Samstag, 02.06.2018 / 19:30 Uhr

Iran: Veränderung liegt in der Luft

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Streiks im Iran gehen weiter, nun kündigen auch Studenten an, sich anschließen zu wollen. Für Open Democracy schreibt Jubin Afshar über die jüngsten Entwicklungen, die, wie auch er fetstellt, durchaus den (fortgeschrittene) Anfang vom Ende der Islamischen Republik markieren könnten. Veränderungen im Nahen Osten kommen, ob nun positive oder negative, das lehrt die Geschichte, in der Regel ganz unerwartet und schnell und immer dann, wenn niemand mit ihnen rechnet.

The government’s only recourse to addressing the strikers’ grievances is to meet their demands for higher wages, something it cannot do at the same time as it is funnelling billions of dollars into influencing outcomes in the Syrian war, the Iraqi political process, Yemen’s civil war, and incitement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) and the kicking in of US sanctions will further force Iran to face up to its internal contradictions, expediting the socio-political process of change in Iran. Lacking the slush fund provided to it by the JCPOA and foreign business investments, Iran will have to make hard choices. Protesters earlier this year chanted: “Leave Syria alone, think about us” as they admonished the regime for wasting resources for domestic development on warmongering adventurism in the region. The slogan pits ordinary Iranians against a government that is increasingly isolated. So much so that recent sanctions on the regime garnered “Way to go Trump!” graffiti in Tehran, however surprising that may seem.

The triangle of domestic uprising, regional readiness to confront an expansionist regime, and a growing international willingness to exact a price on Tehran for its malign behavior, at least by the United States, is creating conducive circumstances for change in Iran.

The truckers, workers, taxi and bus drivers, youth, and women in Iran, all sense change in the air. Forty-two years ago, when Jimmy Carter toasted the Shah of Iran and said “Iran is an island of stability in a troubled region of the world,” no one foresaw the implosion of the Shah’s regime about a year later. Now too, we should be aware that Iran is in the throes of yet another convulsion. This one is set to upend the Middle East. Perhaps this time for the better. There are many reasons for optimism, but most significant is Iran’s own people, who have been inoculated against one of the most virulent strains of intolerance and fanaticism, forming one of the most outwardly friendly nations to progressive change in the region today.