Mahmood Delkhasteh Say’s Iran’s Green movement is revolutionary; Musavi and Karubi, have become liabilities

June 12 was the first anniversary of Iran’s tenth presidential election. I had a chance to discuss the development and challenges of the Green movement with Dr Mahmood Delkhasteh.*

BB In its contemporary history, Iran experienced three major social movements: the Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911), the oil nationalization movement (1951-1953) and the Islamic Revolution (1979). Despite this, we have been unable to establish democracy. What makes the Green movement different?

MD It is true that although the goal of all three movements was to establish freedom and independence, all failed to achieve this.  Upon closer look, however, each of these apparent failures has brought us closer to establishing democracy.  Despotism in Iran has historically had three interrelated internal bases: economic (big landownership in the rural economy and the bazaar in urban life), political (the monarchy) and cultural (the clergy).  The Shah had to abolish big landownership in the 1960s, which, in combination with the weakening of oil income and the import economy, also drastically weakened the bazaar. The monarchy was abolished in the 1979 revolution. After this, the re-emergence of dictatorship was based only on its cultural base, the clergy, which made it fragile. In order to overcome this fragility, the regime implemented a policy of crisis making (the current one being, of course, nuclear).  During the presidency of Ahmadinejad, the revoluti…

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