No matter what happens on Thursday, Iran’s future hangs in the balance. The opposition, which finds it easy to organise street protests, loses its cohesion once there is talk of low risk and more peaceful methods of showing dissent. Calls for nationwide strikes have met with failure at least three times, most recently on February 1, the anniversary of the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from exile in 1979.
This lack of interest in nationwide strikes suggests that either more cautious (or less courageous) greens are still not ready to pay the price of that action or that the movement has yet to attract more onservative supporters. This is while the government has shown it has no hesitation in using maximum violence against protesters and will make no concessions to the opposition.
The opposition leaders – who are among the founders of the Islamic Republic – know they have gone as far as they can, while talk of regime change circulates within parts of the Green Movement. The country, which is already struggling with economic and social crises as well as being faced with international and regional challenges, will inevitably have to pay a heavy price once the opposition’s demands become more radicalised, such as seeking regime change or even just calling for Khamenei to be replaced as supreme leader.
Meanwhile, it also appears that the government is exploiting the concerns of the opposition leaders. It is as if the government is playing Russi… >>>