x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The Islamic Republic after 30 years

Radwan al Sayyid, an occasional columnist for the London-based newspaper Al Hayat, wrote about the status of the Iranian Revolution thirty years on.

Radwan al Sayyid, an occasional columnist for the London-based newspaper Al Hayat, wrote about the status of the Iranian Revolution thirty years on. He said that in regards to one criteria for evaluating revolutions, "we can say without hesitation that the regime of the Islamic Republic, which was set up by Imam Khomeini, still enjoys the support of the majority of the Iranian people, especially from among the poorer and needier classes."

But, beyond this general view, "we note that there have been no major developments or breakthroughs in the fields of social or economic development or in improving the living conditions of people". Thus the three questions that can be asked 30 years after the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran are: "Is the Iranian nation in a happier internal situation than in the days of the Shah and will it continue to be so? Is Iran's strategic situation in the region better now than what is was like in the past? What will happen to Iranian relations with the United States and Russia?"

The Jordanian Al Ghad daily carried a piece by Samer Ahmad Kher who asked: "The million-dollar question this time is, in light of the results of the Israeli elections, is the administration of Barack Obama able to exercise pressure on Israel to engage in a peace process?" The answer, which will enable us as Arabs to win the million dollars, is "no," the author said.

The main reason behind this answer does not lie in the political programmes pitched by the winning parties - Kadima and the Likud - which do not address a serious peace settlement. "The real reason is that the party that will assume Israel's premiership will be under the mercy of the small parties, because in order for any government coalition to continue and survive, it has to enjoy their consent and support."

As long as these small parties who are expected to partake in the government are extreme right-wing parties, who refuse to conduct a peace settlement with the Arabs or to return any occupied lands for them, any pressures on the prime ministers to engage in negotiations will mean that these small parties will withdraw from the government which will collapse.

Haufa'a Zankana, an Iraqi columnist for the Lebanon-based Al Akhbar newspaper, wrote that the new American administration continues with its policy of "colonial hegemony over Iraq especially after signing the security treaty with its political, cultural, and economic general context but with one small difference compared to the approach of the former administration. This difference is in the fact that the new administration tosses more bones and scraps of its sumptuous table to the dishes of its collaborators waiting at its feet."

This difference appeared most clearly in the past few weeks, the author argued, because of the focused campaign waged by the media outlets from all nationalities aimed at portraying the Iraqi provincial council elections and those participating in them as the "magic solution to all that Iraqis suffered from and will continue to suffer from for generations to come". So what if the northern provinces including Kirkuk did not participate in the elections on the basis of the rule that "if there are problems in a province then postpone the elections in it?"

"It is with a lot of confidence that the Iranian President Ahmadinejad had announced that the ghost of threats to Iran was gone forever and that his country had become a true superpower," wrote Muhammad Sabreen in the Egyptian Al Ahram daily. "What was odd, however, was that this utter confidence in the elimination of the threat collided with Iran's primary and permanent demand from Washington, considering that Tehran has always asked the American administration to stop threatening the Iranian regime and to recognise it, among other things."

The first thing that can be noted is that Iran did not secure a qualitative leap at the economic level. "Moreover, despite his talk about openness and the relative freedom for wide factions among the youths and women, former president Muhammad Khatami was also not able to implement his programme and meet the hopes that the people had of living a better life, even though the Shah has been gone for many years."

Three decades after the revolution, Iran still does not seem settled and is still in a state of revolution, "adopting the slogans of exporting it". Digest compiled by www.mideastwire.com