Friday, 19 June 2009

Iran: More Belarus than Ukraine

Seeing as comparisons are where it´s at in the world of international politics, can I throw mine in? It´s all very well getting excited about the prospects of the protests in Iran, but does anyone realistically see a threat to the Iranian regime from this movement?

Authoritarian regimes world-over have got to be pretty accustomed to colour revolutions these days, following as they do suspiciously similar patterns the world over. Ahmadinejad looks like his situation is far more Lukashenko than Yanukovych. Like with the former, Ahmadinejad and his supporters rig elections that they´d probably win anyway, just for power hungry control-freakery of it. As a result they´ve both got enough popular support, certainly amongst the police, the army and the establishment, to see off students and liberals camping in parliament square for a bit.

Ahmadinejad will survive, the battered and bruised protesters will go home. Not that their man is much of a threat to the status quo anyway. For what it´s worth my hope is that they´ll succeed, if only because the manner of doing so (street protests) will in itself create openings of democratic space in Iran. I´m not optimistic though.

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