Thursday, June 28, 2007

So What Next?

So after years of not investing money in oil refineries and instead the Islamic Republic pouring Iran's petro-dollars into terrorist organisations and efforts to destabilise the region, the petrol chicken has come home to roost. Once again an opportunity has risen where Iranian people have seen the strength in their numbers and gained confidence to challenge the authorities. Will the petrol riots be similar to the football riots, the student uprising in July 99, the six days dusk protests, or the urban riots caused by changing boundaries etc. Will the initial confidence and momentum suddenly fizzle out as a result of lack of support, brutal crackdown etc. by the regime?

I was watching the Islamic Republic state TV tonight. The situation is serious. It seemed like the country was at war. Patriotic songs were played, as they usualy are in times of crisis for the clerics, the state radio suddenly remembered our pre-Islamic and national heroes. The very people who had removed the statue of our mythical hero, Kaveh, for fear of becoming a focus for anti-regime activities, were playing songs that praised Kaveh, Arash, Rostam, kings Cyrus and Darius. An archive footage of the late Ayatollah Beheshti lecturing the volunteers for the war front was shown in which he talked about how futile sanctions and imperialist plots are when faced by people who look forward to become martyrs.

Why is the regime fearing this petrol crisis more than other protests it has faced? Well for a start, this crisis is affecting all of Iran at once. It is not just an isolated incident of an urban riot in one area where it can be crushed easily and it is not a flash in the pan incident either.

What should the opposition do? In my view the most important thing is to explain to people what a sensible secular regime, which is not bound by a fanatical Islamic ideology, will do to resolve the problem. We know why this mess has happened and we know who is responsible for it, but how would a secular alternative to the Islamic regime solve the problem? Thats what Iranian people want to know, thats what will give them the confidence to continue to challenge the regime. If the Iranian secular opposition does not provide the answer, once again without the offer of a viable alternative, people will just be content to improvise for their problems and deal with the status quo rather than make sacrifices for an unknown alternative. I wonder if such plans were even discussed in the recent Paris conference of the Iranian opposition groups or were they once again for the umpteenth time just happy that so many different groups sat next to each other under one roof and some obscure groups with zero reputation or support in Iran got promoted by Kenneth Timmerman?!

I will have limited access to the internet over the next few days. Don't be disheartened if there is delay in publishing your comments.


SERENDIP said...

Potkin jan: The problem is much worse than a few refinaries. The whole infrastructure has not been maintained or invested in to the point where it would take at least 10 years to fix it. Read my post:

Read this one too:

Has the IRI ever been held accountable for the incalculable damage they have wreaked upon both in terms of costs (including opportunity cost) and risks to Iranian nation's economic and strategic security and sovereignty? If you and I had managed a corporation , large or small and ran it to the ground like this, we would be fired and put in jail for being so willingly corrupt or incompetent. These idiots are starving their own "cash cow" (oil revenues) by not re-investing or maintaining it. How masochistic can you get to do this to yourself? Are they that blind? They should all be impeached.

Those who rule the Islamic Republic are dysfunctional in practically every way imaginable. They have never been called to account for their irresponsibility and unwillingness to face the reality of their own making. The West,particularly the left, and the reformers have encouraged them, enabled them, and generally sheltered them from reality for their own short-sighted profiteering . What will they do when the cow stops producing milk and begins to die?

Bahramerad said...

Azarmehr, you have refereed to: `some obscure groups with zero reputation or support in Iran got promoted by Kenneth Timmerman `, Do you mean your friends at the SOLIDARITY IRAN?

Bahramerad said...

Do you mean your freinds, Solidarity Iran ?

Azarmehr said...

I do mean Solidarity Iran conference, but as someone who avoided going to the conference, I am not sure what you mean 'your friends'. Although some who attended the conference are my friends, on the whole I thought the conference was a waste of time and achieve nothing.

Azarmehr said...

An example of groups with zero support in Iran who attended the conference and promoted by Timmerman, is SOS Iran.

Azarmehr said...


I remember your post well and agree with you. But what I am saying is that we should not stop at explaining to the people why things have gone wrong but also how a sensible secular government can resolve it.

Anonymous said...

why dont u write to Timmerman about his affection for SOS Iran and Marze Por Gohar groups?