Will 2018 mark the dawn of a new Iran?

I was certain that the Iranian “revolutionary” state of mullahs will face obstacles during our modern times, as unless the revolution transitions towards a civil state, it will certainly collapse. I’ve actually noted that in previous articles. To clerics, this transition marked a red line, however it’s now become an urgent necessity. It’s a necessity despite the guardian jurist’s will or dictator’s as the Iranians like to describe him. The guardian jurist once strongly stood against the symbols of reform, Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, during the 2009 Green Movement when the elections were forged so Ahmedinejad, the hard-liners’ candidate, wins.

Revolution of the hungry

The current revolt, or to be more precise the revolution of the hungry, which has made Iran boil like it’s on a crater of a volcano is different than the revolution dubbed as the green movement. This recent revolt is not between two rival movements within the ruling mullahs’ institution, like the case was in 2009. It’s a real revolution with no specific ideological orientation. It has no command whose members can be arrested or suppressed. It is a popular revolt that first began as the revolution of the hungry in Mashhad and with protests over livelihood conditions but later turned into a political revolution against the regime and expanded to most Iranian cities until they reached the clerics’ stronghold, Qom.

Anyway, the Iranians’ revolt is open to all possibilities. The regime may collapse especially if security forces fail at suppressing this revolt or it may successfully contain it and control it.

Mohammed Al Shaikh

ALSO READ: Who are the post-Khomeini youth currently leading the Iran protests?

Away from speculations on whether the revolution will succeed or fail and regardless of the results, this historical event may lead to real substantial changes in the Iranian society - changes that will obligate the mullahs to review the political thoughts they’ve learnt from the Middle Ages. They will have to review their waste of Iran’s resources to achieve imperial sectarian ambitions, and they must reconsider their acts such as ignoring the Iranian people’s suffering and harsh livelihood conditions.

Exporting the Khomeini revolution

It’s well-known that the dream of exporting the revolution to neighboring countries has been a top priority ever since Khomeini assumed power around 40 years ago. This dream, which according to our era’s standards is impossible, is what led to this economic crisis in Iran and sparked the revolution of the hungry that ignited the current revolution in most cities and put Khamenei for the first time ever before two options: either abort efforts to export the revolution or let the entire regime completely collapse.

I do not think the mullahs’ regime will stop exporting the revolution and transform into a civil state as this will signify cancelling the Khomeini revolution. It will also mark the end of the idea that Iran’s number-one-ruler is the guardian jurist. I am certain that the ruling elite and the revolutionary guards will completely reject this. Therefore, I think the guardian jurist Ali Khamenei will resort to the reformist religious movement as they describe it and marginalize the hardline movement as part of a tactical measure to absorb the street’s anger which threatens the entire existence of the mullahs’ regime.

ALSO READ: Do protests in Iranian cities point to a social revolution?

Anyway, the Iranians’ revolt is open to all possibilities. The regime may collapse especially if security forces fail at suppressing this revolt or it may successfully contain it and control it. However, what I am almost certain about is that Iran’s behavior and wild practices will not go on as it turned out that there’s a fierce popular opposition inside Iran. This confirms to us that no matter what the revolt’s developments are, and whether it fails or succeeds, Iran in 2018 cannot stay as it has been.

The article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.


Last Update: Wednesday, 3 January 2018 KSA 17:17 - GMT 14:17
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.

Send to a friend

Will 2018 mark the dawn of a new Iran?
Friend's name:
Friend's Email:
Sender's name:
Sender's Email:
Captcha Code
How are we doing?

How are we doing?

Name Name *
Email Email *
Country Country
Message Message *
Maximum 550 words allowed