Will Iranian protests lead to a new free secular Iran?

Iran Protests

AP – Days of Iranian protests over rising fuel prices and a subsequent government crackdown have killed at least 106 people across Iran, Amnesty International reported, adding that the real figure may be much higher.

Iran’s government has not released a toll of those arrested, injured, or killed in the protests that have occurred and spread quickly across at least 100 cities and towns. But it disputed Amnesty’s report through its mission to the United Nations, calling it “baseless allegations and fabricated figures.” Iranian authorities shut down internet access to the outside world, and an outage has left only state media and government officials able to say what is happening in the nation of 80 million. On cue, Iranian officials blame the outside world – especially the U.S. The U.S. has already placed heavy sanctions on Iran.

Relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani has promised the fuel price increase will fund new subsidies for poor families. But the decision has unleashed anger among Iranians, like Maryam Kazemi, a 29-year-old accountant in the southern Tehran suburb of Khaniabad, who said the new cost of fuel was “putting pressure on ordinary people.” I guess Iranians don’t care about the poor?

News Forecasters asks, with these new massive protests occurring, is a potentially new free secular Iran revolution about to happen?

The AP has done a good job giving a brief history of the Iranian revolution back in 1979. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran from exile in France on Feb. 1, 1979, when several million people showed up to greet him. His arrival was a turning point in the Iranian Revolution. But the jubilation that accompanied Khomeini’s return would soon morph into something else. Unfortunately for Iran, the revolution turned into a quite brutal and bloodthirsty event, not the kind, humanistic, and anti-corruption government that they hoped for. Iran went from a secular country into an Islamic state. It has been that way ever since.

If Iran would have a successful internal revolution, what would a new Iranian state look like anyway? The West dreams of a peaceful westernized secular state. After 40 years of Islamic indoctrination/domination from the past revolution makes this highly unlikely – though there is a small element in Iran would like that. If the current regime is too corrupt, it might get depose, but only to be replaced by another Ayatollah.

The way these things go in these types of situations is that any new Ayatollah would most likely be worst than the one they got – the only difference would be that he (and I do say he as the odds of a female leader is nill) could possibly be even more totalitarian. News Forecasters place regime change risk in Iran at 10 to 15% at best. The Iranian people most likely will just have to accept the economic realities, though perhaps the Iranian government may offer some easing to calm the protests.

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