What is going on in Iran?
The days of the Iranian Revolution are being relived but the difference from the past is the current absence of leadership and organisation.
As the 39th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution approaches; the days of the revolution are being relived. The difference from the past is the current absence of leadership and organisation.
The February 1979 revolution took place as a result of the alliance between all the progressive forces and mullahs. Later one by one the mullahs discharged their allies. The aim was to overthrow the Shah and secure democracy. The Shah escaped. But democracy could not be built. Nowadays, as a result of the oppression of a mullah regime (which is even harsher than the Shah regime was) left wing and progressive parties in the country are very weak. They are resisting undercover. The prisons are full of political prisoners. They are trying to reach the people through underground publications and the internet. Of course in the event of any uprising, the first thing mullahs do is prevent access to the internet.
The most recent uprising was ignited because of a banker scandal. One by one bankers (who collected large sums of money from middle-income individuals with the promise of high returns) became bankrupt and those who had lost their money to these bankers came out onto the streets in protest. These protestors were followed by women against headscarves. And then the young, tired of the on-going oppression, also took their place on the streets. The high cost of living, unemployment, low wages also brought out onto the streets the workers who demanded their economic rights.
Although some circles try to present the mullah regime as though it is outside of the imperialist-capitalist system, in reality, neoliberal capitalism holds power in Iran. Capital has changed hands. Now the biggest capitalists surround the state. The lavish lives of the mullahs in power and the revolutionary guards, the corruption and bribery attract discontent. Like in Turkey, all of the public services are being privatised one by one and handed over to supporters of the state. The millions of dollars stolen from the state by the Reza Zarrab, a dual national of Iran and Turkey, who was arrested in the USA is still fresh in our memory.
Statements from the western imperialist forces supporting the uprising are not evidenced that the uprising was initiated by foreign forces. Of course, the Iranian government will use these statement for its own advantage. Like all governments in power, it will link all opposition to foreign forces.
Will a democratic leadership emerge from amongst the people of Iran? We will wait and see. If the uprising can make this possible it will be able to topple the Mullah regime. Even if it fails to topple the regime it will make important gains.
The uprising in Iran could shift the balance of power in the middle east. The ongoing civil war in Syria and Yemen could spread to other middle eastern countries and be the cause of further conflicts.