IRAN: REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS ARE TAKING OVER IN TEHRAN
Richard Weitz 2/02/09
As Iran’s Islamic revolution turns 30, some experts on Iranian affairs contend that the country’s clerics are losing control over the government. The new and rising center of authority in Tehran is the Revolutionary Guards.
One Iranian affairs expert, Ali Alfoneh, believes that like the Shah who left Iran in 1979, the current leadership of the Islamic Republic “aims at modernizing Iran, but does not provide political freedom to the modernized society.” As a result, Iran now has “a very large middle class, which is urban, which is well-educated, which is well-informed, and which also demands political rights.”
Unlike the shah, Alfoneh stressed, the incumbent government has an instrument at its disposal — the Revolutionary Guards — that it has deployed to make sure that public dissatisfaction does not evolve into a protest movement. In addition, the passage of time has worked to the leadership’s advantage: the struggles of the past three decades have greatly di… >>>