. Many fear that the alternative to the current regime is a military dictatorship of the Revolutionary Guards.”
The regime is faced with a dilemma
“For this reason, we have not yet seen cracks in the ruling elites. These are essential conditions for a successful revolution. They haven’t happened yet, but we don’t know what the future holds,” reasons the Israeli professor.
“The regime hasn’t been able to suppress the protests, but it hasn’t used all its powers. The Revolutionary Guards have been deployed against the Kurds and the Baloch, not in the major cities. The regime is faced with a dilemma – Litvak underlines – It fears that any concession can only encourage protest, as happened, again in Iran, in 1978. But the constant protests and repression damage the economy and fuel the anger of the older generation young”.
“I dare not make predictions. A very probable scenario – he concludes – is that Iran is at the beginning of a prolonged crisis of turmoil, unrest and protests with ups and downs for months and years”.
(by Maria Cristina Vicar)